Universal Love (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Los Angeles, USA. June 28, 1975. (Archive #206)

In 1975, Lama Yeshe gave introductory talks on Buddhism; one in Los Angeles, CA and one in Madison, WI. These talks form the first three chapters of the LYWA book Universal Love.

In these talks Lama covers a variety of introductory topics followed by lively question-and-answer sessions that convey Lama's unique and engaging character. Click here to download the PDF of Chapters 1–3 from the book Universal Love.

What is Buddhism - Part B

Q. How do you get rid of your mind pollution? I mean, like say your mind is in a very…you know, you’ve got a lot of things going through, so how do you, you know, I got, it sounds kind of strange to get rid of it or, or, or…take care of it… [Wongmo: How do you get rid mind pollution?]

Lama. So simple. You should realize mind pollution is how polluted, which way polluted, which is deep root. By knowing, you can rid of. No knowledge, no rid of. Therefore, Lord Buddha emphasize understanding is the only path of liberation. So therefore, liberation is only understanding way you reach. No understanding, no also women liberation. I’m joking! I’m joking. That’s good. Good.

Q. Lama, if everything is so simple and God is perfect, why did he create all this?

Lama. Perhaps “God created bad,” you created yourself. You know, you understand? Your mind created your uncontrolled situation. God not created all these bad things. The purpose is, bad create is, bad thought.

Q. Let’s say I would like to get out of this cycle of death and rebirth. How could I do this?

Lama. Pardon?

Q. How could I do this? What if I don’t…let’s say I do not want to return to this planet next lifetime. How do I get out of this cycle?

Lama. OK. By recognize what cause you cycle, that cut, OK? If you do not have emotionally attachment, there is no death cycle. Perfect. Cut attachment, that’s all dear. So simple.

Q. In one life time?

Lama. Exactly, yes. If you cut emotionally attachment, there no reason you coming uncontrolled situation effective, OK? Good. Very simple, yes.

Q. It seems to me that, when I read Zen and the other Eastern philosophies, they all seem to say the same thing.

Lama. Of course, yes. Of course. Must be the same thing. It seems, if you deeper check out, even you deeper, deeper check out with right understanding, there is every religions, there is same quality. If you deeper check out. But if you check up superficial, look, say,
“What is your religion?”
“I’m this, that, that.”
“Oh, she is bad, that religion is bad.”

That is poor quality judgment. If you really check up, the, what this religion’s purpose, the idea, how to put into one’s experience, if you know, every religion there is some purpose. But the question is, many religious people, they know good idea but they don’t know how to put into action. This is the problem. And they don’t know how to put the key of method. Many ideas, they lose easily, the method key, how to put into experience. This the problem dear.

Q. Then do you say that your way putting it into action is better than the other way?

Lama. I’m not saying, dear sir. I’m not saying my one is best, other is wrong. I’m not saying. No, I saying is, we all have lack of that one. Do not put…example, you say, “My religion is this.” If you check out how much you understand that religion, how much you acting, then you know, “I’m that religion,” maybe you are not. Am I, you understand, we are communication?

Q. Yes.

Lama. Not only you; it doesn’t mean. I’m talk about, we all. Therefore, the real important thing is, what method, how to put it, practical levels, into life. This is most important, OK? Good, that’s right, OK…yes?

Q. I’m wondering why, when you talk, you are using your beads. Does it help you to think and if it does, is it good for other people to use beads while they talk?

Lama. One way, my mind enjoy, when I talk…

Q. Well, when in your mind enjoys, I mean it’s like, to me it…

Lama. Enjoy! One way my mind enjoyed with this, one way my mind talking. One [of] my mind is enjoy with this, enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! OK? Enjoy this, this is…all way I talking to you. Good. We all concerned enjoyment. Good. That make symbolic reflecting, the enjoyment somehow. Possible. That is symbolic. Not, my happiness not depend on this but there is linked, somehow. Possible. Connection. OK, good, thank you, yes?

Q. I was wondering if you like have any kind of like a vision of the future of society, like do you see us in the future having many different separate countries, and many separate countries like United States, Germany, India and all these different countries having some kind of unity, or do you see an eventual breaking down of separate countries and separate cultures? I’m asking, do you see a value in all this separation or do you ultimately see the separation disappearing?

Lama. Oh, that the time, the time, dear sir. Sometime separation comes, sometimes comes together, sometimes…always changing, changing. You understand? Always changing. There’s no absolutely separate; there no absolutely linked together. No. All relative. So always changing dear, constantly. True. It’s always changing. Look at, you, your life, my life, we check up, so many relationship changing, their country is. Incredible, isn’t it? That is work, the nature of relativity politics mind is always…their natures, their nature. That is, we think, relative world nature, goes this way. Right, sure.

