Dalai Lama talks about how he lives during a pandemic

On June 17, the 14th Dalai Lama, in an interview with the writer Pico Iyer said: “Because of this pandemic, I’ve been asked not to meet people physically face to face, so I’ve had a holiday. But I say my daily prayers and do four hours of meditation in the morning as usual. As soon as I wake up, I think about ‘karuna’, which is the method side of my practice. On the wisdom side, ‘ahimsa’ reflects ‘pratityasamutpada’ or dependent arising, which can also be expressed as ‘shunyata’, emptiness, free of assertions.

“As I said, when I wake up, I ask myself, ‘Where is the self? Where is the ‘I’? Where is the Dalai Lama? When I can’t find it, I realize it is only a designation. This is what the Buddha’s explanation of selflessness (anatman) is about. And it’s very useful when it comes to tackling the negative emotions. These emotions are negative because the destroy our peace of mind and in that way damage our health.”


 “Anger and jealousy, which are destructive emotions, are based on our having a strong sense of ‘I’. So, cultivating an understanding of selflessness reduces the hold destructive emotions have over us. Quantum physics makes a comparable observation that appearances differ from reality. The appearance is that things exist independently, but if we examine them deeply, they’re not like that. Destructive emotions are based on that kind of appearance. Understanding nothing exists as it appears reduces the influence negative emotions have over us.”