consider the practice of love and compassion is only related to
religious practice and if they are not interested in religion they
neglect these inner values. But love and compassion are qualities that
human beings require just to live together.
I usually say the aim of life is to be happy. Our existence is based on
hope. Our life is rooted in the opportunity to be happy, not
necessarily wealthy, but happy within our own minds. If we only indulge
in sensory pleasure, we’ll be little different from animals. In fact,
we have this marvellous brain and intelligence; we must learn to use it.
We all have
the potential to show others love and affection, but as we progress in
our materialistic world, these values tend to remain dormant. We can
develop them on the basis of common sense, common experience and
scientific findings. The response to the recent tragedy in the
Philippines is an example of how such values are awakened; people
helped simply because others are suffering and in need of support.
are coming to recognise the effects of the mind on physical health. The
sense of relaxation associated with inner peace involves not only being
physically at ease. If you are nagged by worry or seething with anger,
you’re not really relaxed. The key to relaxation is peace of mind. The
relaxation gained from alcohol, drugs or just listening to music may
seem attractive, but it doesn’t last.
optimistic about the future because humanity seems to be growing more
mature; scientists are paying more attention to our inner values, to
the study of mind and the emotions. There is a clear desire for peace
and concern for the environment.
Today, as we wish each other a Happy New Year, let us determine to be
more sincere, compassionate, warm-hearted human beings, trying to make
our world a more equal place. That way we'll actually make it a happy
non-violence to be compassion in action. It doesn’t mean weakness,
cowering in fear, or simply doing nothing. It is to act without
violence, motivated by compassion, recognising the rights of others.
In order to understand the way our brains behave, we can observe our
emotions and their effects. In the past, it seemed as though science
and spirituality were opposed to each other. However, it’s not a useful
division to maintain, because the one tradition deals with knowledge of
the material world and the other with the inner world of the mind; we
need to know about both.
If we human beings rely only on material development, we can’t be sure
of a positive outcome. Employing technology motivated by anger and
hatred is likely to be destructive. It will only be beneficial if we
seek the welfare of all beings. Human beings are the only species with
the potential to destroy the world. Because of the risks of
unrestrained desire and greed we need to cultivate contentment and
Try to remain truthful. The power of truth never declines. Force and
violence may be effective in the short term, but in the long run it’s
truth that prevails. Being honest and truthful engenders trust and
trust leads to friendship and a good reputation. Because we all need
friends, honesty and transparency are a basic aspect of human nature.
The main practice
of all major religions is love and to defend it against obstacles we
need tolerance and forgiveness. Consequently, all major religions talk
about compassion, tolerance, contentment, and self-discipline. The
teachers of our various traditions have been realistic in their advice.
Because self-centredness often leads to greed, they all advise
cultivating contentment and simplicity in our lives.
I’m now nearly 79.
At 16 I took responsibility for Tibet and lost my freedom. At 24 I lost
my country and became a refugee. I’ve met difficulties, but as the
saying goes: ‘Wherever you’re happy, you can call home, and whoever is
kind to you is like your parents.’ I’ve been happy and at home in the
world at large. Living a meaningful life isn’t just a matter of money;
it’s about dedicating your life to helping others.
My main interest
is in the promotion of human values. From birth we have a sense of
affection and some sense of concern for others. We need to nurture it.
Scientists have found that to ensure even physical health peace of mind
is essential. People often think that love and compassion are only
matters of religious concern, but in fact such values are necessary in
all human relations.
The idea of one side suffering defeat while the other side triumphs is
out of date. Instead we have to develop dialogue. We have to make an
effort if we want a peaceful, more compassionate world. It requires
education, based on patience, tolerance and forgiveness. Too often
violence results from greed, so we also need contentment and
I’m sure all
of us agree that we need to overcome violence, but we first need to
examine whether it has any value. From a strictly practical
perspective, on certain occasions violence appears to be useful. We can
solve a problem quickly by force. But this success is often at the
expense of the rights and welfare of others. Although one problem has
been solved, the seed of another has been planted.
will be in the hands of those of you who belong to the 21st century.
You have the opportunity and responsibility to build a better humanity.
This means developing warm-heartedness in this very life, here and now.
So, do whatever work you do, but ask yourselves now and then, "How can
I contribute to human beings being happier and more peaceful?"