Practice, It’s Up to Us

Many Doors

 

“The essence of the 84,000 bundles of doctrine is just to tame this wild mind, not letting it go under the influence of the afflictions–desire, hatred, and ignorance. When the mind is no longer polluted by afflictions or their latent predispositions, then its taming is complete. The aged should engage in a method suited for old age; the young, in one suited for youth; the learned, in a method suited for the learned, and those not so learned, in one suited for their abilities.”

[…]

“At this time, when we have a physical life-support of a human such that we are capable of many techniques and thoughts, it is very important to engage in [Dharma] practice. It is our own choice to have no belief, faith, interest, or wish to practice. Buddha did not forcibly say, “You must practice”. The great commentators will not bring guns and swords. We must ascertain the need for [Dharma] with reasoning. Once we want happiness and do not want suffering, we should engage in the means to achieve happiness and eliminate suffering. Practice is based on reasoning, not force; it is up to oneself.”

[From Deity Yoga by H.H. the Dalai Lama]

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Dharma, Rebirth, and the Scientific Method

Rebirth

“Suppose that something is definitely proven through scientific investigation, that a certain hypothesis is verified or a certain fact emerges as a result of scientific investigation. And suppose, furthermore, that that fact is incompatible with Buddhist theory. There is no doubt that we must accept the result of the scientific research.”

[From A Policy of Kindness by His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama]

Commenting on the above quote from the Dalai Lama, author B. Alan Wallace writes the following in Buddhism and Science: 

“The Dalai Lama, however, offers an important caveat. He argues that it is critical to understand the scope and application of the scientific method. By invoking an important methodological principle, first developed fully as a crucial principle by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the Dalai Lama underlines the need to distinguish between what is negated through scientific method and what has been not observed through such a method. In other words, he reminds us not to conflate the two processes of not finding something and finding its nonexistence. For example, through current scientific analysis so far we may have not found evidence for rebirth, but this does not imply by any means that science has somehow negated the existence of rebirth.”