By Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-'dzin-rgya-mtsho

A booklet through the fourteenth Dalai Lama.

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The issue is not whether a phenomena is impermanent or permanent; it is whether or not it is worthwhile to feel desire for or to achieve something; and if so, how to fulfill that desire. We must make a distinction between proper and improper desire. When we find through investigative reasoning that a desire is worth fulfilling, then having that kind of desire can be useful. For example, the desire to achieve Buddhahood and the desire to work for the benefit of all sentient beings are both beneficial desires.

Loving kindness is step four. This state of mind cherishes all sentient beings. In the fifth step, having developed this loving kindness for all sentient beings, we wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering. That is compassion. Sixthly comes the unusual attitude of universal responsibility, the attitude to take on ourselves the responsibility to free sentient beings from suffering. ic attitude to achieve Buddhahood is that of generating the thought of enlightenment. This thought of enlightenment is experienced partly by the force of our strong compassion for all sentient beings and partly by the understanding that it is possible for the minds of sentient beings to The Nature of the Path 37 be freed from their delusions.

We have an innate feeling that this body is our own possession. We posit this body as belonging to the self. In the same way, we have an innate feeling of 'my mind', so that the mind too is looked upon as belonging to the self. Therefore we consider the self to be different from the body and the mind. Although we do this, when analytically sought, the self cannot be found apart from the body and the mind. On the other hand, if this self did not exist at all,. there would be no human beings. Thus since the self does exist, yet we cannot find it when we search for it analytically, this indicates that it does not exist independently.

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