Talk:Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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It looks like someone added the section below, 'Instructions for Life' then wrote the following in this 'discussion':

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

I then moved the section here.

Instructions for Life[edit]

These statements were falsely attributed to the Dalai Lama in an email hoax. They actually derive from advice in Life's Little Instruction Book: 511 suggestions, observations, and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life (1991) by H. Jackson Brown, Jr; More information is available on the hoax at [1]
  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  13. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  14. Be gentle with the earth.
  15. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  16. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  17. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  18. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama. --Antiquary 20:11, 4 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • 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."

Comment: I found a similar text from a book called Alter, L. D. (2015). TOMORROW IS TODAY, A behavior modification methodology, guide, and workbook to manage the job search process: The complete guide for getting and keeping your next job and advancing your career. (L.D.A. Enterprises) (16th edition). Saint Louise Park, MN: The Employment Clinic. Salvestatud page 97. So I am not sure it is an original text from Dalai Lama.

  • "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

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)Reply[reply]

(Buscaglia’s talk “speaking of love” includes this quote from the Dali Lama as well).

Does anyone know anything about I find is strange that a web publication doesn't list a specific day for speaking with a religious leader, only the month it happened, and that they, not the news got an interview at all seems suspicious.[edit]

Interview with the Dalai Lama about the Full Ordination of Women[edit]

(interviewed by Buddhismus Aktuell, translation by Michaela Doepke,, (01/2011).

  • According to our tradition, the ordination of a bhikṣuṇī must be carried out by a bhikṣuṇī preceptor, and since a Mūlasarvāstivāda bhikṣuṇī preceptor is not available, according to our tradition the bestowal of ordination stopped. This is the problem. During the last thirty years we examined whether there are some exceptions to this. Some scholars say an exception is possible but the majority still says “no”. I have no power according to Vinaya (laughing). According to Vinaya, the final decision must be made by a saṅgha—a group of monks—not by a single monk. I think here we have to “complain” a little bit to the Buddha himself. While he was alive, he was the final authority; it was in his own hands. When he passed away, he didn’t give final authority to a single person, but to a group of monks. That is the problem now.
  • Twenty or thirty years ago, a journalist from a French women’s magazine asked me this question for the first time. Can the Dalai Lama’s incarnation be female in the future? I say, yes, because firstly, there are already high female reincarnations among Tibetan lamas. For example Samding Dorje Phagmo is an incarnation tradition which has existed, I think for seven or eight hundred years. That reincarnation lineage is almost as old as that of the Karmapa, I think it must have begun around the time of Lama Tsongkhapa. In our time there are high female lamas as well. Yes, we accept female gurus, female teachers. The purpose of a reincarnation lineage is to serve people through the Dharma, and if the circumstances are such that a female form is more useful, then why not? I mentioned that to the French journalist. I also said half-jokingly that if the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation is female, she must be very attractive. The reason is so that she will have more influence on others. If she is an ugly female, she won’t be very effective, will she? What do you think? (laughs). Good! Thank you very much!

Given the importance of the person being interviewed and how little is known about the publication, I think this needs looking into before being added to anything outside the attributed quotes section. From the Dalai Lama's website, "His Holiness also takes the opportunity to interact with members of the media. As there are many requests for private audiences we try to limit media interviews to one during an audience day. Members of the media need to submit their requests far in advance to provide time for their review by a Special Review Committee and if approved for scheduling." Also that Info-Buddhism is about Tibetan Buddhism and not really Buddhism in general is a bit misleading. CensoredScribe (talk) 18:30, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia cites Info-Buddhism as well on the page for the 15th Dalai Lama, and according to the telegraph the Dalai Lama did say at the start of a 10-day visit to Italy, (07 Dec 2007), "If a woman reveals herself as more useful the lama could very well be reincarnated in this form", which can be added. Someone should point this out at wikipedia, I don't want to add another sockpuppet to the complete list I've provided on my user page. My apologies. CensoredScribe (talk) 03:20, 9 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is the "two days in the year that nothing can be done" quote legitimate? Can it be added?[edit]

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”

BananaBaron (talk) 07:36, 1 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]