His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Manchester Arena UK June 18, 2012 on thehttp://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=497 Eight Verses on Mind Training by Gesce Langri Tangpa. Translated from Tibetan into English by Mr Tenzin Tsepag. Trascript by Dr. Peter Lawrence-Roberts, first revision and editing by Dr. Luciano Villa within the project “Free Dalai Lama’s Teachings” for the benefit of all sentient beings. We apologize for possible errors and omissions.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The second stanza explains the meaning of compassion for all sentient beings. This does not mean looking down on them as inferior or pitiable. We should respect them and seek their benefit.
Nagarjunahttp://www.sangye.it/altro/?cat=9 said in his ‘Precious Garland’, http://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=611 ‘may all beings use me in the way that is best for them. This also serves as a great antidote to self-centredness and arrogance and brings about a great sense of respect for others.
The third stanza talks about the importance of cultivating the antidote to the afflictions. We are habituated to these afflictions over countless lifetimes so they will definitely arise. When they do it is important to be aware of them and pursue their antidotes.
Aaron Beck told HHDL that when we are angry then 90% of the anger is pure mental projection. The object of the anger does not have intrinsic quality or power to make us angry.
The fourth stanza makes the point that we should cultivate the ultimate compassion for those we find difficult. This could also include sections of society that most people shun – former criminals, AIDS patients etc.
The fifth stanza shows that in relation to those we know problems of jealousy can arise. So far as it relates to our own interests we should accept the defeat. In broader issues affecting society, while maintaining our compassion for those perpetrating negative acts we may need to take a firm stance against the actions.
The sixth stanza points out that when those in whom we hope in or trust respond to our help and compassion with negativity we should view them as our spiritual teacher. If we can do this then the very basis for anger and hostility disappears. Shantideva expanded on this in his chapter on Patience and Forbearance.
The seventh stanza further explains the practice of altruism by taking on oneself the sufferings and affliction of others and offering them everything good. This teaching is found in Nagarjuna’s Sixty Stanzas on Reasoning http://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=1073 , but far more extensively in the eighth chapter of Shantideva’s text.
The more self-centred we are the more we create the basis for our own unhappiness. Shantideva http://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=4145 says that if we don’t cherish others rather than ourselves it is not possible to achieve Buddhahood and while in samsara we will achieve no happiness.
The practice of Tonglen is further explained in Lojong text The Seven Points of Mind Training http://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=509 .
The eighth stanza explains the importance of keeping the practice of altruism by mundane concerns such as making a living, staying secure etc. Also, all of these practices must be based on an understanding of the illusory nature of existence.