The life from now to death, no matter how long it is, it is not long. It is short. Within that short life time, if we can’t make a difference once and for all, to our own life and the lives of others, then we are failures in our (in normal western language, “God-given duty,”) or responsibility. And that’s why we need the development of compassion and love. And love-compassion alone doesn’t know what to do, so we also need the method of Dharma.
I talk about Dharma, because that’s the only thing I know. If I were a Hindu I would talk about Hinduism and if I were a Christian I would talk about Christianity. If I were Jewish I would talk about Judaism. To me, these great religions all have their own way of helping and leading people. But then, for me, fortunately, luckily, I happen to be Buddha’s follower. So I only know what Buddha did and what he said and the disciples and followers of the Buddha, their explanations and commentaries, which of course changes in various cultures.
That’s why you have Indian Buddhism and Sri Lankan Buddhism, Thai Buddhism, Burmese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism is very adaptable to any culture. Buddhism itself is a way of life, a way of thinking, it is a philosophy and is adaptable to any culture. That’s how it is. Indian Buddhism is no different than Buddhism with Indian culture adapted. Chinese Buddhism is nothing than Chinese culture adapted. We Tibetans say we have the best – because we are Tibetans.
No, it’s because we have Vajrayana – honestly. Because of the vajrayana it becomes the best. And besides that, it turns out to be the one that makes the most sense in the scientific world. I have been reading these books that have come out, produced by a lot of bright young people who wrote them together, both Westerners and Tibetans. They are trying to prove how scientific it is. I don’t know whether it is scientific or not, but it is somehow making sense with science all the time. Anyway, on the other hand, whatever it is, whether it is making sense or not, it is a 1000 years old and has helped millions of people and it has it’s own little thing. Without knowing that, without tapping into those sources, you can’t take the benefit. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is meditate. Sit down and meditate. Relax. Don’t entertain your thoughts. Be mindful and aware. Be aware of your physical movements. Acknowledge them. That’s what people teach you how to meditate.
Meditation is truly a mental activity – not a physical activity. Physical activities are important. That is traditionally in the Indian culture the hatha yoga, right? People do that nowadays quite a lot and they do it very well. You also see how beneficial it is. It is tremendous. Then when you use the mind it goes even beyond that. So before you do anything you need to know. Don’t do anything you don’t know. Honestly.