Part 1: Emptiness
Part 2: The interdependence of all things
Part 3: Our mental and physical realities
Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities
Part 5: Meditation on Emptiness & Compassion
Part 3 : Our mental and physical realities
The 21st century has brought a very high
material standard yet the people who enjoy
these luxuries are mentally and emotionally
not very stable. There is constant stress,
fear, frustration, and jealousy, and these
emotions disturb the mind.
Since all sentient beings innately desire
happiness and therefore do not want
disturbances we seek pleasure to block
Unfortunately, when you partake in
pleasurable events these actions immediately
begin to become less pleasurable, meaning
we need more next time to get the same
level of satisfaction.
The Dalai Lama talked of meeting
billionaires filled with stress and worry,
and pointed out that this demonstrates the
limits of material facilities in achieving
happiness. Since a contented mental level
is perhaps impossible to achieve through
material means we must instead take a look
at our inner world.
"Mental level is more superior than
physical level because physical can not
subdue discomfort on the mental level but
the mental level can subdue discomfort on
the physical level." - Dalai Lama
Imagine two patients with the same disease
in the same hospital with the same doctor
and the same treatment. Now imagine that
one of them is relaxed and optimistic,
while the other is filled with worry. The
calm and peaceful patient will report a
more positive experience. The mental worry
is an additional problem...
The DL said a scientist assured him it has
been scientifically proven there is a link
between an optimistic outlook and a speedy
recovery. Our attitude, the power of our
mind, is therefore of great importance.
Another perspective; "Traits of the Survivor"
"When the going gets tough the most important
survival skill is contained within your mind.
You need to want to survive, no matter the
situation and prospect of outcome. Survivors
never give up."
After January 1st, 2000 the death rates
spiked as it turned out many dying people
had been "holding on" to see this landmark
So it's safe to say our attitude is related
to not just the quality of life but the
length of it too.
"Like outer space our brain is vast and
not fully explored. We should look at what
makes a good day a good day and a good night
a good night. We can not eliminate our outer
experiences but we can change our inner
attitude. Thankfully, more and more people
are looking inward... it is time to look
more closely... but how to change it?"
- Dalai Lama
"Consider the close link between our physical
well being and mental well being, anxiety,
fear, and anger eat our immune system while
forgiveness strengthens it." - Dalai Lama
"Our physical comfort is important but not
at the expense of ecological and societal
damage. All man-made problems are linked to
our emotions so using force or technology is
NOT the answer. The answer is a deeper study
of the emotional world and analyze what
emotions we have, what causes it, and what
can change it at the mental level."
- Dali Lama
Accepting that the experience of our "reality"
that exists "out there" is a product of our mind
sets the conditions for a happier and more fulfilling
NEXT: Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities
p.s. Ralph Waldo Emerson's corollary - "People
seem not to see that their opinion of the world
is also a confession of character."