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← Harry's Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life: The Dalai Lama

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  1. [ Background Music ]
  2. >> Stanford University.
  3. [ Pause ]
  4. [ Discussion ]
  5. [ Pause ]
  6. [ Laughter ]
  7. >> Welcome to the
    Stanford Memorial Church
  8. for our third annual
    Harry's Last Lecture
  9. on a Meaningful Life.
  10. I'm Scotty McLennan the Dean for
    Religious Life and I welcome you
  11. on behalf of all members of
    the Office for Religious Life.
  12. We're honored and
    thrilled that His Holiness,
  13. the Dalai Lama is our third
    Rathbun visiting fellow
  14. following Secretary
    George Shultz in 2009
  15. and Justice Sandra
    Day O'Connor in 2008.
  16. His Holiness has
    actually spoken here
  17. in the Memorial Church twice
    over the last 15 years,
  18. and we're grateful to have
    him back here again today.
  19. The Harry and Emilia Rathbun
    Fund for Exploring What Leads
  20. to a Meaningful Life
    was made possible
  21. by an endowment established
    in 2006 by the Foundation
  22. for Global Community
    which is directed
  23. by their son, Richard Rathbun.
  24. Its purpose is to help
    Stanford students engage
  25. in self-reflection and moral
    inquiry and exploration
  26. of life's purpose especially in
    commitment to the common good.
  27. Its centerpiece is a
    visiting fellow program
  28. which brings notable, wise,
  29. and experienced people
    to campus each year.
  30. After receiving his
  31. and master's degrees
    in engineering,
  32. Harry Rathbun worked
    in government
  33. and private industry
    positions developing
  34. and manufacturing telegraph
    and radio transmitters.
  35. He became the Vice President
  36. of the Colin B. Kennedy Radio
    Company before returning
  37. to Stanford to earn
    his law degree.
  38. As a beloved law professor here
    then, from 1929 until 1959,
  39. he also became known
  40. for setting aside his final
    course lecture in law to talk
  41. about the kinds of
    values and commitments
  42. that would lead students to
    a meaningful life as a whole.
  43. Emilia and Harry
    were also generous
  44. in opening their home weekly
    to students to discuss ethics,
  45. psychology, and religion.
  46. They cofounded the Sequoia
    Seminar here in the Bay Area
  47. which was later known
    as Creative Initiative
  48. and then Beyond War,
    and finally,
  49. the Foundation for
    Global Community.
  50. Many board members and
    participants in the foundation
  51. and its predecessor
    organizations are here this
  52. afternoon, and I especially
    want to greet you and thank you.
  53. The Office for Religious Life
    is committed in its mission
  54. to guide, nurture, and
    enhance spiritual, religious,
  55. and ethical life university-wide
  56. at Stanford including
    engaging ourselves
  57. in the sacred duty
    to repair the world.
  58. My Associate Dean colleagues,
    Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann
  59. and the Reverent Joanne Sanders
    direct programs with titles like
  60. "What Matters to Me and Why",
    "Sports and Spirituality",
  61. and the "Fellows for
    Religious Encounter"
  62. which are all supported
    by Rathbun funding.
  63. Three of us work
    with the talented
  64. and committed staff we're
    very grateful in particular
  65. to NaSun Cho, the Rathbun
    Program Manager who's been
  66. responsible for planning and
    organizing this lecture today.
  67. I also want to acknowledge
    development officer Maura
  68. McGinnity who's worked with
    the Foundation from the start
  69. to conceptualize this program
  70. and stayed helpfully involved
    every step of the way.
  71. So, it's now my pleasure to
    introduce Richard Rathbun,
  72. President of the Foundation
    of Global Community--
  73. for Global Community, who will
    make the formal introduction
  74. of our visiting fellow,
    the Dalai Lama.
  75. Richard is a social visionary
    who's put his commitments
  76. into practice from his early
    days in the Peace Corps
  77. to the groundbreaking
    work that he did
  78. in leading the Beyond War
    Organization that's now become
  79. the Foundation for
    Global Community.
  80. And he's traveled extensively
    in more than 50 countries
  81. and has one of the most
    genuinely global perspectives
  82. I've ever known, so with the
    utmost respect and appreciation
  83. that I now introduce
    Richard Rathbun.
  84. [ Applause ]
  85. >> Thank you, Dean McLennan.
  86. It's a rare opportunity we
    have today to gather together
  87. in this awesome place - the
    place that helps us to connect
  88. with some of the most
    expansive and important ideas
  89. that we may ever encounter.
  90. It's more than symbolic
  91. that this space occupies the
    very center of the university.
  92. Our speaker this afternoon
    hardly needs an introduction,
  93. so I will be very brief.
  94. The typical introduction
    might begin this way.
  95. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai
    Lama has traveled to more
  96. than 62 countries
    spanning six continents.
  97. He's met with countless
    political, religious,
  98. and scientific world leaders.
  99. In addition to the
    Nobel Peace Prize,
  100. he has received numerous
    awards, honorary doctorates,
  101. and prizes in recognition of his
    message of peace, nonviolence,
  102. inter-religious understanding,
  103. universal responsibility,
    and compassion.
  104. He's authored more
    than 72 books.
  105. Those are among his
    worldly accomplishments.
  106. But it is his inner journey
  107. that distinguishes
    him from all others.
  108. There's probably no one in
    today's world more able to speak
  109. about the meaning and purpose
    of life than His Holiness,
  110. Tenzin Gyatso, the
    14th Dalai Lama.
  111. His life represents an
    extraordinary personal journey
  112. of rigorous exploration coupled
  113. with a highly disciplined
  114. of the fundamental principles
    that can lead to pain
  115. and suffering or, on the other
    hand, to meaning and happiness.
  116. His Holiness takes his rightful
    place in an extended lineage
  117. that is perhaps as
    old as our species.
  118. The lineage engaged in
    the search for answers
  119. to the most profound questions
    we can ask both of ourselves
  120. and of our societies
    to which we belong.
  121. So I encourage us all
    to listen carefully.
  122. The message we are about to
    hear today may contain some
  123. of the most important
    information we will ever hear,
  124. that's one of those
    little warning lights.
  125. Labels that you see
    on the gas pumps.
