Mental Wealth

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Dalai Lama Quote of the Week from Lam Rim Bhuddist Centre. The difficulty with a purely materialistic interpretation of life is that, in addition to ignoring an entire dimension of the mind, it does not deal effectively with the problems of this life. A materialistic mind is an unstable mind, for its happiness is built on transient, physical circumstances. Mental disease is as high among the affluent as it is among the poor, which is a clear indication of the limitations of the approach.

Although it is essential to maintain a reasonable material basis on which to live, the emphasis in one’s life should be on cultivating the mental and spiritual causes of happiness. The human mind is very powerful and our worldly needs are not so great that they must demand all of our attention, especially in light of the fact that materialistic success solves so few of the many challenges and problems that confront men and women throughout their lives, and it does nothing for them at death.

On the other hand, if one cultivates spiritual qualities such as mental harmony, humility, non-attachment, patience, love, compassion, wisdom and so forth, then one becomes equipped with a strength and intelligence able to deal effectively with the problems of this life; and because the wealth one is amassing is mental rather than material, it will not have to be left behind at death. There is no need to enter the after-death state empty-handed. (31)

–from The Path to Enlightenment by H.H. the Dalai Lama, edited and translated by Glenn H. Mullin, published by Snow Lion Publications

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