Awakening the mind, lightening the heart

When His Holiness The Dalai Lama decides to write a book, it’s not much of a guess to know what is going to be the subject, evidently it is about the ways to reach buddhahood! As inspirational books go, like The Secret, The Alchemist or the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance , they deal with some aspects of mind conditioning but this one is an integrated course on reaching the ‘awakening mind’. It has a major caveat though, information is not experience and it may take decades or lifetime of practice to reach stages of awakening mind.

Dalai Lama himself claims he was only closer to reach awakening mind even in his fifties but was not yet there! It also comes with a prohibitive and prescriptive clause by the masters, (Sha-ra-wa: pg.32) not to disclose the secrets to persons not interested, as is the same with Geeta! ( BG 18.67: This instruction should never be explained to those who are not austere or to those who are not devoted. It should also not be spoken to those who are averse to listening (to spiritual topics).

It entreats sternly to be clear about where you want to go, if buddhahood is your only real goal, then you cannot escape the rigorous lifelong mind training, hence before embarking on the journey make sure that this is what you are destined to!

In the eight chapters, the recurrent themes are surrender, awakening mind, disturbing emotions and mind training! It favors quality over quantity and spontaneous evolution over the race to acquire materials! The Buddhist central principles of Four Noble Truths, Eight verses of Nagarjuna are comprehensively dealt with in each of the chapters.

The Buddhist faith of life cycle, karma- birth- suffering and sickness-old age-death-karma and rebirth is explained in detail! In chapter five, the practice of multidimensional giving and taking is explained in cosmic depth!

In chapter six, the seven branch practice of accumulating merit for the soul is dealt with! In chapter seven, the process of elimination of negativities, the accumulation of virtues by the four psychic practices, and by training in the five powers! A detailed list of do’s and don’ts follow!

In chapter eight, he gives total conviction and encouragement to the disheartened that enlightenment is in deed achievable in all certainty and guides through the process of attaining emptiness. He says it is quite practicable as the disturbing emotions are only temporary afflictions and can be wiped off by understanding their existence!

But what is the purpose of going through all such processes to attain enlightenment, it is to serve all the sentient beings of the universe! It is the book everyone should be coveting to master and put into practice all their lives. The wisdom of humanity is expressed in it’s endeavor to acquire enlightenment and not in acquiring materialistic possessions even at the cost of reducing the environment to ruins. Let us join HH The Dalai Lama in his hope for the humanity!