  126. The message we are about to
    hear today may contain some
  127. of the most important
    information we will ever hear.
  128. So please join me in giving a
    warm Stanford welcome to a man
  129. who describes himself as
    a simple Buddhist monk,
  130. His Holiness, Tenzin
    Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
  131. [ Applause ]
  132. >> Usually I prefer
    to speak from there,
  133. but today, a little time.
  134. So I'll-- I want to
    seek your permission
  135. to speak from here, okay.
  136. [Laughter] And from here, no
    difficulties to see your face.
  137. Sometimes to see little bit
    low, then I'd prefer to stand,
  138. but here, not need to stand.
  139. So, indeed I'm very happy,
    great honor to speak,
  140. share some of my
    experience with you.
  141. Basically, we are same
    although I come from Tibet.
  142. In the past, outside world
    consider mysterious land.
  143. >> And of course the Tibet,
    land of snow, a bit isolated.
  144. And Tibetan themselves
    also easily prefer being
  145. in isolation.
  146. I think that I feel foolish.
  147. [Laughter] So, in any way, I
    come from that area-- that land.
  148. You are these very
    modernized nations.
  149. Not only human level,
    fundamental level we are same.
  150. I think I often received feeling
  151. that modernity maybe means
    external sort of structure,
  152. buildings and more
    emissions, more cars.
  153. But we here, user of
    these modern things,
  154. still we are I think
    same human being.
  155. Last, at least several thousand
    years, we still the same.
  156. Our emotions, same.
  157. Our intelligence, the
    real sort of the--
  158. the seat of intelligence, same.
  159. So long the size of the brain
    remain same, these are same.
  160. And then, so therefore, my only
    experience also maybe some--
  161. offer some help to you and
    particularly experience
  162. from one older people to younger
    people sometimes maybe useful.
  163. So, now here the
    thing, meaningful life.
  164. Actually, of course
    the explanation
  165. of meaningful life may be
    the different explanation due
  166. to different philosophical
  167. For example, according
    to theistic religion,
  168. theistic faith may have
    some different explanation.
  169. And non-theistic and
    other non-theistic sort
  170. of religion faith also may have
    some difference of explanation.
  171. But I always see
    talking on the level
  172. of human being not
    as religious faith.
  173. So a meaningful life
    on that level
  174. in the sense of meaningful life.
  175. Firstly, you yourself
    achieve happy days and nights,
  176. weeks and months, years.
  177. Then second-- secondly,
    we are social element.
  178. Individuals so sort of the happy
    life much depend on the rest
  179. of the community because
    we are one of them.
  180. If we really remain-- when
    I was young, I saw one--
  181. thousand or something--
  182. >> Thousand.
  183. >> Thousand or something
    remain very smooth area
  184. and occasionally shouting.
  185. [Inaudible] like
    that, then okay,
  186. only think oneself not
    necessarily to develop sense
  187. of concern of other,
    it was you yourself is
  188. completely independent.
  189. Your survival depend
    on some fruits,
  190. some wild fruits, that's all.
  191. But we are not that way.
  192. Our daily existence, our food,
    our shelter, our clothes,
  193. all is they come from other
    fellow, other's effort.
  194. Then one very important
    sort of element
  195. for happy life is good friend
  196. to whom you share your
    difficulties, your joyfulness.
  197. Friendship on the basis
    of genuine affection.
  198. Friendship, genuine friend
    will not bring by money alone
  199. or by those that's
    we may call friend
  200. who showing you some smile,
    some nice word, but actually
  201. such friend are friend of
    money or friend of power,
  202. not friend of being, the person.
  203. So genuine friendship
    comes from heart,
  204. genuine trust measure respect.
  205. So genuine trust and respect
    come if you treat them honestly,
  206. truthfully, sincerely.
  207. And with that, no
    hypocrisy, no telling lie.
  208. Transparent.
  209. These are the basis of
    foundation of trust.
  210. So this very much a little
    bit your most sense of concern
  211. of other's well-being.
  212. That automatically
    brings respect and trust.
  213. Other hand, extreme
    self-centered attitude,
  214. they often brings suspicion,
    distrust, hypocrisy.
  215. So therefore, to both
    one's own happy life,
  216. you need self confidence.
  217. Compassion brings
    self confidence.
  218. More self confidence, more
    inner strength, less fear.
  219. Less fear, your mild
    will be more calm.
  220. That also immense benefit to
    body health, physical health.
  221. So sometime back, some sort
    of discussion about health
  222. with scientist or concerned
    scientist is indeed healthy
  223. mind, healthy body.
  224. Without sort of big attention
    in order to have healthy mind,
  225. just healthy body is difficult.
  226. So we must bring equally
    attention about healthy mind.
  227. So for individual's happiness,
    successful life, healthy mind,
  228. healthy body, important.
  229. And second level, as a social
    element is that we have
  230. to create more compassion
    in the society,
  231. compassion in the family.
  232. There also key factor is
    wholeheartedness, honest.
  233. So that be respective both
    a believer or nonbeliever.
  234. So long we are human
    being, so long we are part
  235. of the humanity, these
    are fundamental value
  236. that I believe.
  237. So, in order to carry
    meaningful life, money,
  238. power, these are secondary.
  239. You know what in order to be--
  240. in order to carry meaningful
    life, money, better facility.
  241. >> These are important but
    not ultimate source, factor.
  242. Ultimate factor is mind,
    more compassionate mind.
  243. So then that's usually I
    describe secularly of approach
  244. to increase this inner value
    which itself secularities mainly
  245. by logical factor
    of these things.
  246. Then alas a thousand years, I
    think 4 to 5 thousand years,
  247. the faith eventually
    developed on this planet.
  248. So all these different
    faith, the essential message,
  249. essential teaching is
    same - love, compassion,
  250. with that forgiveness,
    tolerance, and self-discipline
  251. and the practice of contentment.
  252. Too much greed brings
    more sort of restlessness.
  253. And also too much greed now
    today even ecological problem
  254. or globally economic
    crisis here also.
  255. Extreme greed makes some certain
    contribution on this crisis.
  256. So for that, contentment,
  257. practice of contentment
    is very good.
  258. Many of those religious sort
    of follower like Christian,
  259. particularly, and also in
    the monastery, monk on nuns,
  260. their life very simple, simple.
