Last week I had an opportunity to attend a Buddhist philosophical teaching by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He discussed Gesge Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses for Training the Mind.” The teaching is about the practices of exchanging self for others. It was very inspiring and I couldn’t explain any better than this native Hawai’ian proverb: A’ohe mea nana e ho’opuhili, he moho no ka la makani. Translation: There is no one to interfere, for he is a messagner on a windy day.”
About 10,000 people gathered together at the War Memorial Stadium in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, which is right across from Maui Community College where I teach. It was a fascinating experience for me because I watched everything involving the U.S. State Department and security protocols accorded prime ministers and monarchs. It’s as if the Pope is coming, someone commented.
I was messaging my excitement to some of my friends in the mainland. One of my interpreters informed that she saw Dalai Lama signing something to one of his monks who then came to present scarfs as the tokens of appreciation to the interpreters. I was like wow! I messaged about it to my friends and one of them, Stan, sent me a copy from the interview about Dalai Lama using sign language. We thought about blogging that the Dalai Lama does use sign language.
Spalding Gray: And can you tell me about little bit what’s like?
The Dalau Lama: (sigh, laugh) MMMM. If you make caregories- the first portion is the recitation of mantrum. There are cetain mantras aimed at consecrating your speech, so that your speech throughout the day will be positive. These recitations should be made before speaking. I observe silence until they are finished and if anyone approaches me. I always communicate in sign language. Then I try to develop a certain motivation- shaping my mine. I try to develop the motivation, or determination, that as a Buddhist monk, until my Buddhahood, until I reach Buddhahood, my life, my lives, including future lives, should be correct, and spent according to that basic goal. And that all my activities should be beneficial to others and should not harm others.
I was very inspired by the Dalai Lama’s visit. He was oppressed and escaped from the communist China. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to listen to his teaching of the eleventh century Tibetan Buddhist canon, Training the Mind, which has been used extensively by accomplished practitioners for over 800 years. I would like to quote Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses for Training the Mind for your contemplation.
Eight Verses for Training the Mind
by Geshe Langri Thangpa
With a determination to accomplish
The highest welfare for all sentient beings
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear
Whenever I associate with others I will learn
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectully hold others to be supreme
From the very depth of my heart
In all action I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it
I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
And those pressed by strong sins and suffering
As if I had found a precious
Treasure very difficult to find
When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take all loss
And offer the vitory to them
When one whom I have benefited withg reat hope
Unreasonably hurt me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide
In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and suffering of my mothers
I will learn to keep all these practices undefiled by
The stains of the eight worldly conceptions
And by understanding all phenomena as like
Illusions be released from the bondage of attachment