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Similarly, the negative activities are more powerful he chuckles , but we usually tend to look more on the positive side. The teachings of the bodhisattva vehicle and tantric vehicle, for example Kalachakra, express great appreciation for the bhikshu vow.

H. H. the Dalai Lama answers questions

We feel it is a great opportunity to take higher ordination. A bhikshu or bhikshuni has more precepts. If you look at them point by point, sometimes you may feel there are too many precepts. But when you look at the purpose—to reduce attachment and negative emotions —then it makes sense. In order to reduce our negative emotions, the Vinaya The ethical discipline, precepts, and rules of training for the monastic community. The texts explaining this. So Vinaya contains very detailed and precise precepts about physical and verbal actions.

The higher vows—the bodhisattva vow and the tantric vow—put more emphasis on the motivation. If you look at how the bhikshu and bhikshuni precepts work, you will get a better understanding of their purpose. Then they take the bodhisattva vow and finally the tantric vow. I feel the real preparation for taking bhikshu or bhikshuni ordination is not the study of the Vinaya, but more meditation about the nature of samsara.

Three Great Traditions, One Contemporary Western Dharma

For example, there is a precept of celibacy. On the other hand, if you think of the basic aim, the basic purpose—nirvana—then you will understand the reason for the precept and it will be easier to follow it. When you do more analytical meditation on the Four Noble Truths , you will gain conviction that the first two truths are to be abandoned and the last two to be actualized. Having examined whether these negative emotions—the cause of suffering—can be eliminated, you will become confident that they can.


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You can see clearly there is an alternative. Now the whole practice becomes meaningful. Otherwise, keeping precepts is like a punishment.

"Toward a Western Buddhism and Contemporary Dharma" by Lama Surya Das

When you do analytical meditation, you will realize there is a systematic way to reduce the negative emotions, and you will want to do that because your aim is nirvana, the complete elimination of negative emotions. Contemplating this is the main preparation. Study the Four Noble Truths, and do more analytical meditation on these topics. For women, one is first upasika , then sramanerika , shiksamana, and bhikshuni. Gradually taking the various levels of precepts is climbing the steps to liberation. Is there a different way of practicing the Vinaya for someone who is in the Vajrayana tradition?

How do we integrate our study and practice of Vinaya with our study and practice of the tantra? According to our tradition, we are monastics and are celibate, and we practice the Tantrayana simultaneously. But the way of practice is through visualization. For example, we visualize the consort, but we never touch.

Answers: Discussions With Western Buddhists

We never implement this in actual practice. Unless we have reached a stage where we have completely developed the power to control all our energy and have gained the correct understanding of sunya emptiness , reality , unless we truly possess all the faculties through which those negative emotions can be transformed into positive energy, we never implement practice with an actual consort. Although we practice all the higher practices, as far as implementation is concerned, we follow Vinaya.

We never follow according to Tantrayana. In terms of actual practice, we have to follow the stricter discipline of Vinaya. In ancient India, one of the reasons for the degeneration of the Buddhadharma was the wrong implementation of certain tantric explanations. It is difficult to follow the Vinaya literally in all situations nowadays. Can adaptations be made to how we live it? Obviously, we must make every effort to follow the Vinaya teachings and precepts. Then in certain cases, if there is sufficient reason to make certain adaptations, it is possible. But we should not make these adaptations too easily.

First we should give preference to following the Vinaya precepts as they are.

H. H. the Dalai Lama answers questions

In cases where there are enough sound reasons that necessitate an adaptation, then it is permissible. What is the source of joy in the mind? How do we maintain a sense of joy? Joana Queiroz rated it liked it Apr 02, Olivia Mainville rated it liked it Sep 25, Susan rated it it was amazing Feb 03, Jerry rated it it was ok Nov 19, Brad Thompson rated it it was amazing Dec 23, John Shelton rated it really liked it Nov 27, Slandha is currently reading it Nov 17, James marked it as to-read May 20, Alicia marked it as to-read Jun 11, Foxglove Zayuri marked it as to-read Aug 19, Roberta Lott marked it as to-read Dec 27, Hoai Ta marked it as to-read Feb 06, Avril added it Apr 22, Eli marked it as to-read Jul 23, Lucas Robak marked it as to-read Aug 13, Skypaul Poh is currently reading it Dec 02, Noelle Kuczi marked it as to-read Dec 10, Erin Dorothy added it Dec 28, Arimo added it Jan 24, Rebecca Esmail marked it as to-read Nov 09, Sheena marked it as to-read May 30, Michelle marked it as to-read Jun 01, Jay marked it as to-read Oct 24, Ashveen marked it as to-read Nov 30, Christine marked it as to-read Jun 29, Nicole added it Jul 25, Cecilia added it Nov 08, Jodie Acheson added it Dec 26, Gail marked it as to-read May 14, Nathan Healy marked it as to-read Sep 30, John Varner marked it as to-read Oct 19, Huong marked it as to-read Jul 15, Aria added it Aug 13, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the tulku an Enlightened lama who has consciously decided to take rebirth of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two. On 17 November , at the age of 15, he was enthroned as Tibet's ruler.

Thus he became Tibet's most important political ruler just one month after the People's Republic of China's invasion of Tibet on 7 October These talks ultimately failed. After a failed uprising and the collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement in , the Dalai Lama left for India, where he was active in establishing the Central Tibetan Administration the Tibetan Government in Exile and in seeking to preserve Tibetan culture and education among the thousands of refugees who accompanied him.

Tenzin Gyatso is a charismatic figure and noted public speaker.


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