Suffering Comes from the Mind

Suffering Comes from the Mind

Date of Advice:
April 2021
Date Posted:
February 2023

In this letter, Rinpoche advised that the current problems in the world, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, are the result of harming others. Rinpoche said he hopes that people can learn how to stop the suffering and achieve temporal and ultimate happiness and peace.

My most kind most dear most wish-fulfilling mother,
I hope you and your whole family are well. I hope many people didn’t die from COVID in the country you are in. I have not heard much about your country, but nowadays, people are dying daily. At the beginning [of the pandemic], of course, we didn’t know exactly how many had died, but I think it must have been a lot. So many people have died.

I understand people eat so many animals. It is really terrifying and there is so much suffering. They harm other beings who have a body and mind, who do not wish suffering but wish for happiness, exactly like human beings, like us, but they never realize that, or even if they do, they don’t care! What a terrible harm they are causing others. So of course, they will suffer from so many problems— floods, earthquakes, many things caused by nature, and diseases, viruses, then second and third viruses.

I thought in my mind that if people stopped eating meat, stopped harming animals—so terrible, terrible, so many creatures and sea creatures, and the animals living with people, wow wow!—only then can they stop the virus and other problems.

People are not surprised at all eating animals and giving harm to them, not surprised at all. They enjoy it and even make money from that, maybe there is even competition or success. But, you see, when they get the result of harming others—sickness and so forth—then they get surprised. Only when they get a problem, they get a surprise. They are not surprised when they create the cause. It is like that. Generally, the sentient beings are totally, totally, unbelievably, unbelievably, unbelievably ignorant.

Hopefully, the more they experience problems, I hope that they can realize [the cause of] all the suffering. Therefore, I hope it can stop the problems in the mind, the suffering to the mind, and that they can bring all the peace individually in their own life as well as in the world, to all the six realms—the hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings—to all the six realm beings. I hope it turns out this way, that the more suffering they experience, the more realizations they can develop. They can have more and more discoveries, realizations, then they will be able to stop the suffering in their mind, their own individual mind, as well as the suffering of the world, the suffering of the six realms’ sentient beings.

Also, Ama-la and the whole family, I hope you pray for this to happen in the whole world. If you want to do this, pray for this to happen.

It’s a little bit like the Tibetans. They lost Tibet to China, but because His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many Tibetan people were able to escape, they rebuilt and educated new boys and girls, nuns and monks. The knowledge of Buddhadharma, its practice, learning and realizations, developed year by year over a long time and produced so many learned meditators, so many teachers of the Buddha’s teachings—philosophy, sutra and tantra—who can now benefit the world.

Just in FPMT there are 166 or so centers, mostly meditation centers, and some schools, hospices, like that. We have, I think, around forty-six resident teachers, who came from these monasteries after so many years of study and practice. They can spread the light of the teachings, Buddhadharma, to the rest of the world and dispel the darkness of ignorance of sentient beings.

They show clearly the whole path to enlightenment—how to go to enlightenment, how to get free from samsara. Buddhadharma has spread in the Western countries, where there has never been Buddhadharma before. It’s unbelievable, the light of Dharma has spread in the world, in so many Western countries, unbelievable!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been able to travel to so many countries again and again. He is the best example of a practitioner, if we examine this. Every year in the world, like in America, the people learn more and more about what His Holiness is—that he is full of compassion and wisdom, not ignorant. Unbelievable! He not only communicates with high people, but also with lower people, with suffering people, with people who have no education, etc. He helps everyone. People throughout the world learn by seeing His Holiness, hearing His Holiness and especially by what His Holiness teaches.

Tibet was lost to China, but all these unbelievable teachings of the Buddha, their light spreads and shines in the world so much. If Tibet did not get lost to China, then spreading the light of Dharma, making it shine in the rest of the world, His Holiness traveling to many countries again and again, and enlightening the people more and more—all this would not have happened.

Similarly, people are experiencing more suffering due to earthquakes, floods, landslides, all these things—generally fire and water problems—tsunamis, wind, then disease, viruses, so many problems.

I hope this turns out in a correct way that benefits the mind to see the reality of life, from where all the suffering comes. It does not come from the outside, but from the mind. Sentient beings experience problems in this life and through that they can learn how to stop the suffering through the mind. They can learn how to achieve happiness, not only temporal but ultimate happiness forever, liberation from samsara forever and especially peerless happiness, enlightenment, the total cessation of obscurations and completion of realizations.

I hope everyone is well—you, your father and your sister, who I spent much time talking with when I was there, as well as your brother. I hope to see you soon.

My prayers are always with you. Love and greetings to you and to everybody. Thank you very, very much. You can use these cards to send to your friends and to your enemies as well, if you have any. It’s up to you, however you want.

Thank you very, very much! I hope I can make an apple strudel one day for the mother and family to taste, haha!

I hope the center is OK. That’s all.

With love and prayers ...