  261. They understood simplicity.
  262. That is practice of contentment.
  263. Then, in anyway, we came across
    some uncomfortable things,
  264. then we face that practice of
    patience, practice of tolerance.
  265. That immense help.
  266. All this based on practice
    of love, compassion.
  267. Then I want to share with you
    the meaning of discipline.
  268. Discipline in some cases
    imposed by authority.
  269. That discipline is
    something different matter.
  270. But when we-- religiously
    felt discipline mainly
  271. means self-discipline.
  272. So that means voluntarily
    you succumb.
  273. And out of awareness
    if I do this
  274. out of the negative
    consequences for myself.
  275. So out of awareness these
    things, out of awareness
  276. of consequences then
    resisting this wrongdoing,
  277. that's self-discipline.
  278. Like, you see, according
    to doctor if someone,
  279. you see they have some
    problem, then doctor say,
  280. oh you should get more exercise
  281. or you should resisting eating
    this kind, that and this
  282. and that kind, oh, so then we
    voluntarily resist this thing.
  283. Although I love this but
    doctor say should not take,
  284. so resist it.
  285. That's self-discipline for one's
    own protection, not imposing.
  286. Isn't it? So that is, I
    think, in a religious sense,
  287. a genuine meaning of
    discipline is like that.
  288. So, all religions, all
    religious tradition the same--
  289. same message, same practice.
  290. Now, in the philosophy
    field big differences.
  291. Some say there is God.
  292. Some no God.
  293. Some say rebirth,
    there is rebirth.
  294. Some say no rebirth, that
    this is just one life.
  295. So big differences,
    but it doesn't matter.
  296. If you ask what's the purpose
    of these different philosophy,
  297. same purpose - to strengthening
    these practice of love,
  298. compassion, forgiveness,
    these things.
  299. The teachings of
    religion, there's God.
  300. So when you submit or
    constitute total delivery
  301. that results submission to God
  302. that reduce self-centered
    ego, very good.
  303. Then description about
    God is infinite love
  304. that give us inspiration,
    practice of love, so wonderful.
  305. Then non-theistic like Buddhism
  306. or Jainism emphasis
    love causality or karma.
  307. Karma means action.
  308. So they are simple.
  309. If you do good things to
    other, you get a benefit.
  310. If you do bad things to
    other, you get suffering.
  311. That's the law of karma.
  312. So that also you see there
    if you practice compassion
  313. and serve other, at least not
    harm other, you get benefit.
  314. The same purpose and too
    much greed you get trouble.
  315. Contentment, have self
    discipline or all these things.
  316. You see due to--
    from the viewpoint
  317. of love causality you see
    these practices here come,
  318. same purpose.
  319. So even within Buddhist
  320. there are different philosophy
    taught by Buddha himself.
  321. So sometimes I'm
    telling audience,
  322. this contradictory philosophy
    come from same teacher, Buddha.
  323. This certainly not out
    of his own confusion.
  324. He tell one day this philosophy
  325. to one audience then another
    occasion he tell something
  326. different, which of course, I'm
    Buddhist with respect to Buddha.
  327. This contradiction
    philosophy come not
  328. out of alcohol [laughter] or
    little confusion, certainly not.
  329. No, he deliberately try
  330. to create more confusion
    among his follower.
  331. One day he said this,
    one day he said that.
  332. No, certainly not.
  333. Then the answer is because among
    his disciple there are different
  334. mental disposition.
  335. Therefore, to some people,
  336. certain philosophical viewpoint
    is more suitable, more helpful.
  337. So he taught accordingly.
  338. And some people, different sort
  339. of philosophical
    viewpoint is more suitable,
  340. more effective, he told that.
  341. So same purpose, out
    of his compassion,
  342. out of his sense of concern.
  343. So from this we learned,
    oh different traditions,
  344. some say God, some
    say Creator, absolute,
  345. but others say no absolute, it
    doesn't matter, same purpose.
  346. But sometimes in order
    to create more sort
  347. of closer relation just--
    some similar things,
  348. those differences put behind.
  349. This is a wrong method.
  350. Then I participate
    interfaith sort of dialogue,
  351. I always make clear
    all these differences.
  352. Then in spite these differences,
  353. the essential practice
    is constant, same.
  354. We had all these different
    philosophical viewpoint,
  355. same purpose.
  356. Through that way,
    through that way,
  357. you can develop genuine respect,
  358. admiration to all the
    different major traditions.
  359. So, now, today, although I
    think among different religious
  360. traditions, the Buddhism
  361. of religion is a preserved
    Buddhism, now, is it coming?
  362. >> Like India, thousand
    years, I think more
  363. than 3 thousand years,
  364. the different religious
    tradition already exist.
  365. For example, homegrown religion,
    different Hinduism, Jainism,
  366. Buddhism, later Sikhism,
    these homegrown religion.
  367. Therefore, outside, Zoroastrian
    from Iran, ancient Iran,
  368. Parsi come to India when
    they faced some problem
  369. in their own land.
  370. And then Christianity,
    Islam, Judaism,
  371. all major world's tradition
    exist, live together
  372. in that continent,
    in that country.
  373. So, why not on this
    whole planet not
  374. because of different
  375. 'cause with the easy
  376. So, now information of
    difference with faith
  377. or like America as
    immigrants immigrates there
  378. from different part of
    the world, so do society
  379. like multicultural society,
    multi-judicial society.
  380. So this actually will happen
    in all part of the world.
  381. So I think that we should
    take India as an example,
  382. all major tradition live
    together, we should respect.
  383. Occasionally, some problems,
    it is understandable.
  384. India, now over billion
    human being,
  385. some you see these people
    take for granted always there.
  386. Some of that is understandable.
  387. But all picture, all these
    major religious tradition
  388. live together.
  389. So things are improving
    but at the meantime,
  390. we need more constant effort
    to bring closer relation,
  391. closer understanding among
    different religious tradition.
  392. So I always try to bring more
    closer understanding than that.
  393. Then what else?
  394. I think I'm finish.
  395. My talk finish-- actually,
    I have 2 commitments.
  396. The one of them is
    promotion of human value
  397. that also I already talk first.
  398. Then second my commitment
    is promotion
  399. which is harmony,
    that also I touched.
