Practicing the Buddha’s teachings
Foreword to Open Heart, Clear Mind
The teachings of the Buddha have provided solace and comfort to countless people over the last two thousand five hundred years. During this time their influence has been felt largely in Asian countries, although in recent decades interest has grown remarkably throughout the world. Heartening evidence of this is that persons like Venerable Thubten Chodron, who were neither born nor brought up in traditionally Buddhist countries, have been inspired to devote their time and effort to helping others to benefit from Buddhist practice.
I am happy that she has prepared this book, Open Heart, Clear Mind based on her own experience, which conveys a clear understanding of Buddhism as it has been practiced by Tibetans, in easily comprehensible language. These teachings are both subtle and profound, but it is very important that they are made accessible in a way that people can actually put them into practice and derive real benefit from them. I am sure this book will achieve this and that it will prove helpful to general readers, especially those who have little previous acquaintance with Buddhism.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the very young age of two, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are believed to be enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. His Holiness has traveled to more than 67 countries spanning 6 continents. He has received over 150 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books. His Holiness has held dialogues with heads of different religions and participated in many events promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding. Since the mid-1980’s, His Holiness has begun a dialogue with modern scientists, mainly in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, quantum physics and cosmology. This has led to a historic collaboration between Buddhist monks and world-renowned scientists in trying to help individuals achieve peace of mind. (Source: dalailama.com. Photo by Jamyang Dorjee)