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  • Thank you.

  • And I feel like this whole evening has been very amazing to me.

  • I feel it's sort of like the Vimalakirti Sutra,

  • an ancient work from ancient India

  • in which the Buddha appears at the beginning and a whole bunch of people

  • come to see him from the biggest city in the area, Vaishali,

  • and they bring some sort of jeweled parasols to make an offering to him.

  • All the young people, actually, from the city.

  • The old fogeys don't come because they're mad at Buddha,

  • because when he came to their city he accepted --

  • he always accepts the first invitation that comes to him, from whoever it is,

  • and the local geisha, a movie-star sort of person,

  • raced the elders of the city in a chariot and invited him first.

  • So he was hanging out with the movie star, and of course they were grumbling:

  • "He's supposed to be religious and all this.

  • What's he doing over there at Amrapali's house with all his 500 monks,"

  • and so on. They were all grumbling, and so they boycotted him.

  • They wouldn't go listen to him.

  • But the young people all came.

  • And they brought this kind of a jeweled parasol, and they put it on the ground.

  • And as soon as they had laid all these,

  • all their big stack of these jeweled parasols that they used to carry in ancient India,

  • he performed a kind of special effect which made it into a giant planetarium,

  • the wonder of the universe. Everyone looked in that, and they saw in there

  • the total interconnectedness of all life in all universes.

  • And of course, in the Buddhist cosmos there are millions and billions of planets

  • with human life on it,

  • and enlightened beings can see the life on all the other planets.

  • So they don't -- when they look out and they see those lights that you showed

  • in the sky -- they don't just see sort of pieces of matter burning

  • or rocks or flames or gases exploding.

  • They actually see landscapes and human beings

  • and gods and dragons and serpent beings and goddesses and things like that.

  • He made that special effect at the beginning

  • to get everyone to think about interconnection

  • and interconnectedness and how everything in life was totally interconnected.

  • And then Leilei -- I know his other name -- told us about interconnection,

  • and how we're all totally interconnected here,

  • and how we've all known each other. And of course in the Buddhist universe,

  • we've already done this already billions of times in many, many lifetimes in the past.

  • And I didn't give the talk always. You did, and we had to watch you, and so forth.

  • And we're all still trying to, I guess we're all trying to become TEDsters,

  • if that's a modern form of enlightenment.

  • I guess so. Because in a way, if a TEDster relates to all the interconnectedness

  • of all the computers and everything, it's the forging of a mass awareness,

  • of where everybody can really know everything

  • that's going on everywhere in the planet.

  • And therefore it will become intolerable --

  • what compassion is, is where it will become intolerable for us,

  • totally intolerable that we sit here in comfort and in pleasure and enjoying

  • the life of the mind or whatever it is,

  • and there are people who are absolutely riddled with disease

  • and they cannot have a bite of food and they have no place,

  • or they're being brutalized by some terrible person and so forth.

  • It just becomes intolerable.

  • With all of us knowing everything, we're kind of forced by technology

  • to become Buddhas or something, to become enlightened.

  • And of course, we all will be deeply disappointed when we do.

  • Because we think that because we are kind of tired of what we do,

  • a little bit tired, we do suffer.

  • We do enjoy our misery in a certain way.

  • We distract ourselves from our misery by running around somewhere,

  • but basically we all have this common misery

  • that we are sort of stuck inside our skins

  • and everyone else is out there.

  • And occasionally we get together with another person stuck in their skin

  • and the two of us enjoy each other, and each one tries to get out of their own,

  • and ultimately it fails of course, and then we're back into this thing.

  • Because our egocentric perception -- from the Buddha's point of view, misperception --

  • is that all we are is what is inside our skin.

  • And it's inside and outside, self and other,

  • and other is all very different.

  • And everyone here is unfortunately carrying that habitual perception,

  • a little bit, right?

  • You know, someone sitting next to you in a seat -- that's OK because you're in a theater,

  • but if you were sitting on a park bench and someone came up and sat that close to you,

  • you'd freak out.

  • What do they want from me? Like, who's that?

  • And so you wouldn't sit that close to another person

  • because of your notion that it's you versus the universe -- that's all Buddha discovered.

  • Because that cosmic basic idea that it is us all alone, each of us,

  • and everyone else is different,

  • then that puts us in an impossible situation, doesn't it?

  • Who is it who's going to get enough attention from the world?

  • Who's going to get enough out of the world?

  • Who's not going to be overrun by an infinite number of other beings --

  • if you're different from all the other beings?

  • So where compassion comes is where you

  • surprisingly discover you lose yourself in some way:

  • through art, through meditation, through understanding, through knowledge actually,

  • knowing that you have no such boundary,

  • knowing your interconnectedness with other beings.

  • You can experience yourself as the other beings

  • when you see through the delusion of being separated from them.

  • When you do that, you're forced to feel what they feel.

  • Luckily, they say -- I still am not sure --

  • but luckily, they say that when you reach that point because some people have said

  • in the Buddhist literature, they say, "Oh who would really want to be compassionate?

