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TitleThe Meaning of Life: Buddhist Perspectives on Cause and Effect
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size911.6 KB
Total Pages205
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Foreword
Introduction
Technical Note
1~ - The Buddhist Worldview
	BEHAVIOR AND VIEW
	QUESTIONS
2~ - Life Impelled by Ignorance
	CONDITIONS FOR SUFFERING
	IGNORANCE AS THE ROOT OF SUFFERING
	DEPENDENT-ARISING AS DEPENDENT IMPUTATION
	QUESTIONS
3~ - Levels of the Path
	THE PATH
	LEVELS OF PRACTICE
	QUESTIONS
4~ - The Value of Altruism
	RESTRAINING THE PREDISPOSITIONS ESTABLISHED BY AFFLICTIVE EMOTIONS
	THE SIX PERFECTIONS
	QUESTIONS
5~ - Compassion and Wisdom Combined
	MANTRA
	HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA
	TANTRIC DEITIES
	THE VIEW IN THE FOUR ORDERS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM
	ACHIEVING A STATE OF SUPREME ALTRUISTIC EFFECTIVENESS
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Also by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
About Wisdom
Copyright Page
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Table of Contents

Title Page
Foreword
Introduction
Technical Note

1~ - The Buddhist Worldview
BEHAVIOR AND VIEW
QUESTIONS

2~ - Life Impelled by Ignorance
CONDITIONS FOR SUFFERING
IGNORANCE AS THE ROOT OF SUFFERING
DEPENDENT-ARISING AS DEPENDENT IMPUTATION
QUESTIONS

3~ - Levels of the Path
THE PATH
LEVELS OF PRACTICE
QUESTIONS

4~ - The Value of Altruism
RESTRAINING THE PREDISPOSITIONS ESTABLISHED BY

AFFLICTIVE EMOTIONS
THE SIX PERFECTIONS
QUESTIONS

5~ - Compassion and Wisdom Combined
MANTRA
HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA
TANTRIC DEITIES
THE VIEW IN THE FOUR ORDERS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM
ACHIEVING A STATE OF SUPREME ALTRUISTIC

EFFECTIVENESS

Page 102

Buddhism in the West

Quite a number of Western men and women have become monks and nuns. I
respect their decision to take ordination, but there should be no rush to take
vows. It needs to be remembered that since the Buddha set forth practices in
accordance with various different levels of capacity, it is critical to determine
what one’s own level is and gradually to advance within that. It is important that
those Westerners who sincerely want to practice Buddhism remain good citizens
and members of society—remaining in their own communities without
becoming isolated. It is important to adopt the of the Buddha’s teaching,
recognizing that Buddhism as it is practiced by Tibetans is influenced by Tibetan
culture; it would be a mistake for Westerners to try to practice a Tibetanized
form of Buddhism. Trying to completely Tibetanize their practice, Westerners
may encounter difficulties, since such a system does not fit with their own minds
and makes interaction with society difficult. Nowadays, some people act like
Tibetans even to the point of keeping their heads down in an abject manner.
Instead of copying such cultural forms, one should remain within one’s own
cultural forms and implement the Buddha’s teaching if something useful and
effective can be found in it. One should work in his or her profession as a
member of the community. Although the various centers that are already
established are useful and should be maintained, it is not necessary for someone
who wants to practice Buddhism even to join a particular center.

We have now discussed the first two levels of practice, of fighting against
afflictive emotions. Next we will consider the third level: how to develop
compassion in order to destroy the obstructions to omniscience, the
predispositions established by afflictive emotions. Initially, one trains in ethics,
which forms the basis of all later practice; then, through the practice of
meditative stabilization the mind becomes powerfully focused and effective in
meditating on emptiness. Then one eventually overcomes the obstructions to
omniscience constituted by the predispositions established by the conception of
inherent existence. First, intellectually acquired obstructions are overcome, and
then gradually the innate obstructions are removed. Within innate obstructions
there are many levels of afflictive emotions to be overcome, but finally one

Page 103

completely extricates the ignorance that is the root of all afflictive emotions—
the conception of inherent existence. This ignorance and all the afflictive
emotions induced by it are extinguished, or pacified, in the sphere of reality. The
wisdom that realizes emptiness directly undermines the ignorance that conceives
inherent existence, and the extinguishing of that ignorance in the sphere of
reality is called liberation. As the protector Nāgārjuna says in his Treatise on the
Middle:

When actions and afflictive emotions cease, there is liberation.

Actions and afflictive emotions arise from false conceptions, which in
turn arise from fictive elaborations.

Fictive elaborations cease in emptiness.31

Contaminated actions and afflictive emotions are produced from wrong
conceptuality, which itself is produced from the elaborations of the conception
of inherent existence. Those conceptual elaborations are ceased through
emptiness,32 or, those elaborations are ceased in emptiness33—the final line
being interpreted in both of these ways. The former means that conceptual
elaborations are ceased through cultivating the view that realizes emptiness.
Because that into which they are extinguished is the reality of emptiness itself,
here emptiness is also interpreted as that into which the fictive elaborations of
the conception of inherent existence cease. That reality—the emptiness into
which all of the afflictive emotions have been extinguished through the antidote
of wisdom—is the true cessation of the sources of suffering: liberation.

Page 204

Table of Contents


Title Page
Foreword
Introduction
Technical Note
1~ - The Buddhist Worldview

BEHAVIOR AND VIEW
QUESTIONS

2~ - Life Impelled by Ignorance
CONDITIONS FOR SUFFERING
IGNORANCE AS THE ROOT OF SUFFERING
DEPENDENT-ARISING AS DEPENDENT IMPUTATION
QUESTIONS

3~ - Levels of the Path
THE PATH
LEVELS OF PRACTICE
QUESTIONS

4~ - The Value of Altruism
RESTRAINING THE PREDISPOSITIONS ESTABLISHED BY
AFFLICTIVE EMOTIONS
THE SIX PERFECTIONS
QUESTIONS

5~ - Compassion and Wisdom Combined
MANTRA
HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA
TANTRIC DEITIES
THE VIEW IN THE FOUR ORDERS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM
ACHIEVING A STATE OF SUPREME ALTRUISTIC
EFFECTIVENESS

Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Also by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
About Wisdom
Copyright Page

Page 205

Table of Contents
Title Page
Foreword
Introduction
Technical Note
1~ - The Buddhist Worldview

BEHAVIOR AND VIEW
QUESTIONS

2~ - Life Impelled by Ignorance
CONDITIONS FOR SUFFERING
IGNORANCE AS THE ROOT OF SUFFERING
DEPENDENT-ARISING AS DEPENDENT IMPUTATION
QUESTIONS

3~ - Levels of the Path
THE PATH
LEVELS OF PRACTICE
QUESTIONS

4~ - The Value of Altruism
RESTRAINING THE PREDISPOSITIONS ESTABLISHED BY
AFFLICTIVE EMOTIONS
THE SIX PERFECTIONS
QUESTIONS

5~ - Compassion and Wisdom Combined
MANTRA
HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA
TANTRIC DEITIES
THE VIEW IN THE FOUR ORDERS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM
ACHIEVING A STATE OF SUPREME ALTRUISTIC
EFFECTIVENESS

Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Also by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
About Wisdom
Copyright Page

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