His Holiness the Dalai lama. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala – His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a two-day teaching on "Generating Bodhichitta" to young Tibetans from various colleges and Tibetan schools in India on Tuesday. His Holiness said, "Having a good heart is a source of happiness and joy for all. It enables you to sleep well. It brings you peace of mind. It is a source of lasting happiness."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave an introductory teaching on the "Three Objects of Refuge" and the " Generating Bodhichitta" to over a thousand students from various colleges and Tibetan schools in India and to thousands of Tibetans, monks, nuns, and foreigners from different countries, on May 30, 2023, at the main Tibetan temple (Tsuglagkhang) in Dharamsala, India.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the assembly and said: “I generate the thought of bodhchitta every day from the moment I wake up. I pray for the welfare of all sentient beings, but most especially for the human beings of this world. Doing so brings me peace of mind. I support this thought by reflecting on the emptiness of inherent existence. I recite and reflect on a verse from Shantideva's 'Entering into the Way of the Bodhisattva':

“As long as space endures,
And as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain
To help dispel the misery of the world.

“This also gives me the courage to work for all sentient beings. It relaxes my mind. It enables me to sleep soundly. As a result, my mind experiences no agitation. In the evening, I visualize Avalokiteshvara on the crown of my head, recite manis and fall asleep. When you are at ease like this, you find peace of mind and you are physically well," His Holiness added.

“Today, we will talk about bodhichitta and tomorrow I will give the permission to practise Manjushri, which helps increase intelligence and so is very helpful to those of you who are studying," His Holiness said.

“Shantideva's 'Entering into the Way of the Bodhisattva' describes bodhichitta as worthy of our respect and homage. Even if someone harms them, someone who has bodhichitta declines to retaliate. Having a good heart is a source of happiness and joy for all. It enables you to sleep well. It brings you peace of mind. It is a source of lasting happiness," he explained.

“Others may misinterpret what you say or do, but if you have good motivation, you won’t be angry. If others criticize you, you won’t be upset, you’ll remain at ease. Because I regularly meditate on bodhchitta, I’m familiar with it. Even when images of the Buddha are being destroyed, my sense of bodhichitta means I retain my peace of mind," His Holiness continued.

“In Tibet, the land blessed by Avalokiteshvara, we don’t harm even small insects, although I admit that if a mosquito disturbs my sleep, I’m likely to swat it away. I feel compassion even for the Chinese who have made life so hard for Tibetans. I try to be kind in return," the spiritual leader of Tibet stated.

“I generate bodhichitta day and night. All spiritual progress is dependent on it. If you have bodhichitta, you can accumulate immense merit moment by moment. We should be enthusiastic about developing this aspiration for enlightenment," His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentioned.

“Of course, we need to be cautious about those who would do us harm, but hatred will not help us overcome them. Bodhichitta will. This is why warm-heartedness is precious and valuable," His Holiness added.

“We may chant prayers, say mantras and beat drums, but generating compassion is the real key to spiritual practice. To cherish ritual implements but to disregard bodhichitta is a mistake," His Holiness declared.

“Tibetans are generally regarded as kind-hearted, so to cultivate bodhichitta and simple kindness is to help the Tibetan cause," the spiritual leader said.

“I don’t claim to be anyone special, but because of bodhichitta, as long as beings endure, I am determined to serve them as best I can. Bodhichitta isn’t something that is only of benefit to others, it ensures our own well-being. If you follow me, you should be enthusiastic about bodhichitta too,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded.