The Buddhist Worldview
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
First, let me talk to the Buddhist practitioners in the audience about the proper motivation for listening to lectures on religion. A good motivation is important. The reason why we are discussing these matters is certainly not money, fame, or any other aspect of our livelihood during this life. There are plenty of activities that can bring these. The main reason why we have come here stems from a long-term concern.
It is a fact that everybody wants happiness and does not want suffering; there is no argument about this. But there is disagreement about how to achieve happiness and how to overcome problems. There are many types of happiness and many ways to achieve them, and there are also many types of sufferings and ways to overcome them. As Buddhist, however, we aim not merely for temporary relief and temporary benefit but for long term results. Buddhists are concerned not only for this life but for life after life, on and on. We count not weeks or months or even years, but lives and eons.
Money has its uses, but it is limited. Among worldly powers and possessions, there are, doubtless, good things, but they are limited. However, from a Buddhist viewpoint, mental development will continue from life to life, because the nature of the mind is such that if certain mental qualities are developed on a sound basis, they always remain and, not only that, can increase. In fact, once properly developed good qualities of mind eventually increase infinitely. Therefore spiritual practice brings both long-term happiness and more inner strength day by day.
So keep your mind on the topics being discussed; listen with a pure motivation – without sleep! My main motivation is a sincere feeling for others, and concern for others’ welfare.
Excerpt in gratitude from: Gyatso, Tenzin The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. The Meaning of Life: Buddhist Perspectives on Cause & Effect. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000.