  400. So now complete.
  401. Thank you.
  402. Some questions now?
  403. [ Laughter ]
  404. >> So this is a time where
    we will have questions
  405. from the floor, but also we
    collected questions online.
  406. So, I think what I'll do is just
    begin with the question online
  407. and then-- are there people
    at the mics here on the floor?
  408. Could you just--
  409. >> There.
  410. >> Well set there, okay good.
  411. So let me start with a question
    that came through online.
  412. To what extent should we act
    for others at the expense
  413. of our own personal happiness?
  414. Where do our responsibilities
    to others end
  415. and where do our
  416. to ourselves begin?
  417. [ Laughter ]
  418. [ Applause ]
  419. [ Foreign Language ]
  420. >> I think, generally, more
    sort of service to other
  421. and show affection, respect,
    I have nothing to lose.
  422. >> You lose nothing on.
  423. >> Oh, from your side, nothing.
  424. Of course, for example, when
    some very hungry person there,
  425. you have a packed lunch
    and you have to share half,
  426. that you lose something,
    but that is one better.
  427. [ Laughter ]
  428. >> Then sometimes, you see,
    in order to save other's life,
  429. sacrifice your own life.
  430. Such things are quite serious,
    then you have to think,
  431. if I sacrifice my own
    life for the benefit
  432. of other, how much benefit.
  433. Other hand, if I survived,
    my life should presume,
  434. how much benefit, how much
    I can do still continuously.
  435. [ Foreign Language ]
  436. >> Weigh them.
  437. >> Weigh them.
  438. If things are really almost
    as if 80 to 90 percent sure
  439. if I sacrifice my life for
    immense benefit to other,
  440. my life will remain another sort
  441. of few decades not much
    diversity cause of that,
  442. no obvious diversity show.
  443. So this time, right time,
    I'll sacrifice my life
  444. for the benefit of other,
    then I think it's worth it
  445. to sacrifice your own life.
  446. And also it is like giving eye
    or some kidney or some organs,
  447. that definitely benefit, then
    sometimes you see, worthwhile.
  448. Again, you should
    calculate the others' life,
  449. other one who suppose
    you give donation,
  450. organ donation, organ re--
  451. >> Yeah, organ.
  452. >> There are life, something
    really good, meaningful life.
  453. Or if this organ, my
    organ is offered, then he
  454. or she survive longer period
    and lot of [foreign language]--
  455. [ Foreign Language ]
  456. >> Laundering or
    cheating, bully, like that.
  457. That not much worthy.
  458. So all these you see
    depend on the circumstances
  459. or depend on case to case.
  460. So we have to use our
    intelligence, long term benefit
  461. and short term benefit.
  462. For bigger benefit and shorter
    lose-- [foreign language]--
  463. >> Smaller purpose.
  464. >> Smaller--
  465. >> Purpose.
  466. [ Foreign Language ]
  467. >> So you have to compare in
    between the bigger benefit
  468. that a particular act would, you
    know, bring about and the degree
  469. of cost it's going to
    infect upon yourself.
  470. [ Foreign Language ]
  471. >> And there's a phrase
    in the Tibetan ethical--
  472. Buddhist ethical teachings
    which says that for the purpose
  473. of a small goal, you should
    not sacrifice something
  474. that is larger.
  475. >> Some other question?
  476. >> Let's take a question from
    the right hand mic here, please.
  477. [ Pause ]
  478. >> Hello, Your Holiness.
  479. My question is do you
    feel that the quality
  480. of unconditional love that is
    something that is known at birth
  481. by a mother is something
    that can be cultivated
  482. in the religious life and
    in the life of our inclusion
  483. of all beings so that we
    have some sort of parameter
  484. for bringing about a kind
    of peace and allowing
  485. for what we might say
    as the stronger sex
  486. that right now doesn't appear
    to be in our very violent world.
  487. [ Foreign Language ]
  488. >> On religious matter,
    of course I cannot say,
  489. I cannot sort of say
    the role definitely.
  490. The old different traditions,
    that's what I'm going to say.
  491. But generally, now
    in today's world,
  492. I think generally
    education highly advanced.
  493. Everywhere people, I mean,
  494. unanimously agree the
    importance of education.
  495. So I think the result
    also quite satisfactory.
  496. But still we are facing a
    lot of manmade problem, why?
  497. Not lack of education,
    not lack of vision,
  498. but sometimes wrong
    vision, sometimes education,
  499. smart brain utilized
    for destruction.
  500. So this clearly shows we
    are lacking the real sense
  501. of responsibility on
    the basis of compassion,
  502. sense of well-being of other.
  503. So, now share regarding
  504. The biological female more
    sensitive to other's being.
  505. One occasion, some scientists
    out of their experiment,
  506. they noticed two persons,
    one male and one female,
  507. witnessed someone's painful
    experience then the response,
  508. the heartbeat and
    all these response,
  509. female much more stronger.
  510. I have one story.
  511. You know, I myself noticed
    one time, long flight,
  512. night flight I think
    from Japan to America
  513. or something, quite long flight.
  514. So, in the airplane, passenger,
  515. one quite young couple,
    two babies.
  516. One baby, I think,
    5 or 6 years old.
  517. One either 1 year or older than
    1 year or like that, very small.
  518. So the daytime, the elder
    one running here and there,
  519. little disturbances but not
    much, but not much problem.
  520. But sometimes it amused
    me demonstratively.
  521. >> Quite amusing.
  522. >> Oh, quite amused and I think
  523. on one occasion I also
    offered one sweet, like that.
  524. Then night start, the
    elder one asleep nicely.
  525. The smaller one from
    time to time cried
  526. and then the early night, at
    the beginning of the night,
  527. both parent, father and
    mother both, you see,
  528. taking care of the young baby.
  529. Then about midnight, the
    father slept with rest.
  530. Only mother taking care,
    still sacrificed her sleep.
  531. The next morning, I noticed
    her eyes become very red.
  532. So this demonstrated although
    both parents taking care
  533. out of their affection
    but in real sense,
  534. mother taking more care.
  535. And then look dogs, father
    enjoy then disappear but mother,
  536. the whole period 'til the puppy
    you see become independent,
  537. the mother whole time is taking
    care and birds also like that.
