The Dalai Lama Recent Teaching

As it spoke to me.

His Holiness has boiled down his message to a very compelling core. As you know, I found his message compelling to begin with, because it parallels what can be seen and questioned in the world of measurable facts. Measurable facts are not everything, but if one’s message ignores the core realities of science it is not a compelling message at a time when we are killing the earth — because real things are real, including our responsibility to not kill the earth. Therefore, real things must be incorporated into any valid world view. I like to listen to His Holiness, especially if I’m feeling a bit stressed, so yesterday I listened once again, to a new version of the Four Noble Truths, spoken recently in New Delhi. I will summarize and paraphrase for clarity and hope that I do not mis-represent. He talked for about six hours:
2012_03_23_Delhi_truths_english_video_day1_hq.mp4 about 1:10 into the talk.

“Most suffering is due to ignorance. Therefore it is very important to not permit ourselves to be ignorant (or we will not only suffer but cause a lot of suffering LL). The counterforce of ignorance is knowledge. Ignorance will not go away through prayer. Or meditation. The counterforce of ignorance is only education. You cannot learn the alphabet through prayer, but as soon as you know the alphabet, you understand it. So ignorance is diminished only through study and the development of understanding.

“If the ultimate source of suffering is ignorance, then there must be a counterforce to ignorance, and that is the understanding of reality.”

(Now, in fairness, of course he was not talking only about physical science. He was talking about the expressions of suffering, which include “fear, suspicion, jealousy, anger attachment, that all center on I. Self as the center.”) And then he spent a lot of time explaining that point. Bonnie has his excellent early tapes of the Four Noble Truths that he presented in England, with our favorite translator, that lays it all out beautifully. I watch those also whenever possible. So do listen to that, and then here is his current summation. Beautiful. Do remember the word Dharma has been, can be, translated as “truth,” and refers to reality as it is – and when we study the Dharma we are trying to figure out what reality is, so that we don’t increase suffering.)

“We must be 21st Century Buddhists, with full knowledge of Buddha dharma.
First we should all study the reality that is revealed by science because it is universal;
Second, we can all study reality as philosophy, (I think he means here we can study under different philosophical and/or religious umbrellas, all of which emphasize compassion.)
Third, specifically as Buddhists, we use our Buddhist practices to implement our reality.
As Buddhists, we are bound to study and understand the law of causality (cause and effect, or the predictable results of our behaviors) and then —

    Do not do any action that predictably could cause harm to others


This is the Facts – it will stop

It is already stopping and it will come to Bryan/CS before 2050. The object now is to make the transition less painful and reduce the amount of suffering that would otherwise accrue — and besides the nausea, that is a core reason that I must leave. Because I don’t see that people in this community really care — so long as we can make sure that nothing changes here.

It will change here too. We cannot continue to eat 1.5 times the amount of organic produce that the earth can produce.