The fourth workshop was held at the NCERT campus, New Delhi. Prof Rinpoche and Prof Samten graced the occasion with their holy presence and guided the participants. The discussions of the fourth workshop were based on HH Dalai Lama’s books ‘Ethics of the New Millennium’ and ‘Beyond Religion’
The first day was dedicated to Ethics of Restrain and Dealing with Destructive Emotions. Professor Samten paid stress onunderstanding the nature of the mind and the difference between emotions and consciousness. He explained the difference among restrain, suppression of emotion and staying in denial. He further guided the participants to learn spiritual techniques in order to control spiritual practices.
Prof Rinpoche addressed the next session highlighting the importance of spiritual practices like meditation in order to overcome the negative emotions.
The consecutive session dealt with overcoming negative emotions by practicing techniques of mindfulness regularly which was taken by Prof Samten. Scientists have also proved that by practicing meditation and introspection the brain plasticitychanges due to changes in behavior, environment, neural processes, thought process, and emotions.
The second day began with the session on Ethics of Virtue and importance of ‘So pa’, a Tibetan term which means ‘ability to bear or withstand’ which were discussed in detail. Inner qualities do not depend upon material possessions or qualifications but on the spiritual state of a person. These tools help in maintaining inner peace in all situations.
Prof Samten drew a Graph showing that through introspection one can observe his own state of mind by observing the feelings as a response to certain words/ actions/ situations.
Much attention was paid in reflecting how we will spend our day early in the morning after waking up and then pondering over how much we have been able to achieve before going to bed. Practicing this technique everyday will help us in eliminating negative emotions and cultivating positive ones slowly and gradually. He also asked the participants not to go searching for ‘Nirvana’ right from the start, but happiness should be the initial goal.
In the second session, Prof Rinpoche laid stress on self contentment and how it makes the foundation for a happy life. “It is a virtue that cannot be practiced but has to be arrived at. It is not just related to material possessions but also to qualities, emotions, situations etc.”, he said. Further quoting Mahatma Gandhi he said, “The earth has enough to provide for our need but not for our greed.” He summed up the post-lunch session on a positive note saying that he felt that the coming generations will take care of the environment and will be more sensitive and sensible than the present one.
Prof Samten talked about self-discipline and how important it is while practicing compassion. The session ended with a 10 minute meditation for equanimity.
The last day of the workshop was dedicated to ‘Ethics of Compassion’. The appreciation for love and compassion in human being and animals is very profound and it begins even before birth. Compassion is something very natural and it is out of compassion that living beings develop other virtues like tolerance, forgiveness, patience and generosity.
The idea of developing unconditional compassion does not mean that one should neglect his own interests. In fact, it has been observed that the wisest course of fulfilling self interest is when one becomes compassionate, he also becomes happier.
Prof Sumati- a Buddhist Monk and the Programme Coordinator in Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre in Delhi and Mr Naresh Mathur – a lawyer in the Supreme Court, a founding member of the Dalai Lama trust joined the discourse of the third day.
The session ended with a small meditation to feel compassionate and equanimity towards everyone alike.