[image from google images]
Last night I read late, late, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, by Pico Iyer. A few thoughtful quotes from this very interesting book, which is an inside look into the Dalai Lama's life. The quotes are Pico's reflections as he meets with and sometimes travels with the Dalai Lama, based on his observations and conversations with the Tibetan leader.
Everything changes, falls away, dies....yet everything comes back again, and change itself is a kind of constancy. Life, as some Buddhists have it, is 'a joyful participation in a world of sorrows'. The mind [is] something that we [have] the potential to transform. So too, therefore, [is] the world that the mind created.
Recent research.....suggest[s] that those who score high on tests for happiness live longer than others, in part because happiness is a function not so much of our circumstances as of our perceptions. People who win the lottery often profess themselves no better off than before--they dont know who their friends are, they feel uincomfortable in their new posh neighborhoods, they spend all their time with lawyers; yet others, who are suddenly rendered paraplegic, after roughly a year of adjustment, confess themselves really no worse off than before. The mind, as Milton puts it at the beginning of Paradise Lost "can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."
The Buddhist talks not so much about good and evil, as about ignorance and awakening.....he brings all responsibility inward....to see how he can better understand and resolve the problem within.
The Dalai Lama....exult[s] in meeting people from different traditions....and seeing what they have in common beneath their designations.
Where the Christian believes in transcendence of everyday life, through finding a higher life in God, the Buddhist generally believes in the transformation of it, by finding the better life in the here and now.
Very interesting reading, and easy to grasp for the Western reader.