Q. Lama? [Yes?] Among people who have problem in marriage, do you have anything to say in regards to this?

Lama. Oh, I have to say, yes! No understanding each other. You understand? No understanding each other, no communication, lack of good communication. That makes problem. And also, many times, this time, the young people, their marriage is very superficial, looking like that, you know: “Oh, I like her, I like him,” so superficial. Not exactly looking, how we spend together, which way? How? Personality, not checking. And also, we couldn’t see, the beauty is inside. The superficial dirty is only, beauty and good or bad is, we only judge outside. So outside face, behavior, is always constantly change, then…you understand? Oh, this is, is really lack of human quality, lack of knowledge wisdom, which is not understanding human quality. Those, they are disrespectful each other. When the time, relativity is, doesn’t work well, as they expected.

And when, also, the beauty, the marriage is, way of building that marriage is really, I can say, hundred percent, ego; so much ego build up. The basic, the relationship, the marriage is ego relationship. Incredible. It doesn’t work. But one who really understand, try to communicate, and really help each other, sincerely, and try to understand each other, communicate—rather than only physical communication, mental communication—this is very important. But superficial relationship, only understanding external judgment, never lasting, that’s why always breaking down. Small cause, say, man say, “This put here.” Then woman say, “No, put here.” If you check up, so foolish, “Put here, this, here, here,” what difference? You see, you check up that. It’s so foolish, so narrow mind. And then make breaking. Yes?

Q. You said at the beginning God is an illusion. Do you feel that inner light or inner God is also an illusion?

Lama. Illusion? I didn’t say God is illusion. I say, I say, what you build, conceptualization ego, build up, “What I am,” self-imagination, which is nothing-so-ever to do with real, true nature, reality. That, realize that, you reach beyond thought. I did not say God is hallucination. You be careful. I’m conscious, hmm, hmm. Excuse me, yes, yes. We cannot say God is hallucination, cannot say.

Q. Illusion, illusion.

Lama. Pardon?

Q. Illusion.

Lama. God is, cannot say, illusion. But I say, way of we judgment, external world, our, our internal world, we not judging correctly, reasonable, reality way. We judge only relative with hallucination projection, that’s why we are wrong. That make sense you? I did not say God is hallucination and illusion. I’m sorry. Excuse me, dear sir.

Q. So you feel there is an inner light and inner God within the individual?

Lama. Reality, it’s reality. God or inner nature is reality. Yes, yes; yes. But we didn’t see reality; we see superficial. Our own, yes, we say, “This is that, that.” You check up, example, how you feel what you are. You going say, “I’m this, this, this, this.” If you really check up, that is nothing so-ever to do with your reality. Only you build up with your mind. That is hallucination.

Q. Is God your real nature?

Lama. Pardon?

Q. The real human nature, is that God?

Lama. Yes, real human nature has God potentiality. Yes, that’s right. If I going say, real, real absolute reality, the human mind nature and God nature is unity. But we are relativity mind, polluted. That couldn’t see the unity; always say separation. Seeing separation.

Q. Lama? [Yes?] What is music? How does music fit in?

Lama. Music? [Music.] Yes. What you use, you means? Music is sound! [GL] Oh, music, music, depend, what you, which way you play. Which subject you put. Music, if you put subject fantastic way, explain reality, and certain way you play, is beneficial to others, it’s good. But only your own pleasure, ego build up, then perhaps it cause problem for you. OK? It depend which mind, which subject, what impression you giving to others. OK. So you cannot say music is totally bad, OK? Good.

Q. Inaudible…something about the upcoming course (at Lake Arrowhead).

Lama (aside). What is?

Wongmo. She wants to know about the course, the meditation course [Yes]. Now if we talk, or after? [Yes, yes, that’s right, she going talk, yes.]

Lama. If you have no questions, I don’t keep you your time. Question? Yes?

Q. In our culture, Jesus is, by some is taught to be God or understood to be God [yes]. How do you see Jesus Christ?

Lama. I see, I see Jesus is holy man, that’s all, OK? [Yes, OK.] Good, OK, yes. If you understand what Jesus says, beyond the words, fantastic. You understand? But we don’t understand, even Jesus says, “Love everybody.” Jesus says love everybody but we put one atom, this is only I love, rest one is I hate. OK? That’s is against holy Jesus’s idea. OK? Very good. If you understand really what Jesus said is, useful, very useful. It’s very much helpful for mental sickness. Good, good. Thank you.

