Dalai Lama on the mind

When the mind isn’t working properly and we realise it, we may go to a mental health worker to seek a solution. We understand that without a properly working mind it is difficult to function.

The Dalai Lama said, “Since the primary motive underlying the Buddhist investigation of reality is the fundamental quest for overcoming suffering and perfecting the human condition, the primary orientation of the Buddhist investigative tradition has been toward understanding the human mind and its various functions. |

The assumption here is that by gaining deeper insight into the human psyche, we might find ways of transforming our thoughts, emotions and their underlying propensities so that a more wholesome and fulfilling way of being can be found.”

A family member is presently going through what is called “A Nervous Breakdown” and what my teenage nieces call, “A meltdown”.  But even with the helping sources available, sometimes a person just has to be broken fully, perhaps, before he can start up life anew.

The Dalai Lama noted, “It is in this context that the Buddhist tradition has devised a rich classification of mental states, as well as contemplative techniques for refining specific mental qualities. So, a genuine exchange between the cumulative knowledge and experience of Buddhism and modern science on wide-ranging issues pertaining to the human mind, from cognition and emotion to understanding the capacity for transformation inherent in the human brain can be deeply interesting and potentially beneficial as well.”

The word transformation leaps out. Isn’t this what happens to us when we are felled like trees, by the blows of life? Alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres are full of good people who developed addictions and are now learning to transform themselves a day at a time.
Our beloved monk explained, “In my own experience, I have felt deeply enriched by engaging in conversations with neuroscientists and psychologists on such questions as the nature and role of positive and negative emotions, attention, imagery, as well the plasticity of the brain. The compelling evidence from neuroscience and medical science of the crucial role of simple physical touch for even the physical enlargement of an infant’s brain during the first few weeks powerfully brings home the intimate connection between compassion and human happiness.”

“Buddhism has long argued for the tremendous potential for transformation that exists naturally in the human mind, Dalai Lama reiterated.

“To this end, the tradition has developed a wide range of contemplative techniques, or meditation practices, aimed specifically at two principal objectives - the cultivation of a compassionate heart and the cultivation of deep insights into the nature of reality, which are referred to as the union of compassion and
wisdom.”

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