The Compassionate Life - Preface

Editor’s Preface

In his numerous public appearances, His Holiness the Dalai Lama always returns to the topic of compassion. Compassion, or the desire to remove the suffering of another, is of course a central ideal for the practicing Buddhist. But one does not need to spend much time observing His Holiness to realize that his commitment to this virtue goes far beyond mere religious obligation. In his simple yet inimitable way, the Dalai Lama displays a profound recognition of the power of human affection in addressing the world’s most urgent and complex problems.

At first glance, the Dalai Lama’s rhetoric may seem almost naive, uninformed by a grasp of real-world politics and the subtleties of the human heart. Upon deeper inspection, however, it becomes clear that His Holiness speaks from a deep well of experience, grounded in his systematic training as a Buddhist monk and his personal experiences as the political and religious leader of the Tibetan people. His com- passion is not timid or vague; it is solid, resolute, and above all wise. The difference is that His Holiness understands the mind—the power of our thoughts and emotions in shaping reality. He sees the precise relationship between the motivation we have and the results we get, and his life exemplifies the depth of his recognition.

It is our hope at Wisdom Publications that the teachings we have woven together to make this book will help advance His Holiness’ own goals for world peace, religious tolerance, and spiritual development, while providing effective tools for those interested in cultivating lives of greater compassion.

David Kittelstrom

 

How to cite this document:
© Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Compassionate Wisdom (Wisdom Publications, 2003)

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