  • How awful! I'm so miserable on my own. My head is aching.

  • My bones are aching. I go from birth to death. I'm never satisfied.

  • I never have enough, even if I'm a billionaire, I don't have enough.

  • I need a hundred billion." So I'm like that.

  • Imagine if I had to feel even a hundred other people's suffering.

  • It would be terrible.

  • But apparently, this is a strange paradox of life.

  • When you're no longer locked in yourself,

  • and as the wisdom or the intelligence or the scientific knowledge

  • of the nature of the world, that enables you to let your mind spread out,

  • and empathize, and enhance the basic human ability of empathizing,

  • and realizing that you are the other being,

  • somehow by that opening, you can see the deeper nature of life. And you can,

  • you get away from this terrible iron circle of I, me, me, mine,

  • like the Beatles used to sing.

  • You know, we really learned everything in the '60s.

  • Too bad nobody ever woke up to it,

  • and they've been trying to suppress it since then.

  • I, me, me, mine. It's like a perfect song, that song. A perfect teaching.

  • But when we're relieved from that,

  • we somehow then become interested in all the other beings.

  • And we feel ourselves differently. It's totally strange.

  • It's totally strange.

  • The Dalai Lama always likes to say --

  • he says that when you give birth in your mind to the idea of compassion,

  • it's because you realize that you yourself and your pains and pleasures

  • are finally too small a theater for your intelligence.

  • It's really too boring whether you feel like this or like that, or what, you know --

  • and the more you focus on how you feel, by the way, the worse it gets.

  • Like, even when you're having a good time,

  • when is the good time over?

  • The good time is over when you think, how good is it?

  • And then it's never good enough.

  • I love that Leilei said that the way of helping those who are suffering badly

  • on the physical plane or on other planes is having a good time,

  • doing it by having a good time.

  • I think the Dalai Lama should have heard that. I wish he'd been there to hear that.

  • He once told me -- he looked kind of sad;

  • he worries very much about the haves and have-nots.

  • He looked a little sad, because he said, well, a hundred years ago,

  • they went and took everything away from the haves.

  • You know, the big communist revolutions, Russia and China and so forth.

  • They took it all away by violence,

  • saying they were going to give it to everyone, and then they were even worse.

  • They didn't help at all.

  • So what could possibly change this terrible gap that has opened up in the world today?

  • And so then he looks at me.

  • So I said, "Well, you know, you're all in this yourself. You teach: it's generosity,"

  • was all I could think of. What is virtue?

  • But of course, what you said, I think the key to saving the world, the key to compassion

  • is that it is more fun.

  • It should be done by fun. Generosity is more fun. That's the key.

  • Everybody has the wrong idea. They think Buddha was so boring,

  • and they're so surprised when they meet Dalai Lama and he's fairly jolly.

  • Even though his people are being genocided --

  • and believe me, he feels every blow on every old nun's head,

  • in every Chinese prison. He feels it.

  • He feels the way they are harvesting yaks nowadays.

  • I won't even say what they do. But he feels it.

  • And yet he's very jolly. He's extremely jolly.

  • Because when you open up like that,

  • then you can't just -- what good does it do to add being miserable with others' misery?

  • You have to find some vision where you see how hopeful it is,

  • how it can be changed.

  • Look at that beautiful thing Chiho showed us. She scared us with the lava man.

  • She scared us with the lava man is coming,

  • then the tsunami is coming,

  • but then finally there were flowers and trees, and it was very beautiful.

  • It's really lovely.

  • So, compassion means to feel the feelings of others,

  • and the human being actually is compassion.

  • The human being is almost out of time.

  • The human being is compassion because what is our brain for?

  • Now, Jim's brain is memorizing the almanac.

  • But he could memorize all the needs of all the beings that he is, he will, he did.

  • He could memorize all kinds of fantastic things to help many beings.

  • And he would have tremendous fun doing that.

  • So the first person who gets happy,

  • when you stop focusing on the self-centered situation of, how happy am I,

  • where you're always dissatisfied --

  • as Mick Jagger told us. You never get any satisfaction that way.

  • So then you decide, "Well, I'm sick of myself.

  • I'm going to think of how other people can be happy.

  • I'm going to get up in the morning and think,

  • what can I do for even one other person, even a dog, my dog, my cat,

  • my pet, my butterfly?"

  • And the first person who gets happy when you do that,

  • you don't do anything for anybody else, but you get happier, you yourself,

  • because your whole perception broadens

  • and you suddenly see the whole world and all of the people in it.

  • And you realize that this -- being with these people --

  • is the flower garden that Chiho showed us.

  • It is Nirvana.

  • And my time is up. And I know the TED commandments.

  • Thank you.

Thank you.

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B1 US TED compassion buddha intolerable lama dalai lama

【TED】Robert Thurman: We can be Buddhas (Bob Thurman: We can be Buddhas)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/11/05
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