My Spiritual Journey by the Dalai Lama

These are some of my favorite passages from reading notes by the Dalai Lama himself.

He asserts, however, that he is “no one special” but “a human being” like everyone else. Meeting him calls many certainties into question, for his “human” dimension does not exhibit the ordinary limits of our condition; I have often wondered whether the essential teaching we receive from him is simply about becoming fully human.
In our blood, a vital need for affection OUR LIFE DEPENDS ON OTHERS so much that at the root of our existence there is a fundamental need for love. That is why it is good to cultivate an authentic sense of our responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.
And I hope that you also consider yourselves as human beings, rather than as Americans, Westerners, or members of one group or another. Such distinctions are secondary. When we speak as human beings, we can touch the essential thing. If I say, “I am a monk,” or, “I am a Buddhist,” it’s a question of realities that are temporary in comparison with my human nature. The fact of having been born human is fundamental and will not change until death. The rest, whether or not you are learned, rich or poor, is secondary.
By realizing that we share the same need to be loved, we have the feeling that in every circumstance every person we meet is our brother or our sister. It doesn’t matter if their face is unfamiliar or if their appearance and behavior are unusual. There is no significant chasm between ourselves and others. It doesn’t make sense to pay attention to external differences, for our fundamental nature is identical.
I try to treat every person I meet like an old friend, and that gives me a real sensation of happiness.
As human beings, we all want to be free, to have the right to decide our own destiny as individuals as well as the destiny of our people. That is human nature.
and sisters and by developing this sense of fraternity. We must cultivate a universal responsibility toward each other and extend it to the planet that we have to share.
But it is the mind that exercises the most influence over us. Unless we are seriously ill or deprived of necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life.
After meeting the Dalai Lama, he found the strength to forgive and never to give way to anger again. Having become another man, he wondered about this metamorphosis. He came to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama could make others better because in the course of his daily meditations he had so completely bathed his mind in love and compassion that he was able to transmit these qualities directly to another person.
I was guarded around him, but then I began to like him very much. He was a man with a great imagination and a very open mind, who always saw the bright side of life. He liked picnics and horses,
The Dalai Lama delights in relating anecdotes, punctuated by loud bursts of laughter, about his innocent pranks. He takes pleasure in presenting himself as a “clever little rascal,”
trying to make us believe in his innate mischievousness!
His death is a reminder of impermanence, in the Buddhist sense, which asserts the transitory quality of sentient beings and phenomena. Everything that is born from causes and conditions is perishable. Impermanence contradicts our feeling of the lasting quality of time and our human desire for immortality. It is unbearable for ordinary beings who have not trained their mind to conceive of the world’s absence of reality. Denial of impermanence represents one of the main causes of suffering in our existences. Buddhist teachings invite us to contemplate and accept it.

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