Q. Jesus also said, “I am the only way. Only through me can one reach God.”

Lama. That’s right, he right, that’s also right. That doesn’t mean, you interpreted, only his speak is only right, rest religion is wrong. Not like that. “Only way” means his reality, he’s showing, that is only reality showing, that way you only reach inner freedom. OK? This is my interpretation. I say, you still don’t understand, I saying, Jesus saying, “Only my way,” that doesn’t mean he is dogmatic, he is making dogmatic view. OK? [Skeptical sound?] You says Jesus says, he says only my way can reach good things. That doesn’t mean he making dogmatic view. He talk about absolute reality, “Only way, that is me.” If you realize that, you can reach; if you go with hallucination wrong conception polluted mind, you are no way reach; there no inner freedom. That is, I think, my interpretation, that Jesus words. Perfect that. OK? But many people interpreted such dogmatic view, that is their polluted mind, OK? That’s why we, we be careful. Many times, religion is perfect, but our limited judge, OK, “This says this, this says that, that, this.” Then we brings down, you understand? Really be careful. OK? Good.

Q. When you said Christ was holy man, and how do you compare this with Lord Buddha?

Lama. Compare?

Q. Compare with Lord Buddha…

Lama. Don’t need compare…

Q. They are holy man or something else?

Lama. Holy…what? They both holy men. Lord Buddha holy man, Jesus holy man.

Q. Why do you call Lord Buddha? Why do we say always Lord Buddha?

Lama. Yes, we say Lord Buddha, we say Lord Jesus also. They both holy…

Q. Holy men?

Lama. Yes. They both realized true nature of reality and try to show us, express it, but we difficult to understand. Right, yes, uh huh, sure. Good, thank you very much.

Q. Lama I have a question [Yes?]. Could you see to the attachment of trying to organize your life versus allowing it to be sort of unplanned or even chaotic? Is it an attachment to try to plan and organize your life and the things in it versus letting things happen?

Lama. It’s not necessarily life organize is only motivation by the attachment; it’s not necessarily. Can be wisdom. Why? Life organize to beneficial to others rather than only concerned yourself, your own enjoyment, it’s possible. When you are integrate, your life is integrate, and wise knowledge man, and peaceful, giving beautiful vibrations to others, it’s so worthwhile. That’s not attachment. Good. We think, Buddhism think, possible we using life, things sense world, without attachment, and reasonable making value, and can use for human existence. We have method, wisdom, OK? Good. It’s not necessarily, if you using the ice-cream, always can be attachment. Not necessarily. Good. That you have to know. OK? To using such world pleasure without attachment and confused, that you search, then you discover inner joyful. Thank you. So, thank you, I think no questions…

Q. I have one question, please.

Lama. Yes, then you [first one, then another person]

Q. Yes. I would like to ask, as I understand Eastern philosophy a little bit [good] they always talk about the healing aspect of it [good]. Now I understand that most Eastern philosophies say that one should not attempt to heal another with the mind. Is this correct? Because of the karma or…

Lama. Yes, yes, I say, that’s good. Healing is, we have also Buddhism and also have Christianity, I think they both, it’s possible, that the power of the mind, putting such way, can heal such disease. It’s possible. Because, you see, it’s so...so simple example. When we are healthy, suddenly you have terrible something information or something happened, you understand, and suddenly you have pain here [heart?]. Therefore, that is comes from the sick mind giving pain into physical levels. So the same thing, such powerful wisdom giving power to, can cure others’ illness. Sure, we have also, Tibetans, we have using the healing, these things, through the meditation power, we use, we often use. Many times we, in Tibet, we, medicine is healing, instead of we taking always pill, we use the healing, the psychic power.

Q. OK, but what about the thought that, when one enters into another’s vibration, they’re fooling around with that person’s karma?

Lama (aside). Excuse me, what is?

Wongmo: If you heal somebody you’re fooling around with his karma, you’re interrupting his karma if you heal him.

Lama. No, it’s not necessarily his karma interruption. Karma means, first of all, karma means, does not necessarily to fixed, first of all you should know. Karma also impermanent and force energy—another force energy can cut and release. That doesn’t mean, that doesn’t mean you destroy something.

Q. Well, I felt this way that, seeing as how we are all the one oneness that it would still be a part of that; that oneness that we are trying to heal, so I accept it.

Lama, Yes, OK, good dear, thank you. Yes?

Q. Can you talk a little bit about reincarnation? In the movie they say that you are reincarnated Lama.

Lama. No. I’m not incarnation lama.

Q. OK. Sometimes reincarnation seems quite foreign to us…

Lama. Oh, incarnation is very simple, incarnation is mental energy; the physical energy is exhausted at the time you dead; the consciousness energy is separated from that and then going another, taking another form, that’s all. Better is simple. Yes, yes, that’s right. Therefore the mental energy, this physical energy is different. The scientific, very difficult. They explain, the mental energy and physical energy is differentiation, but Buddhism explains clear. Good.

Thank you. I think maybe I keeping your time, thank you very much, thank you thank you very much, excuse me. [Applause.]