Dalai Lama on generating the mind for enlightenment

Spiritual teachers remind us that enlightenment is the goal of our journey, a state of irreversibility, once we achieve it. But how do we define enlightenment for those who have not begun seeking it? In essence, enlightenment is the awakening of the mind's true nature by the process of purifying thoughts, removing obscurations, and dispelling dissonant emotions.

The aspirant, like the farmer, must clear his fields, plowing them and readying the soil to accept the seeds being planted. Only then can he expect to harvest what has been sown.

According to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, "For those who admire the spiritual ideals of the Eight Verses of Mind Training, it is helpful to recite the verses for generating the mind for enlightenment. Practising Buddhists should recite the verses and reflect upon the meaning of the words, while trying to enhance their altruism and compassion."

"With a wish to free all beings, I shall always go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha until I reach full enlightenment. Enthused by wisdom and compassion, today in the Buddha's presence I generate the mind for full awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings. As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, until then, may I too remain and dispel the miseries of the world."

The Dalai Lama also noted, "Those of you who are practitioners of other religious traditions can draw from your own spiritual teachings, and try to commit yourselves to cultivating altruistic thoughts in pursuit of the altruistic ideal."

Then, he added, "Please practice your own religion seriously and sincerely. And to non-believers, I request you to try to be warm-hearted. I ask this of you because these mental attitudes actually bring us happiness. As I have mentioned before, taking care of others actually benefits you."

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