His Holiness the Dalai Lama teachings to Southeast Asian

September 6th 2013

Dharamsala, HP, India, 3 September 2013 (By Samuel Ivor, The Tibet Post International) - Addressing over 6000 devotees from 61 countries, including at least 450 guests from Southeast Asia, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet began His continued teaching on Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" at the Main Temple in Dharamshala, India.

Continuing the text from previous teachings at chapter eight, devoted followers were given remarkable insight into one of Tibetan Buddhism's most pivotal texts, by one of the 21st centuries' most revered leaders. The teaching was given at the request of disciples from Southeast Asia, who were warmly welcomed to the exile home of the esteemed spiritual leader.


Amid the foothills of the Indian Himalaya, the teaching began at 8am with the recitation of 'Sherab Nyingpo' (Heart Sutra) by the Buddhist guests. His Holiness the Dalai Lama warmly welcomed His disciples, and reiterated the need for different religious traditions to foster respect and harmony for each other.

"As one follows a particular religion according to one choice and disposition aiming to bring positive changes in mind, so it is very important to have the freedom to worship".

Despite the ever changing face of modernity and material development, His Holiness emphasized that: "Material development is necessary; we have this body so we need some facilities to bring physical comfort and it is very important. If all our physical and mental energy concentrates only on material values, then it is quite unfortunate. We have this marvelous human intelligence."

Highlighting the need to look beyond the borders of religion, He added: "The world also has a considerable number of people who don't believe in religion and like the believers, they too want happiness. So, it is very important to respect each other and practice warm-heartedness and morality, which are sources of happiness and peace of mind". His Holiness also fondly recalled His youth in Lhasa, and the understanding fostered between Buddhists and Muslims in Tibet.

The focal text Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" consists of a long poem describing the process of enlightenment from the first thought, to full Buddhahood, and is still studied by Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists to this day.

It consists of ten chapters dedicated to the development of Bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment) through the practice of the six perfections, and His Holiness offers to focus on Chapter Eight of the text over the period of two and a half days for the teaching, which is also broadcast live. His Holiness will continue to speak in Tibetan, with English, Chinese, and Vietnamese language translations available. The teaching continues on September 4th at 8am (IST), and a live webcast is available at http://dalailama.com/live-english

Day Two – September 4

His Holiness the Dalai Lama continued His teachings of Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (chodjug) on September 4th at the main temple of Dharamshala, India. Chapter eight of the teaching, which has been allotted to devotees from Southeast Asia, delved further into one of Tibetan Buddhism's most important and prominent texts.


Having introduced the passages, sometimes known as 'entering the path of enlightenment', His Holiness carefully guided the rapt audience through Chapter Eight, which focuses on the perfection of meditation.

The esteemed Buddhist leader of Tibet drew upon both wit and wisdom to lead those in the temple, as well as the global audience online, though the revered passages, which are dedicated to the development of Bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment), through the practice of the six perfections.

His Holiness confided: 'You should not be under the sway of a cherishing attitude, rather, cherish others', adding:

'The goal is to attain an omniscient state of mind; to see all things directly and simultaneously. In quantum physics we come to understand that nothing exists objectively. Because of this absoluteness, we become attached to others. We need to establish that there is something beyond this appearance; there is a reality'.

'Therefore we must oppose those distorted ways of existence. Those things that are reality, they have valid knowledge and valid condition. We need to develop wisdom realizing emptiness, to cut through false appearances... We must overcome selfish thoughts.'

The delegation of over 6000 devotees, including at least 450 guests from Southeast Asia, were certainly received with a warm welcome and careful guidance throughout the four hour session, in the scenic foothills of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

His Holiness again drew upon personal experiences, seriousness, and humour to engage the audience, finally concluding that: 'Tomorrow: [is the] laypersons vows, and generation of Bodhicitta. It's exactly 12 o clock, so we will immediately, stop no problem" he laughed, achieving yet another insightful teaching to His international disciples.

Day Three – September 5

His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded His teaching of Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" at the Main Temple in Dharamshala, India, with a series of blessings and initiations. The event, which was hosted at the request of a group of Southeast Asian Buddhists, focused on chapter eight of the revered text.


An audience of over 6000 devotees attended the event, including at least 450 guests from Southeast Asia, as well as monks, nuns and laypeople. In the cavernous yet modest shelter of the main Tibetan temple of Dharamshala, His Holiness led the disciples though vows and blessings, to embolden them in the future.

Despite a light showering of seasonal Himachal monsoon rain, the well-attended event smoothly rounded off yet another chapter in the series of precious teachings bestowed by Shantideva, and have formed an integral part of the calendar for his Holiness' numerous audiences; both local and global. During the session, the spiritual leader of Tibet implored the audience to focus on emptiness and selflessness, ensuring that those receiving the initiation attempt to 'clear all defilements from body speech and mind'.

Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" itself consists of a long poem describing the process of enlightenment from the first thought, to full Buddhahood, and is still studied by Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists to this day. It consists of ten chapters dedicated to the development of Bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment) through the practice of the six perfections.

The teachings, which have lasted two and a half days, are available in Tibetan and English language translations, at http://dalailama.com/webcasts/post/296-a-guide-to-the-bodhisattvas-way-of-life His Holiness is due to visit Latvia on September 9, discussing 'The Culture of Compassion', followed by visits to Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Germany. His next teaching in Dharamsala will be from September 30 to October 3, on Nagarjuna's Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning (rigpa drugchupa) & Tsongkhapa's Concise Treatises on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lamrim dudon), at the request of a group of Taiwanese disciples at the Main Tibetan Temple.

 

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