Of all the spiritual luminaries I’ve followed over the years, the Dalai Lama sits at the top of what I’d call the “good vibe” category. Listen to him talk or read his writings and one gets the sense of a truly beautiful, compassionate human being.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a slew of others, like Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh and Pope Francis, who exude peace and good will. But for me, the Dalai Lama is numero uno.
In case you didn’t know, the Dalai Lama is the 14th in a succession of Tibetan leaders that goes all the way back to the 14th century. When one Dalai Lama dies it is up to the High Lamas to seek out and find which body the lama has been reincarnated into and make that person the next Dalai Lama.
The current Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 when the Chinese brutalized Tibet with a violent suppression. Ever since, he has worked tirelessly to promote peace and compassion throughout the globe, living mostly in India.
I found the following four quotes of his to be particularly powerful, wise and beautiful. Allow them to seep into your being.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
If I had to pick only one word to describe the Dalai Lama it would be compassionate. It’s no wonder that many of his teachings center on this one word.
And I couldn’t agree more with him that being compassionate makes one happy and also those one shows compassion toward. It’s all about being there for people who need help.
Somewhere in the nexus between compassion and love lies the answer to the secret mysteries of life. It is in those states that is found the heartbeat of the universe. Sorry, but that’s my best shot at expressing it.
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
I take this to mean that an out of control egoic mind leads to suffering and one that is quieter leads to happiness. Therein lies the basis for all of the spiritual work I do.
How do we discipline our minds? We meditate regularly. We practice mindfulness. And while doing both of those, we work on letting go of ourselves.
It’s the most important work we can do, for ourselves, for those around us and for the world itself.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
I love this. This one is all about where the Dalai Lama suggests we put our focus, which is on our inner work. That always comes first.
The Dalai Lama, and others like Eckhart Tolle and Mickey Singer, all say that angry, underdeveloped activists mostly just spread negative energy, whether in saving the whales or holding the corporate world accountable.
People who exemplify the Dalai Lama’s quote would be Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Both of these great leaders achieved monumental success in their benevolent endeavors and one of the main reasons was the awesome strength they derived from their peaceful inner worlds. It gave them a transcendent kind of power to sway both their followers and their adversaries.
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
This captures another of the reasons I so admire and respect the Dalai Lama: His eschewing of dogma and tradition in furtherance of pan-spiritual, universal principles. In other words, he doesn’t care if you’re a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew or Zoroastrian — all that really matters to him is that you’re kind. If I had a religion, that would be it!
I wish the rest of the religious leaders of the world were the same way. Not caring so much about whether you believe in the Koran or the Bible, but about how you treat others in our one world. As Louis Armstrong said, “What a wonderful world” that would be.
If you haven’t already, check out some of the Dalai Lama’s public appearances. Here is a link to one of them. But go to YouTube and take some time to listen to this great human being. He is a gift to our world.