Brief Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy
What is Buddhist Philosophy (Dharma)? The teachings that come from Buddhas. A Buddha is anyone who, by relying on the practice of a spiritual path, completely transcends the disturbing and negative emotions that bind us to ordinary existence, and in whom all inherent positive qualities have emerged. Benefit for oneself is accomplished because all flaws have been eliminated and realization is perfected; benefit for others is accomplished because spontaneously present love and compassion move one to act continually for their welfare.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word referring to the path of skillful means that is endowed with the two qualities of transformation and protection through which we can find what we are truly searching for within our own minds. That is, what all beings-both humans and non-humans alike- are searching for, the elimination of suffering and the pursuit of not only temporary, but lasting happiness.
However, even though all of us want to get rid of suffering and find happiness, despite our efforts we have yet to achieve our wishes. This is because all effort spent manipulating our external environment and situations is proven by our own experience and by logical reasoning to be in vain. Therefore, to turn the attention inwards and to change our own mind is crucial.
This begins with harming no living beings, and developing true love and compassion and actions based on this. With that as a foundation, one engages in introductory and extraordinary methods of practice with ease and little difficulty. This gradually tames and refines away the flaws of our minds, allowing peace and happiness to well forth from within and accomplishing great benefit for others, while our positive qualities naturally emerge. Finally, we gain complete mastery over the treasury of precious and positive qualities within our mind and our hearts’ wishes are attained.
By Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
Translated by Paloma Landry on 1-21-06 (This English translation has not yet been edited, so please forbear any grammatical errors or lack of poetic ring. It does not reflect on the Tibetan which was graceful and smooth.)