  538. That's a biological
    fact there so therefore,
  539. at the time we need more
    effort for promotion
  540. of human affection,
    human compassion,
  541. I think female should take
    more active role in this field.
  542. This I really feel.
  543. The religious field, that is of
    course, we have to go according
  544. to one's own tradition.
  545. So I have no right to interfere
    in these fields, like that.
  546. So that's my view.
  547. Next question.
  548. >> Let's take one
    from the left side.
  549. Mic please.
  550. >> Your Holiness.
  551. I have-- my question
    is about something
  552. that we face a lot in life.
  553. It's about the decision
    that we make.
  554. Many times when we make
    a decision or we are
  555. about to make a decision,
    we often think
  556. of what outcome it's
    going to have
  557. and like how it's going
    to affect our lives.
  558. So, and after making
    a decision often we
  559. like regret making
    decisions like well,
  560. I shouldn't have made this,
    I shouldn't have done that.
  561. So, what would you suggest
    is like a proper way
  562. to make a particular decision?
  563. [ Foreign Language ]
  564. >> Excuse me, can you
    repeat the first part.
  565. >> Can you repeat the first
    part of the question, please?
  566. >> It's about the decisions
    that we make in life.
  567. How should we go about it?
  568. Like many times we know when
    we look back at our life,
  569. we think that you
    know some decisions
  570. that we made were wrong and some
    affected our lives negatively
  571. so, what should be like
    our basic like, you know,
  572. what should be our rule of thumb
    when we are making a decision?
  573. [ Foreign Language ]
  574. >> You need a kind
    of clairvoyance.
  575. [ Laughter ]
  576. >> But that also difficult.
  577. [ Laughter ]
  578. >> So naturally, that before,
    sort of a small decision,
  579. small matter, 'cause it
    doesn't matter but more serious
  580. of the matter if this is
    subject to time or some kind
  581. of earthquake happen
    then no time to think
  582. which direction come and
    then gradually moving.
  583. No, no, no.
  584. Immediately you have
    to escape like that.
  585. So these are something different
  586. but usually decision
    should not take hurriedly.
  587. Think well, again and again.
  588. And then also ask some of your
    trusted friend then think very
  589. carefully and also take some
    different suggestions then
  590. finally, decide.
  591. Then later if it goes wrong,
    you will not get regret.
  592. I consulted with my friend
    and I myself also constantly,
  593. carefully thought about it
    and finally, we decided.
  594. No regret.
  595. So my own experience goes like
    that since my age 60 year old,
  596. now 75, over 75 years.
  597. So major decision
    I always, firstly,
  598. I myself think, think and think.
  599. I then ask different
    opinions and consult people
  600. and also honor my
    friend including sweeper,
  601. I ask what is their opinion.
  602. Then of course as Buddhist
    practitioner I also am
  603. using divination.
  604. >> Mysterious procedure
    for determining.
  605. >> Then if-- then--
  606. option discussed and to
    use human intelligence
  607. and almost certain one
    decision is better then decide.
  608. >> If still some
    dilemma, I don't know,
  609. then I use this mysterious
    way of investigation,
  610. then decide, there
    are no regret.
  611. Even if something goes
    wrong, no regret, like that.
  612. So that's the way.
  613. So ultimately, it depend
  614. on the decision maker
    himself or herself.
  615. >> Another question from online,
    doesn't discovering the way
  616. to lead a meaningful life
    demand experiential learning.
  617. And to what extent is that kind
  618. of knowledge actually
  619. by a teacher like yourself?
  620. [ Foreign Language ]
  621. >> I think mainly information.
  622. I had [inaudible] a 17 years
    study from kindergarten
  623. up to university level.
  624. This is supposedly
    give us information
  625. and to utilize our intelligence
    more effectively, more wisely,
  626. so a lot of information.
  627. Then and important I
    think when we study
  628. to just we see some sort of
    superficial knowledge from books
  629. or from teachers-- of
    explanation just like copy.
  630. That's not sufficient.
  631. These knowledge which come
    from others word or books,
  632. then analyzed yourself and
    experiment, then develop sort
  633. of the full knowledge about
    the subject, then some cases,
  634. certain subject such as
    the practice of compassion,
  635. these things then time
    factor is very important
  636. so familiarize these things.
  637. They eventually become
    part of your own life.
  638. So add knowledge through
    that way is a real teacher--
  639. the more sort of knowledge
  640. through that way you don't need
    any sort of university person--
  641. >> External teacher.
  642. >> External teacher like that.
  643. Here, one story I
    think 10th century,
  644. 11th century one great master
    at the time he passed away--
  645. >> He was passing away--
  646. >> He was a--
  647. >> He was passing away.
  648. >> Passing away, some of
    his disciple they expressed,
  649. "Till now you are here whenever
    we face some sort of questions
  650. or doubt we can ask
    you, now you are--
  651. you will no longer
    be with us, so--
  652. >> What to do?
  653. >> And he mentioned text--
  654. >> Texts--
  655. >> Text, this should
    be your teacher,
  656. you should not rely
    on human being--
  657. >> On a person.
  658. >> On person but
    rely on this books.
  659. So that I think is
    a very good advice.
  660. So we-- so acquire sort of
    more information and knowledge.
  661. And then also now these days,
  662. immediate people also immense
    help is it to know the reality?
  663. And what other people are doing
    when they face similar sort
  664. of problems or difficulties,
    sort of like that.
  665. So here, one Buddha
    statement is quite useful.
  666. Ultimately you are
    your own master.
  667. You have to take care yourself
    and use human intelligence
  668. and human experiences maximally.
  669. >> Question here from the mic
    on the right hand side, please.
  670. >> Hello Your holiness,
  671. I'm wondering what your
    favorite time of the day is?
  672. [ Laughter ]
  673. [ Foreign Language ]
  674. >> Sleep.
  675. [ Laughter ]
  676. [ Applause ]
  677. >> At all cost, long
    thorough, long days,
  678. mines are daily life
    start 3:30 early morning,
  679. then some meditation or
    analytical meditation, think,
  680. think, think like
    that-- analyze, analyze,
  681. and also occasionally some
    single-pointed meditation.
  682. It took about 4 or 5 hours,
    then some meeting like that.
  683. Now, getting older,
    in the late evening,
  684. a little feeling of tiredness.
