Dalai Lama     44 posts


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' The Reality of War '

Of course, war and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous - an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.

War is like a fire in the human community, one whose fuel is living beings. I find this analogy especially appropriate and useful. Modern warfare waged primarily with different forms of fire, but we are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die. None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people - his relatives and friends - suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.

Frankly as a child, I too was attracted to the military. Their uniform looked so smart and beautiful. But that is exactly how the seduction begins. Children starts playing games that will one day lead them in trouble. There are plenty of exciting games to play and costumes to wear other than those based on the killing of human beings. Again, if we as adults were not so fascinated by war, we would clearly see that to allow our children to become habituated to war games is extremely unfortunate. Some former soldiers have told me that when they shot their first person they felt uncomfortable but as they continued to kill it began to feel quite normal. In time, we can get used to anything.

It is not only during times of war that military establishments are destructive. By their very design, they were the single greatest violators of human rights, and it is the soldiers themselves who suffer most consistently from their abuse. After the officer in charge have given beautiful explanations about the importance of the army, its discipline and the need to conquer the enemy, the rights of the great mass of soldiers are most entirely taken away. They are then compelled to forfeit their individual will, and, in the end, to sacrifice their lives. Moreover, once an army has become a powerful force, there is every risk that it will destroy the happiness of its own country.

There are people with destructive intentions in every society, and the temptation to gain command over an organisation capable of fulfilling their desires can become overwhelming. But no matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don't have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society. As long as there are powerful armies there will always be danger of dictatorship. If we really believe dictatorship to be a despicable and destructive form of government, then we must recognize that the existence of a powerful military establishment is one of its main causes.

Militarism is also very expensive. Pursuing peace through military strength places a tremendously wasteful burden on society. Governments spend vast sums on increasingly intricate weapons when, in fact, nobody really wants to use them. Not only money but also valuable energy and human intelligence are squandered, while all that increases is fear.

I want to make it clear, however, that although I am deeply opposed to war, I am not advocating appeasement. It is often necessary to take a strong stand to counter unjust aggression. For instance, it is plain to all of us that the Second World War was entirely justified. It "saved civilization" from the tyranny of Nazi Germany, as Winston Churchill so aptly put it. In my view, the Korean War was also just, since it gave South Korea the chance of gradually developing democracy. But we can only judge whether or not a conflict was vindicated on moral grounds with hindsight. For example, we can now see that during the Cold War, the principle of nuclear deterrence had a certain value. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to assess al such matters with any degree of accuracy. War is violence and violence is unpredictable. Therefore, it is better to avoid it if possible, and never to presume that we know beforehand whether the outcome of a particular war will be beneficial or not.

For instance, in the case of the Cold War, through deterrence may have helped promote stability, it did not create genuine peace. The last forty years in Europe have seen merely the absence of war, which has not been real peace but a facsimile founded dear. At best, building arms to maintain peace serves only as a temporary measure. As long as adversaries do not trust each other, any number of factors can upset the balance of power. Lasting peace can assure secured only on the basis of genuine trust.

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/world-peace/the-reality-of-war

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Dalai Lama: Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.

R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics of Physics and Astronomy at John Hopkins University, explains things further:

A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.

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The Dalai Lama shared:
"When I was about thirty-five years old, I was reflecting on the meaning of a passage by Tsongkhapa about how the “I” cannot be found either within or separate from the mind-body complex and how the “I” depends for its existence on conceptuality.
Here is the passage: ‘A coiled rope’s speckled color and coiled form are similar to those of a snake, and when the rope is perceived in a dim area, the thought arises, “This is a snake.” As for the rope, at that time when it is seen to be a snake, the collection and parts of the rope are not even in the slightest way a snake. Therefore, that snake is merely set up by conceptuality. In the same way, when the thought “I” arises in dependence upon mind and body, nothing within mind and body – neither the collection that is a continuum of earlier and later moments, nor the collection of the parts at one time, nor the separate parts, nor the continuum of any of the separate parts – is in even the slightest way the “I.”
Also there is not even the slightest something that is a different entity from mind and body that is apprehendable as the “I.” Consequently, the “I” is merely set up by conceptuality in dependence upon mind and body; it is not established by way of its own entity.’
Suddenly, it was as if lightning moved through my chest. I was so awestruck that, over the next few weeks, whenever I saw people, they seemed like a magician’s illusions in that they appeared to inherently exist but I knew that they actually did not.
This is when I began to understand that it is truly possible to stop the process of creating destructive emotions by no longer assenting to the way “I” and other phenomena appear to exist. Every morning I meditate on emptiness, and I recall that experience in order to bring it into the day’s activities. Just thinking or saying “I,” as in “I will do such-and-such,” will often trigger that feeling. But still I cannot claim full understanding of emptiness."

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CARING FOR OTHERS BRINGS HEALTH OF MIND AND BODY

The moment you adopt a sense of caring for others, that brings inner strength. Inner strength brings us inner tranquility, more self-confidence... Through inner disarmament we can develop a healthy mental attitude, which is also very beneficial for physical health... Therefore peace of mind not only brings tranquility in our mind but also has good effects on our body.

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COMPASSION IS THE SOURCE OF SUCCESS

Some may dismiss compassion as impractical and unrealistic, but I believe it's practice is the true source of success.

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INNER TRANQUILITY COMES FROM COMPASSION

Inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at east and opens our inner door.

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COMPASSION IS THE TRUE SING OF INNER STRENGTH

Compassion is, by nature, peaceful and gentle, but it is also very powerful. It is the true sign of inner strength.

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HOW TO MEDITATE WHILE LIVING "IN THE WORLD"

The most important aspect is to cultivate a good motivation and t o carry out your daily program within it. Early in the morning as well as late in the night, you can spend at least half an hour in practice - meditation, recitation, daily yoga, or the like. Then, while working during the day, you should remember the motivation.

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HOW TO MEDITATE WHILE LIVING "IN THE WORLD"

The most important aspect is to cultivate a good motivation and to carry out your daily program within it. Early in the morning as well as late in the night, you can spend at least half an hour in practice - Meditation, recitation, daily Yoga, or the like. Then, while working during the day, you should remember the motivation.

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This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.

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"I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with belief in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another-an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of meta-physical or philosophical reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or hell. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, ritual, prayers and so on.
Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit-such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, which bring happiness to both self and others."

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We must each lead a way of life with self-awareness and compassion, to do as much as we can. Then, whatever happens we will have no regrets.

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One can't blame all our troubles on God, nor on destiny, nor on karma. All this comes from a rather cowardly attitude.

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No matter what is going on
Never Give Up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
is spent developing the mind
instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
but to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
in your heart and in the world
Work for peace
and I say again
Never Give up
No matter what is happening
No matter what is going on around you
Never Give up.

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Spiritual practice is difficult in the beginning. You wonder how on earth you can ever do it. But as you get used to it, the practice gradually becomes easier. Do not be too stubborn or push yourself too hard. If you practice in accord with your individual capacity, little by little you will find more pleasure and joy in it. As you gain inner strength, your positive actions will gain in profundity and scope

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Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions

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This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness

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If you want others to be happy - practice Compassion. If you want to be happy - practice Compassion

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We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don't make peace with ourselves. World peace must develop out of inner peace

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Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can�t help them, at least don�t hurt them

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Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

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The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.

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Encountering sufferings will definitely contribute to the elevation of your spiritual practice, provided you are able to transform calamity and misfortune into the path.

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So, the tendency of our childish nature is to take small things too seriously and get easily offended, whereas when we are confronted with situations which have long-term consequences, we tend to take things less seriously

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