The Inner Science of Tibet

"The tradition of nonviolence, optimism, concern for the individual, and unconditional compassion that developed in Tibet is the culmination of a slow inner revolution, a cool one, hard to see, that began 2,500 years ago with the Buddha's insight about the end of suffering. What I have learned from these people has forever changed my life, and I believe their culture contains an inner science particularly relevant to the difficult time in which we live."
Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness

An Example for the World

"Tibet may seem a small and insignificant country in the larger scheme of things, but Tibetan civilization at the time of the Chinese invasion in 1950 was the result of 2,500 years of the revolutionary development of enlightenment culture. This revolution produced a population of people who were broadly determined to live for positive evolutionary transformation. Tibet is an important example for the world, and its restoration as a region of peace and spirituality is a matter of global significance. Tibet's unique focus on enlightenment civilization makes that nation crucial to the world's development of spiritual and social balance."
Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness

Enlightenment is an Evolultionary Goal

"Enlightenment is not meant to be an object of religious faith. It is an evolutionary goal, something we want to become, like president of the United States, a concert violinist, or a great poet. Once we recognize the biological possibility of our evolving into beings of full understanding, we can begin to imagine ourselves as buddhas, awakened or enlightened beings.

" 'Buddha' is not a personal name. It is a title, a state we can attain. It means 'awakened,' 'blossomed,' 'enlightened.' It is the blossoming of all happiness and positive powers. By definition, being enlightened is a fully evolved way of living. It is perfect freedom — a freedom so total it cannot be lost even in relationships. It is perfect security, certain of its reality, perfection, and eternal bliss — it is the goal in the quest for happiness."
Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness

Hatred is the Greatest Evil

"There is nothing more evil than hate. Long years of good work can go to waste because of a single spasm of hate. You may have spent a long time cultivating a relationship, and one day you become confused and perceive that friend is an enemy to your happiness. You suddenly explode in anger, lose control, and hurt your friend verbally or physically. We hear about this every day in circumstances ranging from domestic violence to all-out war.

"The great mass killings of this century — the murder of the Armenians; the slaughter in the trenches of World War 1 and II; the forced starvations in Africa; the Holocaust of the European Jews; the Japanese extermination of Manchurians and Chinese; the Tibetan, Cambodian, and Rwandan genocides; the imprisonment and executions of Native Americans and African Americans — all these horrors have had hate as their root and persistent cause. If there is a nuclear holocaust that ends all life on this planet, it will not be caused by nuclear technology or by political, religious, or economic disagreements. It will be caused by hate. The energy moving the hand that signs the orders to build missiles is that of hate. And in the final moment, the force that moves the finger to press the button to launch those missiles is none other than hate. Hate can now destroy all life on earth.

"In the karmic evolutionary sense, the positive imprints of virtuous actions, the seeds of future insight and freedom planted by the work of learning, reflection, and contemplation, all the positive developmental energy we accumulate in a lifetime of effort can be destroyed by hate. It is said that hate can create an instant hell, a nightmare of death, and a horrific wakening."
Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness

How the United States Can Finally Be Free

"To finish building the free society dreamed of by Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson, we must draw upon the resources of the enlightened imagination, which can be systematically developed by the spiritual sciences of India and Tibet. We have not yet tamed our own demons of racism, nationalism, sexism, and materialism. We have not yet made peace with a land we took by force and have only partly paid for. We are a teeming conglomeration of people from different tribes who have yet to embrace fully the humanness in one another. And none of us can be really free until all of us are."
Inner Revolution: Life. Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness

Feeling Understanding in the Body

"I have been driven by that sense of push my whole life, without even realizing it. Amazing! But if life is indeed beginningless, this means that my past has, in fact, been infinite. The future will be too. So if there is no big rush to get somewhere. I am mistaken in my compulsion. I can take my time, and take more care, to make sure to go where I want to go. What a thrill! A bit of release, a taste of freedom, no more involuntary pressure — so this is beginningless.

"I was delighted to begin to understand the Buddhist world I was so drawn to, and amazed to actually feel that understanding in my body. I experienced a physical release from a hitherto unrecognized but now obviously bothersome pressure. . . .

"A weight was lifted from my body, a veil removed from my heart. I had begun to break free from my inherited life of bondage to enter a new life unbound, an infinite life."
Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well

Become Mindful of the Wrong in Our Society

"On the collective level, we have unwittingly shifted from being a nation of liberators, defenders of freedom, into becoming a nation of arms dealers and mercenaries, fabricating our own weapons of mass destruction and arming tyrants with the tools to oppress their own people. Within our own society, we jail more prisoners than any other country in the world, 85 percent of them people of nonwhite races — red, black, brown, and yellow. We are one of the few nations that still indulge in the death penalty for increasing numbers of these prisoners. We must become mindful of these negative things, since we need not support these actions of our nation to be affected negatively by their evolutionary impact, unless we mentally, verbally, and ultimately physically, disassociate ourselves from them."
Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well

Looking Closely at an Enemy

"Enemy: when you look closely, you see that this person is not filled with intrinsic hatefulness. You realize that this man was the helpless pawn of his greed; that this man was trapped in his fear; and hence he acted out toward you. But you should not hate him in return; you should feel compassion for him! Most people we perceive as 'antagonists' are merely struggling individuals trapped in their bounded worldview, desperately trying to pursue their own happiness. They are lost souls in desperate need of assistance. And we are enlightened beings capable of reaching out and helping them."
Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well