  685. So sleep is very
    important [laughter].
  686. Then I think more
    serious, like this meeting,
  687. meeting with people,
    human brothers,
  688. sisters who have the same
    sort of the potential
  689. and also facing day
    by day some kind
  690. of problems are always there.
  691. So then how to tackle
    this problem?
  692. Share each other's experience.
  693. I feel some fulfillment
    of one own life,
  694. your life becomes
    something of a benefit,
  695. meaningful-- benefit to others.
  696. So that's the real
    meaning of life, like that.
  697. Next?
  698. >> From the left, please?
  699. >> Alright so, first of all,
    very nice color coordination
  700. with the hat and the robe.
  701. So my question is
    about meditation.
  702. I feel like meditation
    encourages you
  703. to detach yourself from, you
    know, worldly objects or things
  704. in your life but at
    the same time I feel
  705. like it's enabling you to
    gain a sense of oneness
  706. with your environment
    or, you know,
  707. a feeling interrelatedness
    with everything.
  708. So can you just explain what
    seems like two opposing things?
  709. How can a feeling of detachment
    from everything lead to a sense
  710. of oneness with your
  711. [ Foreign Language ]
  712. >> No contradiction.
  713. Actually-- or first of all,
    what kind of meditation?
  714. There are a lot of differences,
    a lot of different meditations.
  715. >> I'm just talking about Zen.
  716. [ Foreign Language ]
  717. >> The compassion or
    closeness feeling with other.
  718. There are two things,
    two different sort of,
  719. different kind or two levels.
  720. >> One level, biological factor.
  721. That's closes feeling towards
    your own family members,
  722. or parents, children,
    brothers, sisters like that.
  723. That kind of sort of closest
    feelings among animals also
  724. have, that's biological factor.
  725. Here, very much mixed
    to it attachment.
  726. Now, the second level or
    higher level of compassion
  727. or closeness feeling, think--
  728. what is the right to
    overcome suffering.
  729. Now for example, one
    self feel some kind
  730. of self-care, dear self.
  731. That feeling is not developed
    on the basis of some kind
  732. of recognition, one self
    very kind to oneself, no.
  733. But simply one self want--
  734. >> Happiness.
  735. >> Happiness and have right
    to overcome suffering.
  736. So that reason to other
    infinite sense of being,
  737. infinite human being, say
    each one have the right
  738. to overcome suffering.
  739. Each one have that desire by
    innate that resides there.
  740. So, on that basis like one wish
    overcome suffering for one self,
  741. similarly do wish others
    also to overcome suffering.
  742. Now, the previous
    one very much sort
  743. of oriented towards
    others' attitude.
  744. The second one, not oriented
    to the others' attitude
  745. but self only-- self--
  746. >> The person.
  747. >> Person, itself.
  748. The previous one, very
    much mixed with attachment.
  749. The second one, without
    attachment, unbiased.
  750. So no attachment there, that
    closeness feeling is biased.
  751. So attachment become
    hindrance of development
  752. of the second kind of compassion
    which essentially detach.
  753. No preference, this one my
    close friend, this one my enemy,
  754. more distance, no
    that, all equal.
  755. My enemy also have the
    right to overcome suffering.
  756. So, on the basis of that kind
    of sort of understanding,
  757. they develop the
    genuine sense of concern
  758. of well being of other.
  759. That's real compassion.
  760. So there's no contradiction.
  761. Detach and develop
    genuine compassion.
  762. That limited compassion
    with attachment.
  763. Clear? Thank you.
  764. >> Another question?
  765. >> And also thank you for
    comment on this color.
  766. Thank you.
  767. [ Laughter ]
  768. >> Another from online is,
  769. generally speaking
    most religions
  770. and certainly what I know
  771. of Buddhism advocate the
    overcoming of desire.
  772. However, is one's choice to live
    a meaningful life not driven
  773. by the desire for meaning?
  774. Is there a way to differentiate
    one desire from another?
  775. [ Foreign Language ]
  776. >> Desire, then of the text
    say desire is something causing
  777. for suffering, particularly
  778. Otherwise you see without
    desire, then movement--
  779. >> Not possible.
  780. >> Not possible and even you
    see, wishing a happy life,
  781. wishing happy life of all
    human beings of healthy planet.
  782. All these are wish, desire.
  783. Desire leads action.
  784. Without action, that
    means without a cause,
  785. how can develop effect.
  786. Effect must come from action.
  787. Action must come
    from motivation.
  788. Motivation must come
    from desire.
  789. Now, desire and attachment
    are kind
  790. of desire very much
    mixed with attachment.
  791. That's wrong thing.
  792. [ Pause ]
  793. [ Foreign Language ]
  794. >> So, even you see-- so
    desire, among the desire,
  795. positive constructive desire,
  796. destructive desire
    or neutral desire.
  797. Just this one eating here
    - scratch - one desire,
  798. very neutral, nothing
    wrong, nothing will benefit,
  799. like benefits altogether.
  800. >> Neither ethical
    nor unethical.
  801. >> So, then similarly the
    strong-- sense of strong self,
  802. there are also you see 2
    kinds, positive and negative.
  803. Usually, when we refer
    egoistic attitude,
  804. that's extreme self-centered
    ego which leads harming other,
  805. cheating other, bullying other
    regardless others' feeling.
  806. That's a negative
    egoistic attitude.
  807. But then other hand,
    I want to serve them.
  808. I want to do them even as I
    want to centralize my own life.
  809. There should be strong
    sense of self.
  810. Without that, you
    cannot develop will.
  811. You cannot develop--
  812. >> Courage.
  813. >> Courage or self-confidence.
  814. So there are 2 kinds ego,
    one positive, one negative.
  815. Even anger, one positive,
    one negative.
  816. Positive, out of
    sense of concern,
  817. some sort of-- wrathful
  818. >> Yeah, wrath.
  819. >> Strong and-- strong attitude.
  820. >> Feeling something like anger.
  821. Out of compassion, out
    of sense of concern
  822. of others' well being.
  823. Now for example,
    there is one child,
  824. just running facing the
    danger of fell down.
  825. Then shouting and one time
    warning, not listening.
  826. Second time warning,
    not listening.
  827. Third time, then
    you made rules anger
  828. and some harsh sort
    of physical action.
