Anger and aggression sometimes seem to be protective because they bring energy to bear on a particular situation, but what needs to be acknowledged is that that energy is blind. It takes a calm mind to be able to consider things from different angles and points of view.
We may say prayers when we are trying to solve the problems we face, but it is up to us to put an end to violence and bring about peace. Creating peace is our responsibility. To pray for peace while still engaging in the causes that give rise to violence is contradictory.
Instead of trying to resolve our differences by force, we must talk and enter into dialogue. This is not a sign of weakness, but of wisdom—a realistic approach. This is why we have to discuss how to impress on those who are young today the importance of cultivating a compassionate mind in conjunction with a more realistic view.
As social animals we need friends, but we make friends on the basis of trust, which comes about as a result of affection and concern for others. You can’t buy trust or acquire it by use of force. Its source is warm-heartedness.
We can change our minds. We don’t have to give in to anger and hatred. Since compassion and anger cannot co-exist, the more we cultivate compassion the more our anger will be reduced. Compassion brings peace of mind and if we have that we won’t be deflected when negative events occur.
The basis of moral principles is to have a real concern for the well-being of others and an appreciation of the oneness of humanity. Whether science or religion is constructive or destructive depends on our motivation and whether we are guided by moral principles
Meditation is about keeping the mind clear; thinking deeply about reality. It’s about thinking about our emotions, asking ourselves ‘Why do I feel angry?’ and coming to understand the advantages and sound basis of positive emotions like warm-heartedness. I’ve faced difficulties in my life, but the peace of mind I’ve gained from mind-training has helped me cope.
Knowledge of the mind is relevant to all 7 billion human beings alive today because we achieve peace of mind by tackling our destructive emotions on the basis of understanding the whole system of our emotions. We experience happiness on a sensory level that is relatively short-lived. But lasting happiness is related to our state of mind.
In a world where people easily fall under the sway of anger and hatred, we need love, patience, tolerance and contentment. You may have all the physical amenities you need to be comfortable, but it you have no peace of mind, they won’t make you happy. On the other hand if you have peace of mind, you’ll be happy whether you have those amenities or not. The important goal is to achieve peace of mind.
The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’ It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently.
We need to use reason to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of concern for others and self-centredness. Scientists say that basic human nature is compassionate. It isn’t a matter of religious practice so much as a recognition that just as you appreciate it when others show you affection and compassion, others appreciate being treated the same way too. It’s a matter of training the mind.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar releasing "Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 1: The Physical World", the first in a series conceived by His Holiness that brings together classical Buddhist explorations of the nature of our material world and the human mind and puts them into context for the modern reader in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 7, 2018.
Transformation of our minds will only come about if we use our intelligence. And in order to do that we must have a better understanding of how to tackle our destructive emotions. We can change—we don’t have to give in to anger and hatred. Since compassion and anger cannot coexist, the more we cultivate compassion the more our anger will be reduced.