Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life. And a good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, good shelter. These are not sufficient. A good motivation is what is needed: compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their rights and human dignity.
-Dalai Lama XIV
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We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion... This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.
Dalai Lama XIV
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To practice tantra requires even greater compassion and greater intelligence than are required on the sutra path; thus, though many persons in the degenerate era are interested in tantra, tantra is not for degenerate persons. Tantra is limited to persons whose compassion is so great that they cannot bear to spend unnecessary time in attaining Buddhahood, as they want to be a supreme source of help and happiness for others quickly.
Dalai Lama XIV
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On the philosophical level, both Buddhism and modern science share a deep suspicion of any notion of absolutes, whether conceptualize as a transcendent being, as an eternal, unchanging principle such as soul, or as a fundamental substratum of reality... In the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be. ~ 14th Dalai Lama in his talk to the Society for Neuroscience in 2005 in Washington.
Dalai Lama XIV
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afflictions are classed as peripheral mental factors and are not themselves any of the six main minds [eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousnesses]. however, when any of the afflicting mental factors becomes manifest, a main mind [a mental consciousness] comes under its influence, goes wherever the affliction leads it, and 'accumulates' a bad action. there are a great many different kinds of afflictions, but the chief of them are desire, hatred, pride, wrong view and so forth. of these, desire and hatred are chief. because of an initial attachment to oneself, hatred arises when something undesirable occurs. further, through being attached to oneself the pride that holds one to be superior arises, and similarly when one has no knowledge of something, a wrong view that holds the object of this knowledge to be non-existent arises. how do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force? because of beginningless conditioning, the mind tightly holds to 'i, i' even in dreams, and through the power of this conception, self-attachment and so forth occur. this false conception of 'i' arises because of one's lack of knowledge concerning the mode of existence of things. the fact that all objects are empty of inherent existence is obscured and one conceives things to exist inherently; the strong conception of 'i' derives from this. therefore, the conception that phenomena inherently exist is the afflicting ignorance that is the ultimate root of all afflictions.
Dalai Lama XIV
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Cultivate the understanding that the self is not really an independently existing entity, and begin to view self instead in terms of it's dependent relation to others. Although it is difficult to say that merely reflecting on this will produce a profound spiritual realization, it will at least have some effect. Your mind will be more open. Something will begin to change within you. Therefore, even in the immediate term there is definitely a positive and beneficial effect in reversing these two attitudes and moving from self-centeredness to other-centeredness, from belief in self existence to belief in dependent origination.
Dalai Lama XIV
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