moon_goddessx (moon_goddessx) wrote in dhamma,
moon_goddessx
moon_goddessx
dhamma

I am Currently in the process of finishing of the book 'An Open Heart' by Dalai Lama which is based on a speech he gave in America, Central Park, New York City, August 15, 1999.
I thought i would post some parts liked from it to share with others and to look back on.



'Today reality is simple. In harming our enemy we are harmed'.


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'We must also care for our environment. This is our home, our only home!'


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'Another problem we face today is the gap between rich and poor. In this great country of America, your forefathers established the concepts of democracy, freedom, liberty, equality, and equal opportunity for every citizen. These are provided for by your wonderful constitution. However, the number of billionaires in this country is increasing while the poor remain poor, in some cases getting even poorer. This is very unfortunate. On the global level as well, we see rich nations and poor ones. This is also very unfortunate. It is not just morally wrong, but practically it is a source of unrest and trouble that will eventually find its way to our door.'

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'If someone treats us unjustly, we must first analyze the situation. If we feel we can bear the injustice, if the negative consequences of doing so are not too great, then i think it best to accept it. However, if in our judgment, reached with clarity and awareness, we are led to the conclusion that acceptance would bring greater negative consequences, then we must take the appropriate countermeasures. This conclusion should be reached on the basis of clear awareness of the situation and not as a result of anger. I think that anger and hatred actually cause more harm to us than to the person responsible for our problem.
Imagine that your neighbor hates you and is always creating problems for you. If you loose your temper and develop hatred toward him, your digestion is harmed, your sound sleep goes, and you have to start to use tranquilizers and sleeping pills. You then have to increase the dosages of these, which harms your body. Your mood is affected; as a result, your old friends hesitate to visit you. You gradually get more white hair and wrinkles, and you may eventually develop more serious health problems. Then your neighbor is really happy. Without having inflicted any physical harm, he has fulfilled his wish!'

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When we are faced with an enemy, a person or group of people wishing us harm, we can view this as an opportunity to develop patience and tolerance. We need these qualities; they are useful to us. And the only occasion we have to develop them is when we are challenged by an enemy. So, from this point of view, our enemy is our guru, our teacher. Irrespective of their motivation, from our point of view enemies are very beneficial, a blessing.

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I find it wrong that in our modern society we tend to reject people who have committed crimes----prisoners, for example. The result is that often the people themselves lose hope. They lose their sense of responsibility and discipline. The result is more tragedy, more suffering, and more unhappiness for all. I think that it is important for us to convey a clear message to these people: "You are also part of our society. You also have a future. You must, however transform your mistakes. you must live responsibly as good citizens."
I also find it very sad when some, such as AIDS patients, are rejected by society. When we come across a part of society that is in a particularly miserable situation, it is a good opportunity to exercise our sense of concern, of caring and compassion. However, i often tell people, "My compassion is just empty words. The late mother Teresa really implemented compassion!"

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May the poor find wealth,
those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find new hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.

May the frightened cease to be afraid,
And those bound be free.
May the weak find power,
And may their hearts join in friendship.
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