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Guidelines for living

books Updated: Jul 24, 2010 23:53 IST

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Excerpts from Ocean of Wisdom: Guidelines for Living by The Dalai Lama; published by Jaico

If all your energy and all your thinking is concentrated on wealth, on material things (all that wealth that belongs to this life), there is maximum benefit for one hundred years. Beyond that there's nothing.

I feel that the essence of all spiritual life is your emotion, you attitude toward others. Once you have pure and sincere motivation, all the rest follows. You can develop this right attitude toward others on the basis of kindness, love, and respect, and on the clear realisation of the oneness of all human beings. This is important because others benefit by this motivation as much as anything we do. Then, with a pure heart, you can carry on any work - farming, mechanical engineering, working as a doctor, as a lawyer, as a teacher — and your profession becomes a real instrument to help the human community.

Some of you might feel that you lose your independence if you don't let your mind just wander where it wants to, if you try to control it. But that is not the case.

If you ask, “Is it possible to completely get rid of afflicted emotions or is it necessary to just suppress them on the spot”, then the answer, from the Buddhist point of view, is that conventional nature of mind is a clear light. And from the ultimate point of view, it is also a clear light. So from the conventional point of view, these afflicted emotions are only extraneous and can be removed totally.