Friday, January 13, 2017

The Dalai Lama on What Matters Most

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The world we are living at the moment may be full of chaos, suffering and never-ending conflicts and global problems that are hard to solve. We are living in this world as an effect or consequences of past life struggles and miseries that are carried until the present times. The "Law of Karma" which originated in Buddhist philosophy applies this scenario of the rebirth or a cycle of violence, intolerance, war and suffering that we see and get to experience in our time.

What could have happened from the past that the humanity continue to suffer at the present time? Why does humanity experience the ill-effect of wars brought by the differences in beliefs? What shall the humanity need to do to stop the cycle of suffering for the benefit of the next generation? These are some questions to ponder on the nature of humanity and the world and how Buddhism plays a major role in this modern world.

Buddhism is not just a religion, but  considered as the science of mind. It is philosophical in nature and tries to answer even the most difficult question about life; man's nature and reason of existence. The Dalai Lama, known as the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist, is a living Buddha of compassion. We can learn from his philosophy and insights about what truly matters in our existence to this world -- the role we need to play for a better life and a better world.

Noriyuki Ueda, a Japanese Anthropologist was one of those who would want to seek for an answer about the nature of the humanity and the world. He had an opportunity to meet The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. He spent two days of quality discussion and interview with The Dalai Lama, and that was truly an inspirational moment to have been granted a great privilege to sit with a Holy man. It was even more wonderful when the output of the interview was made into a book entitled: The Dalai Lama on What Matters Most.

Like Noriyuki Ueda, I am also delighted to learn more about Buddhist philosophy and The Dalai Lama's perspective on what truly matters. In 2013, Meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala was a blessing. It was truly a memorable and meaningful moment in my life to have met a compassionate man and a living Buddha. It was only in his book when I first get to know who he is and what are his greatest contribution in this world.

What Can Buddhism Offer? Cultivating a compassionate nature. This is where we are attuned with a caring, loving-spirit and an open heart to everyone regardless of race, creed and social status. We strive to build an altruistic society despite our differences in faith, cultural and even political beliefs. This is very notable in today's time when we reach out as brothers in times of difficulties. International aid in times of wars, conflicts and natural calamities; we have seen how humanity is united beyond borders. When we offer humanitarian aid, we do not think of our personal, religious or political differences. We provide help to everyone: muslims, hindus, buddhist and christians. We are one and we think of the survival of our dear brothers without hesitation and not through religious affiliations. An altruistic society is brought by a compassionate nature where one has an open heart to help and to serve.

Compassionate anger, is another virtue worth cultivating. It may sound negative, but it is a positive approach towards peace and detached world. Nowadays, people are becoming attached to materialism. People may desire for more; becoming rich and achieving more power. However, attachment to these may lead to suffering. Wealthy people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet may be one of the world's most powerful in terms of financial assets, however they use philanthropy to solve some of the world's problem like poverty. They give massive amount of their wealth to charities and even pledged to give entirely when they die.  Gaining wealth and giving it away for the benefit of the humanity is truly commendable act of sacrifice and altruism. When many people started praying, these wealthy people are already giving away with an open mind and a big heart.

Love is something we give without any condition; hence the term unconditional love to people and everyone who are good and bad. Showing love to enemy, may not be a bad thing or a wrong move. It is a  result of having an open heart and a greater attachment to peace of mind. In times of trouble when we are no longer able to ask help from the people who used to be closer to us, it may be an enemy who will provide the answer to our prayers. Love really works in mysterious way. Those who were persecuted, abandoned and considered an enemy are most likely grateful for the turn around of events. There's always a blessing in disguise even with our worst enemies. Jesus would not have been the center of Christianity without the role played by Judas, his fallen disciple and Pontious Pilate who ordered his death. Also, The Dalai Lama is grateful for the pains and sufferings he experienced since he became stronger, even more powerful and became a global inspiration. For love is unconditional, we give it to all; even to those whom we think doesn't deserve at all.

'Enlightened Buddhism For A Modern World' is a calling to humanity. It's not about religion, but a philosophy that may be universal -- applicable to all. Back in 2013, Land of The Tibetans in Dharamsala: Closer to Heaven was my first encounter with the Buddhist people who may have achieved some enlightenment or perhaps on the path of Bodhisattva. I am a Christian, but I aspire for some enlightenment through the teachings of Buddhism. The virtue of peace, love and compassion is very relevant in today's world and these are the core teachings of Buddha for the humanity. Being enlightened is a spiritual gift and we learn to share it to others. What truly matters is our intention. With an open heart, we can achieve global peace and peace of our mind, soul and spirit.

© 2017 Del Cusay

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