Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives some interesting advice to a student that feels that nobody loves him or her. Rinpoche responds by explaining how to apply an antidote to self pity moments. He mentions:
Actually the buddhas and bodhisattvas cherish you one hundred thousand times more than you love yourself. If they did not love you and cherish you, then you would not be a human being this time, not even that. All these virtues could not be done and so much benefit to sentient beings would not happen, you would not have all this Dharma education and so forth. So much, so much, so much.
It is important to understand that those who are living in renunciation—the meditators, monks, nuns and also lay people—have inner peace and happiness. Renunciation means to renounce attachment to this life, to future lives, to samsara. They don’t feel that “Nobody loves me.” They are satisfied because they have inner peace and happiness. The stronger the renunciation, the more peace and happiness inside. Many people do not know this and they think that bringing presents, flowers and cakes makes them sooooo happy.
Venerable Thubten Chodron explains how developoing one’s moral compass will calm one’s mind so that one can act in beneficial ways
His Holiness has said on many times that its possible that the next Dalai Lama will be female. Robert Thurman, during this interview, gave his take on why His Holiness would choose to reincarnate as a female Dalai Lama.
“He is for world peace,” Thurman said. “He thinks women are less likely to use the nuclear option or go ballistic over this or that than the male, therefore it might be good to set an example to let the next Tibetan leader be a woman.”
Venerable Thubten Chodron talks about how to apply Dharma to all aspects of life.
Here’s an interesting new clip from New Zealand of Thupten Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk that stayed in death meditation for several days. His body was able to retain a fresh appearance and smell for several days. There isn’t much video footage on this type of event happening, but its often talked about happening with very attained practitioners.
Benefits of Learning Classical Tibetan
Even though classical Tibetan is considered to be a different language than modern, colloquial Tibetan, learning it has many benefits. There are many texts that still have no translation into English and having the ability to read Tibetan gives access to these texts. If one has practice texts in Tibetan, its my experience that they come more alive in the original language.
Learning Tibetan also can given deeper insight Buddhist philosophy because English can sometimes be a difficult language for getting a precise translation of technical philosophical term, while Tibetan gives a fairly precise translation of Sanskrit terms. Tibetan also preserves the beautiful poetic meter found in texts translated from Sanskrit, something that is extremely difficult to reproduce in English.
One great resource for learning classical Tibetan is through Ranjung Yeshe Institute. They provide two online courses that are supported by reference tables and exercises, unique ways to learn new concepts and words using Quizlet, and video instructions.
As a preparation, one can read here about their online course in the Tibetan Alphabet.
It aims at allowing a beginner to spell, read and pronounce Tibetan words.
Introduction to Classical Tibetan
Once someone has the basics of the Tibetan alphabet, the next step is to learn the grammar. One can click here to read more about their course in Classical Tibetan.
The course builds up a beginners vocabulary while learning to be able to read and write classical Tibetan. Its a great resource so that someone can get the basics and begin to practice translating of texts
Geshe Dorji Damdul talks about discovering the nature of the mind.
While many people in both the United States and across the world are visibly upset about the political activity in the United States, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives advice on how to get through this period.
Using logic to create optimism, he states:
The “president, of course, (is a) very important individual, but basically I (am) always telling (people), the world belongs to humanity,” said the Dalai Lama during the Emory-Tibet symposium of Scholars and Scientists held at the Drepung Monastic University in India in December. “Each nation belongs to the people,” he said.
Venerable Tsenphel of Sravasti Abbey, as part of preparation for doing a Lama Tsongkhapa retreat during Sravasti Abbey’s winer retreat this year, explains the first 40 years of Lama Tsongkhapa.
Lama Tsongkhapa was a scholar saint who established the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism, which is also the order of the Dalai Lama.
For those interested in joining the Abbey in doing the retreat from distance, one can still register to do the retreat from afar. Click here to learn more
The Four Noble Truths were the first teachings given by the Buddha, and form the very basis of Buddhist philosophy because it explains how to gain freedom from the influence of disturbing emotions and karma.
Below is a short teaching given by Ringu Tulku, explaining the Four Noble Truths:
A way to get a deeper understanding of the Four Noble Truths is to study the sixteen aspects, which are four aspects for all of the four noble truths. This is a way to enrich ones understanding of the Four Noble Truths and to help one understand why and how liberation is actually possible.
Each of the sixteen aspects are meant to counteract a misunderstanding of the Four Noble Truths. Here is a link from a teaching by Alex Berzin, explaining the 16 misunderstandings that are being counteracted.