Dealing with negative emotions

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives some practical advice on dealing with negative states

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The Real Hero

In this interesting transcript of a talk about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he explains what a hero is within a spiritual context:

The real bravery, the real hero is the person who can fight anger, and can overwhelm and climb over anger. The real hero is the person who can face the most difficult and dangerous enemy—the inner enemy.

One person’s anger can kill sixty million people. That is how dangerous anger is—it is much more dangerous than an atomic bomb. There is no comparison between one person’s anger and an atomic bomb. Anger is much more harmful than an atomic bomb.

The danger of an atomic bomb is that it harms others and it can destroy the whole earth—more than half of the world—millions and millions of human beings and creatures. There are so many creatures—uncountable numbers in the water, under the ground, in the bushes and in the sky. There are so many, it is unbelievable. All this gets destroyed—not only human beings, but also creatures and so many buildings, bridges and cities. All these things that thousands and thousands of people for many years planned and spent so much money on, and worked so hard in order to collect the money to give to the workers—all these enjoyments, all the rich and comfortable apartments and the huge buildings, took so much time and effort. People put so much effort into building all this and in just one minute or one hour, it all gets destroyed. In so many of these cities, it is unbelievable how much effort people put into these things. They suffered so much to construct all this, then in one day or in one hour, it is all completely destroyed.

The danger of the atomic bomb comes from anger. If there is patience and no anger, this destruction would not happen.

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Buddhism as just philosophy

An interesting article about why so many Americans views Buddhism as just a philosophy. An excerpt:

Other Beat poets, hippies and, later, New Age DIY self-helpers have also paradoxically mistaken Buddhism for a kind of self-indulgent narcissism, despite its teachings of selflessness and compassion. Still others have commercially exploited its exotic appeal to sell everything from “Zen tea” to “Lucky Buddha Beer,” which is particularly ironic given Buddhism’s traditional proscription against alcohol and other intoxicants.

As a result, the popular construction of nonreligious Buddhism has contributed much to the contemporary “spiritual but not religious” phenomenon, as well as to the secularized and commodified mindfulness movement in America.

We may have only transplanted a fraction of the larger bodhi tree of religious Buddhism in America, but our cutting has adapted and taken root in our secular, scientific and highly commercialized age. For better and for worse, it’s Buddhism, American-style.

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Refuge as a state of mind

In this interesting transcript from a talk by Lama Yeshe, he explains that refuge isn’t simply an act, but a way of thinking. He mentions:

When you take refuge in Buddhadharma, the important point is that you have recognized your own profound potential, and from the beginning can see that, “I can do something, I can take the responsibility of liberating myself.” This is different from the attitude we normally have: “I’m hopeless, I’m hopeless; maybe God, maybe Buddha, maybe Lama can do something for me.” This sort of human attitude is wrong. From the Buddhist point of view it is wrong to think, “I’m hopeless, Buddha can do something for me.” That attitude is wrong because it’s not true. By believing that you are hopeless you have already decided that you are nothing, you have already put a limit on your profound quality. The important thing in taking refuge is to have the understanding that you can do something to solve the problem of everyday life by relying, with confidence and trust, on the Buddha’s wisdom—or you can also call it your own activated wisdom—to liberate you from confusion and suffering. So it is really worthwhile. The real significance of taking refuge in Dharma wisdom is that it is the entrance to the path to enlightenment.

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