  829. That is-- that's some kind
    of anger or wrathful sort
  830. of mental attitude
    is actually positive
  831. because that motivated
    by compassion.
  832. So when we talk these
    emotions, the emotion--
  833. tells us different
    emotions interrelated.
  834. So, we cannot say desire wrong.
  835. We cannot say egoistic
    attitude wrong.
  836. We cannot say anger is bad.
  837. So we have to analyze difference
    of nature, different category.
  838. So, we need more study
    about our inner world,
  839. the mental world, people.
  840. So every school say, study
    geography from this up to there,
  841. how many kilometers-- if you
    go by car, how many hours?
  842. Important, but equally more
    important, we can discover lot
  843. of complications there.
  844. Studying more about this
    nature is very essential,
  845. directed religion
    without dangerous life.
  846. >> So therefore, I usually
    describe Buddhism tea pots.
  847. Buddhist signs or
    in other words signs
  848. which come from Buddhist texts.
  849. Then, philosophy which
    come from Buddhist songs,
  850. then Buddhist religion.
  851. So Buddhist religion
    meant for Buddhist.
  852. But signs and concept which come
  853. from Buddhist literature
    is something universal,
  854. something academic subject.
  855. So we already are
    planning some sort of--
  856. particular sort of textbook,
    collected modern signs
  857. and Ancient-- Asian
    signs or Buddha signs
  858. about mind, about particles.
  859. Then different concept from-- as
    an ancient non-Buddhist thought
  860. or Buddhist thought
    and modern like--
  861. including like button
    dresses sort
  862. of the thought of philosophy.
  863. There's no philosophy
    from Greek.
  864. So we're already
    making some-- textbook.
  865. So eventually, we'll
    translate in English
  866. and some other language,
    so maybe useful.
  867. So then, Buddhist information
    can enrich our knowledge
  868. about inner signs.
  869. Good-- ness.
  870. >> From the right please.
  871. >> Hello. So, you
    mentioned envisioning world
  872. where someday all the people
    of the earth would be unified,
  873. what are your thoughts
    on spreading the ideal--
  874. the Buddhist ideals of
    compassion and tolerance
  875. as a means to accomplish
    that goal?
  876. [ Foreign Language ]
  877. >> I always sort of believe
    different religious tradition is
  878. really helpful for
    a variety of people.
  879. So simply, one religion cannot
    satisfy variety of people
  880. so we need different
    religions-- religious faith.
  881. And then the subject
    compassion, these,
  882. are at all major religion,
  883. as I mentioned it
    before, is the same.
  884. Now here a problem.
  885. One time in Argentina
  886. on our meeting including
    some scientists
  887. and some religious
    leader, one scientist--
  888. one Chilean scientist--
  889. physicist, I was told
    she was the teacher
  890. of late Varela-- Francisco--
  891. >> Francisco Varela, yeah.
  892. >> So he once told in our
    gathering, he's scientist,
  893. physicist but if he developed
    attachment regarding his own--
  894. >> Field.
  895. >> Scientific subject--
    field, it is wrong.
  896. At that time, I learned.
  897. I really sort of felt,
    "Oh it is very true.
  898. I'm Buddhist.
  899. If I have too much attachment
    towards Buddhism, it's wrong."
  900. Then I cannot see the
    value of other tradition.
  901. So that's a problem.
  902. The fundamentalist thinking
    is a lack of knowledge
  903. of others' faith because
    too much attachment
  904. with your own faith.
  905. That I think we have to remove.
  906. Otherwise, these learned
    traditions must be preserved
  907. and not necessarily-- I
    mean not Buddhism alone is
  908. to have some special
    sort of message, no.
  909. All religion have
    the same message.
  910. Now important-- one
    time in Germany,
  911. I think when still 2
    parts of Germany there,
  912. the West Germans, one minister.
  913. We casual talk-- I say, one
    meeting-- one public meeting,
  914. before that, we casual
    talk something.
  915. And I asked whether
    there is secular ethics
  916. without religion, I ask him.
  917. He say, no.
  918. Ethics-- moral ethics must
    base on religious faith.
  919. [ Pause ]
  920. >> And one time, my late,
  921. greatest special friend
    almost spiritual comrade,
  922. the late Pope of John Paul VI--
  923. >> Second.
  924. >> Second.
  925. He-- of course, since the
    beginning, he'd become pope,
  926. I had sort of audience,
  927. then several occasion,
    you see, a meeting.
  928. Then also, he initiated--
    assisted meeting, wonderful.
  929. I really respect and know
    each other very well.
  930. So one day, I developed
    some courage
  931. to ask him even the
    moral ethics must base
  932. on religious faith or not.
  933. He didn't give an answer.
  934. [Laughter] But his sort of,
    Lieutenant, one cardinal.
  935. One cardinal said,
    "Oh yes, must be--
  936. must base on religious faith."
  937. Now, that's a problem now.
  938. That's a problem.
  939. There are millions of
    nonbeliever understand it.
  940. These also human being.
  941. These people also
    want happy life
  942. but since they have no
    interest about any religion,
  943. so they also neglect completely
    about these values, compassion,
  944. forgiveness, these things.
  945. In fact, some of them consider
    compassion is something signs
  946. of weakness, totally wrong.
  947. Lack of awareness and
    full of ignorance,
  948. misunderstanding like that.
  949. So therefore, in order to
    reach these nonbelievers,
  950. we must develop traditional
  951. That's secular way.
  952. I always tell secular way.
  953. The secularism often is
  954. to get the impression disrespect
    tradition, just totally wrong.
  955. According to Indian
  956. secularism means
    respect all religions.
  957. Mahatma Gandhi himself in his
    daily prayer, Muslim prayer,
  958. Hindu prayer, Christian
    prayer, many prayer together,
  959. and he himself very
    religious minded.
  960. And also the-- I think
    one great sort of lawyer,
  961. the first Indian
    President, Rajendra Prasad,
  962. very religious minded.
  963. But these people produce sec--
  964. constitution based
    on secularism.
  965. So secularism according
    Indian sort of understanding,
  966. not at all disrespect, but
    rather respect all religion.
  967. But in the meantime, no
    sort of particular religion.
  968. No preference to-- on
    particular religion.
