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Quotations from Tenzin Gyatso

1935-

A compassionate state of mind brings inner peace, and therefore a healthier body.

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Afflictive emotions - our jealousy, anger, hatred, fear - can be put to an end. When you realize that these emotions are only temporary, that they always pass on like clouds in the sky, you also realize they can ultimately be abandoned.

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All the problems of the world - child labor, corruption - are symptoms of a spiritual disease: lack of compassion.

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Another way to avoid the narrowing of vision that can lead to such extreme states as self-hatred and despair is to rejoice in others' good fortune, where we find it.

Ethics for the New Millennium (1999)

Before we do anything, we should always ask ourselves whether we will be able to do it properly and complete it. If the answer is no, we should not start. Leaving tasks uncompleted creates a habit for the future. So once we have begun something, we should be sure not to go back on our decision.

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night

Buddha's full teachings dispel the pain of worldly existence and self-oriented peace; may they flourish, spreading prosperity and happiness throughout this spacious world.

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Change doesn't come from the sky. It comes from human action.

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Compassion and love is the source of external and internal peace and is also the root of racial survival.

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Compassion, forgiveness, these are the real, ultimate sources of power for peace and success in life.

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Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.

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Dialogue is the most effective way of resolving conflict.

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Discipline means protection from one's own wanton interest.

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Do not confuse peace of mind with spaced-out insensitivity. A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, very aware.

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Every human action, whether it has become positive or negative, must depend on motivation.

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From a certain point of view our real enemy, the true troublemaker, is inside.

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Harboring angry thoughts and ill feelings can be destructive.

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Human nature is compassionate, is affectionate.

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I am convinced that human nature is basically gentle, not aggressive. And every one of us has a responsibility to act as if all our thoughts, words, and deeds matter. For, really, they do. Our lives have both purpose and meaning.

Ethics for the New Millennium (1999)

I believe if we human beings keep our self-confidence and determination and use wisdom properly, I think we have the ability to overcome problems.

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I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence.

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If an individual has a calm state of mind, that person's attitudes and views will be calm and tranquil even in the presence of great agitation.

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If others are happy, we will be happy. If others suffer, ultimately we all suffer.

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If you lose your temper, your sound sleep will go, and you will have to use a tranquilizer or sleeping pills… Then gradually, more white hair, wrinkles.

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If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.

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I'm no expert [on raising children]. I can be kind to them for short periods only. I know how to tease them and make them laugh.

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In addition to wreaking havoc on our bodies, anger closes our inner door, making us feel isolated and distrustful, hindering communication.

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In the material world, there are limitations. We always want more, but in the spiritual world, just a short prayer and you're infinitely content.

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It is human beings that we conflict with, so special emphasis should be placed on developing compassion for them.

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It is important not to have the unrealistic expectation that we will find a magic key to help get rid of all suffering. It takes determination, patience, and more than one week.

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Now, there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful to your enemy for providing that precious opportunity.

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Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.

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One of the secrets of inner peace is the practice of compassion.

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Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is.

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Our enemies provide us with a precious opportunity to practice patience and love. We should have gratitude toward them.

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People are too serious. All the time, too serious.

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Personally I'm quite jovial with not much worry. I do my best, which is moderation, and failure doesn't matter.

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Self-confidence is not to be confused with pride. Pride is thinking highly of oneself without good reason. Self-confidence is knowing that one has the ability to do something properly and being determined not to give up. Ordinary beings are prepared to make a good deal of effort for relatively insignificant ends. We have promised to work for the immensely more important goal of liberating all beings, so we should cultivate great self-confidence, thinking, Even if I am the only one to do so, I will benefit all beings.

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night

Self-discipline is crucial to a simpler, more contented life.

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Some consider me as a living Buddha. That's nonsense. That's silly. That's wrong. If they consider me a simple Buddhist monk, however, that's probably okay.

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The deep root of failure in our lives is to think, 'Oh how useless and powerless I am.' It is essential to think strongly and forcefully, 'I can do it,' without boasting or fretting.

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The destruction of your neighbor is the destruction of yourself.

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The essence of Buddhism is if you can, help others. If not, then at least refrain from hurting others.

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The foundation of the Buddha's teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.

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The main difference between us, Buddhism and other philosophies, is that we do not accept the notion of a living god, but rather that we are responsible for our future happiness.

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The realization that another person wishes to harm and hurt you cannot undermine genuine compassion - a compassion based on the clear recognition of that person as someone who has the natural and instinctual desire to seek happiness and overcome suffering, just like oneself.

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The six perfections - giving, morality, patience, vigor, concentration, and wisdom - represent both the tools of perfection and the final state.

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The time has come to think more wisely, hasn't it?

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The true antidote to greed is contentment. If you have a strong sense of contentment, it doesn't matter whether you obtain the object of your desire or not. Either way, you are still content.

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The universe that we inhabit and our shared perception of it are the results of a common karma. Likewise, the places that we will experience in future rebirths will be the outcome of the karma that we share with the other beings living there. The actions of each of us, human or nonhuman, have contributed to the world in which we live. We all have a common responsibility for our world and are connected with everything in it.

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night

The view of interdependence makes for a great openness of mind. In general, instead of realizing that what we experience arises from a complicated network of causes, we tend to attribute happiness or sadness, for example, to single, individual sources. But if this were so, as soon as we came into contact with what we consider to be good, we would automatically be happy, and conversely, in the case of bad things, invariably sad. The causes of joy and sorrow would be easy to identify and target. It would all be very simple, and there would be good reason for our anger and attachment. When, on the other hand, we consider that everything we experience results from a complex interplay of causes and conditions, we find that there is no single thing to desire or resent, and it is more difficult for the afflictions of attachment or anger to arise. In this way, the view of interdependence makes our mind more relaxed and open.

A Flash of Lightening in the Dark of Night

The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.

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There can be no peace as long as there is grinding poverty, social injustice, inequality, oppression, environmental degradation, and as long as the weak and small continue to be trodden by the mighty and powerful.

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There is a danger when I speak in English that you will get misunderstanding, because I use the wrong word. Sometimes I confuse the words pessimism and optimism.

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There is an old Tibetan saying: wherever you feel at home, you are at home. If your surroundings are pleasant, you are at home.

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Time is always moving. The important thing is to learn from the past and then look forward to the future.

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To combat hatred directed toward a person, a Buddhist cultivates loving kindness toward that person.

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We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.

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We have a saying in Tibet that engaging in the practice of virtue is as hard as driving a donkey uphill, whereas engaging in destructive activities is as easy as rolling boulders downhill.

Ethics for the New Millennium (1999)

When things are desperate, there is no need to pretend that everything is beautiful.

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Who provides the opportunity to cultivate patience? Not our friends. Our enemies give us the most crucial chances to grow.

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You have to accept reality. This has helped me come closer to reality.

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Your own pain is involuntary; you feel overwhelmed and have no control. When feeling the pain of others, there is an element of discomfort, but there also is a level of stability because you are voluntarily accepting pain. It gives you a sense of confidence.

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