Talk:Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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"Instructions for life" section is based on an email chain hoax - not the dalai lama as far as I know... Also, any citations?


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  • Just as rust, which arose from the iron itself, wears out the iron, likewise, performing an action without examination would destroy us by projecting us into a negative state of existence.
  • Spiritual practice is difficult in the beginning. You wonder how on earth you can ever do it. But as you get used to it, the practice gradually becomes easier. Do not be too stubborn or push yourself too hard. If you practice in accord with your individual capacity, little by little you will find more pleasure and joy in it. As you gain inner strength, your positive actions will gain in profundity and scope.
  • The real enemy is not outside, but inside. ... External enemies are not permanent; if you respect him, the enemy will become your friend. But there is one enemy who is always an enemy, whom you should never compromise, that is the enemy inside your heart. You cannot change all these bad thoughts into your friend, but you have to confront and control them.
  • When others insult, rebuke and speak unpleasant words to us, although an intolerable pain arises like a thorn at the heart, if we comprehend the teachings then we can recognize the essenceless nature of these words which resemble an echo. So just as when an inanimate object is scolded, we will experience not the slightest mental turmoil.
  • You should respect other religions... the essence of all religions is basically the same: to achieve a true sense of brotherhood, a good heart, respect for others. If we can develop these qualities from within our heart, then I think we can actually achieve true peace.
    • Message on his first visit to the West in (1973)
  • There is a saying in Tibetan – ‘tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength’. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful an experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.
  • All heart and no brain — useless. All brain and no heart — dangerous.
  • "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."

probable misattributions[edit]

  • Man, because he sacrifices health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.
    • The Dalai Lama, supposedly, when asked what 'surprises him the most' — this seems derived from the work of an unknown author circulated as "An Interview with God…"

According to the following sources, this quote may have been originated by James J. Lachard (Jim Brown) in a poem he wrote entitled, "I dreamed I had an interview with God." The poem may not have been formally published. The quote stated above has been changed from the original, which can be found on at least two of the links below.


  • Our main purpose in life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Widely circulated; attributed in Words of Wisdom (William Safire & Douglas Safir, 1990), but without a source. I could find no earlier attribution online. --Dhartung (talk) 21:18, 16 July 2012 (UTC)