  969. So that I think very, very good.
  970. And also the non-- the
    secularism according Indians--
  971. the definition, the secularism
    also respect nonbeliever.
  972. So therefore, I'm trying to
    make clear to audience the--
  973. this basic ethics-- moral
    ethics which we'll learn
  974. or which we develop from
    birth, biological effect.
  975. It's not included with religion.
  976. So therefore, these
    ethics itself--
  977. >> Secular values.
  978. >> Secular sort of value.
  979. The method to promote this
    also should be secular way,
  980. without attaching religion,
    that I think we really need.
  981. This is no contradiction
    with religious faith.
  982. All major religion
    have importance
  983. of love and compassion.
  984. So using different reasons--
    so that I think we need.
  985. And now here like in Europe and
    some other country, also the--
  986. in public school, the teaching
  987. of religion sometimes
    with civil--
  988. >> Problematic.
  989. >> Problematic.
  990. So we must invent without
    touching religion but education
  991. for secular ethics that's
    I think very necessary,
  992. so some of my friend actually
    is working in this field.
  993. So, if you have question,
    it seems as if in order
  994. to build happy world and thus,
  995. near the 7 billion human
    being should become Buddhist.
  996. [Laughter] No.
  997. That's unrealistic, unnecessary.
  998. Next question?
  999. >> We only have five minutes
    left, so I'm gonna need
  1000. to take a last question
    please, from the left hand.
  1001. Microphone.
  1002. >> Thank you, Your Holiness,
  1003. you've stated your opposition
    to the death penalty.
  1004. What is your best argument
    against the death penalty
  1005. and what advice do
    you have for us,
  1006. who are fighting to
    end this practice?
  1007. [ Foreign Language ]
  1008. [ Pause ]
  1009. >>So--
  1010. [ Pause ]
  1011. >> I think two reasons.
  1012. Those people who carry
    death sentence is--
  1013. they believe death sentence
    can be preventive measure
  1014. in the future [Foreign
  1015. >> Form of a deterrence.
  1016. >> But death seems to be failed.
  1017. Look China, the maximum
    death sentence there
  1018. but the corruption and negative
    things, I think increasing.
  1019. [Laughter] So not much
    deterrence then another thing
  1020. just revenge.
  1021. [ Foreign Language ]
  1022. >> For the proponents of
    death penalty, one argument is
  1023. that deterrence argument
    which doesn't seem to work.
  1024. The second argument
    is the retribution
  1025. because the person there
    has done an unjust deed
  1026. and he or she must pay.
  1027. >> Both the reasons look as
    if not satisfactory reason--
  1028. the first as I mentioned
  1029. I think if we analyze those
    country no longer death
  1030. sentence, not necessarily
    do more crime,
  1031. more criminal, I don't think.
  1032. So similarly as I mentioned
    earlier, those country
  1033. which still practice death
    sentence not necessarily
  1034. lesser problem.
  1035. Then--
  1036. [ Pause ]
  1037. >> The [Foreign Language] was--
  1038. I think more effective
    thing is put
  1039. in [Foreign Language],
    life prison.
  1040. >> Yeah, life prison.
  1041. >> And they are also not just
    rejected from the society
  1042. and commoner prisoner not that
    way, give them-- opportunities.
  1043. Give them some kind of
    sense they still belong
  1044. to the society.
  1045. And in the prisoner--
  1046. in the prison, should
    have some Indian jail.
  1047. Some concerns of the official
    provided some spiritual sorrow--
  1048. informations and
    also some meditation.
  1049. I think in America
    also, in Europe also,
  1050. I heard that there are
    some people, visit prison
  1051. and talk prisoners and
    given them some kind of--
  1052. love and kindness.
  1053. So that really, I
    think effective method
  1054. to change the person.
  1055. Today, criminal person, through
    training, through transformation
  1056. of their mind eventually
    can be very useful person
  1057. and that's the way
    because of the--
  1058. [ Foreign Language ]
  1059. .
  1060. >> That's a more
    effective way of deterrence
  1061. >> Then-- [Foreign Language].
  1062. >> As for retribution.
  1063. >> That--
  1064. [ Pause ]
  1065. >> Then one occasion in India--
  1066. of course unfortunately India
    still using death sentence, ha.
  1067. So one occasion,
    I expressed the--
  1068. as far as potential of the
    crimes including myself,
  1069. everyone have potential, same
    potential, anger, hatred,
  1070. ignorance, everybody had that.
  1071. So, as far as potential
    is concerned, everybody--
  1072. have to go candidate
    for death sentence.
  1073. [Laughter] Then as far
    as action is concerned,
  1074. even this criminal
    people also can change.
  1075. So that's my reason,
    my argument.
  1076. Then, in human society,
    just is very important.
  1077. War, this big hero actually
    big murderer but we prison them
  1078. and poor person, sometimes
    [inaudible] take one's life,
  1079. that we call murder
    and put in prison,
  1080. sometimes in death
    sentence that also--
  1081. >> Unfair.
  1082. >> Unfair and all these
    people from childhood,
  1083. the same human being, same
    sort of compassion to person.
  1084. That's my argument.
  1085. [ Foreign Language ]
  1086. >> That I usually feel,
  1087. then further reason usually
    investigate, I don't know.
  1088. [Laughter] I appreciate
    your work.
  1089. [ Foreign Language ]
  1090. >> I think several years
    ago, Amnesty International is
  1091. to start some movement
    abolishing death sentence,
  1092. I'm one of the signatory.
  1093. So like that, we have to work.
  1094. We have to work, then--
  1095. >> Your Holiness, we began
    the week here at Stanford
  1096. with a showing of a
    film Compassion Rising
  1097. that showed your meeting in 1968
    with the Roman Catholic Monk,
  1098. Thomas Marden and that was
    more than 40 years ago now.
  1099. You have been teaching not
    only within your own tradition
  1100. but across traditions
    and around the world,
  1101. you have been our great
    spiritual teacher.
  1102. We are very grateful for that
    and we hope you will continue
  1103. to teach for decades and we
    look forward to seeing you back
  1104. at Stanford again soon.
  1105. Thank you very much.
  1106. >> Thank you.
  1107. [ Applause ]
  1108. >> For more, please
    visit as at stanford.edu.