Post Reply
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
Switch to Forum Live View What is Humility according to the Dalai Lama?
3 years ago  ::  May 12, 2011 - 6:58PM #1
amendelo
Posts: 5
The Dalai Lama describes the 2nd verse of training the mind as:
www.dalailama.com/teachings/training-the... 


"Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior."

Can somebody please explain to me how lowliness works in Buddhism?  How do you have lowliness and still value yourself enough to have great value which Budhissm realizes?  How do you have high self esteem while a lowly attitude?  The Dalai Lama describes lowliness as not lowering self esteem?  How is this possible to view yourself as smaller and more inferior than others and not feel bad about yourself? Any Buddhist know any more than me about this verse?

Dalai Lama's description of lowliness:
"Moving on to another line of the verse, I think it is important to understand the expression "May I see myself lower than all others" in the right context. Certainly it is not saying that you should engage in thoughts that would lead to lower self-esteem, or that you should lose all sense of hope and feel dejected, thinking, "I'm the lowest of all. I have no capacity, I cannot do anything and have no power." This is not the kind of consideration of lowness that is being referred to here. The regarding of oneself as lower than others really has to be understood in relative terms. Generally speaking, human beings are superior to animals. We are equipped with the ability to judge between right and wrong and to think in terms of the future and so on. However, one could also argue that in other respects human beings are inferior to animals. For example, animals may not have the ability to judge between right and wrong in a moral sense, and they might not have the ability to see the long-term consequences of their actions, but within the animal realm there is at least a certain sense of order. If you look at the African savannah, for example, predators prey on other animals only out of necessity when they are hungry. When they are not hungry, you can see them coexisting quite peacefully. But we human beings, despite our ability to judge between right and wrong, sometimes act out of pure greed. Sometimes we engage in actions purely out of indulgence--we kill out of a sense of "sport," say, when we go hunting or fishing. So, in a sense, one could argue that human beings have proven to be inferior to animals. It is in such relativistic terms that we can regard ourselves as lower than others. One of the reasons for using the word "lower" is to emphasize that normally when we give in to ordinary emotions of anger, hatred, strong attachment, and greed, we do so without any sense of restraint. Often we are totally oblivious to the impact our behavior has on other sentient beings. But by deliberately cultivating the thought of regarding others as superior and worthy of your reverence, you provide yourself with a restraining factor. Then, when emotions arise, they will not be so powerful as to cause you to disregard the impact of your actions upon other sentient beings. It is on these grounds that recognition of others as superior to yourself is suggested.





Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 13, 2011 - 4:47AM #2
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,400

G'day amendelo:

how lowliness works in Buddhism


I can explain how it isn't practised in psychiatry. That is when the provider stigmatises the consumer! 


Notice in a window

How do you have lowliness and still value yourself enough


More mat time.


Mats & cushions

high self esteem while a lowly attitude


Egotism is a problem; overcome it!


Cushions

lowliness as not lowering self esteem


Remember what the masters have taught.


Tankas

view yourself as smaller and more inferior than others


Look at the alternative. Suppose I discover that someone's knowledge of computing is vastly inferior to mine. If I tell them that bluntly, then they get !$% with me. And so the relationship between us is destroyed!


You gave a long verbatim recitation of His Holiness' words. Rather, contemplate their meaning.


Nyingma shrine


I spent the whole of today at a psychiatric workshop. Professional people-workers need to carefully consider the needs and reactions of others. It is then helpful for them to also develop awareness of their own motives.


Brass wall plaques

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 13, 2011 - 8:08AM #3
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 807

May 12, 2011 -- 6:58PM, amendelo wrote:

The Dalai Lama describes the 2nd verse of training the mind as:
www.dalailama.com/teachings/training-the... 


"Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior."



This verse is a Training Rule for the Development of Compassion. If the Dala Lama holds on to the Notion that he is the Spiritual Leader and the Political Leader of Tibet, then his compassion is tainted with 'Selfish Conceit'.


Conciet is a Fetter which binds one to the Wheel of Eternal Rebirth in Samsara.


Viewing others as superior is an act of 'Self-Abnegation'.


When the Self is Negated, Selfless Compassion is realised.


Compassion is 'Developed' by the removal of Hindrances and Fetters which blind our mental vision.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 13, 2011 - 1:45PM #4
amendelo
Posts: 5

Unfortunately, I am still confused.  Where is the self esteem come into place when you continually put others as better than you.  Saying I am not that great at this, look at all the others.  If you do not believe you have value in your actions and words and attitudes, how far can you go in life, who will listen to you.  The Dalai Lama must believe in his worth incredibly for people to listen to him, otherwise who would listen to words which are not valued by their speaker.   In saying others are so great, they speak so much better than me, my words are not that great,  I am not that great at cooking, look at all the others, and applying this train of lowering thought to all your actions, you learn humility but lose self worth and value.  Without self value, your skills are as great as you think they are, nothing.  You may still have the confidence in terms of belief in your ability to be succesful with this train of thought, but lose the self esteem of believing in the recognition of your worth, talents and attributes.  Only with the self esteem of recognizing your worth, talent and attributes, can you really be very successful in life, as you must value yourself to live up to your worth and for others to believe in your worth as a human.  Sorry for my confusion, I am trying to understand. The Dalai Lama said this second verse is not suppose to lower self esteem, but I do not see how it would not.  How do you view yourself as lower while still have high esteem?

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 13, 2011 - 2:03PM #5
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
It's a good question, Amendelo. Honestly, I'm not sure what the DL is trying to say in your quote. In his comparison of animals and humans, he seems to be saying that while humans have greater capability, animals act with better motives. By saying that, he isn't devaluing human capability.

I hope that helps a little bit. :-)
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 13, 2011 - 2:19PM #6
amendelo
Posts: 5

"




RenGalskap



RenGalskap



Posts: 1,213"






It's a good question, Amendelo. Honestly, I'm not sure what the DL is trying to say in your quote. In his comparison of animals and humans, he seems to be saying that while humans have greater capability, animals act with better motives. By saying that, he isn't devaluing human capability.

I hope that helps a little bit. :-)

That was very helpful Ren Galskap, it is nice to learn that he does not devalue himself which would lesson his potential to serve others, as it takes belief in yourself to accomplish great things.  


I think I was looking at humility wrong as I was seeing lowering as devaluing yourself and raising others up, so I guess that poses the question of how does one have a high value in one's beliefs, actions, opinions, and worth, while using this second verse for training the mind?

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 14, 2011 - 1:05AM #7
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,400

amendelo:


You seem interested in self esteem. That is best discussed in the Spirituality & Mental Health forum.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 14, 2011 - 4:17PM #8
amendelo
Posts: 5

Great Idea, I will check out that thread.  Someone told me yesterday a definition of humility.  Humility is not needing to exalt yourself.  What for because you are already worth it, and you do not need to show off your successes.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 15, 2011 - 5:54AM #9
nnn123
Posts: 1,536

The Dhammapada (the words of the Buddha) has lengthy discussion about morality and spiritual behavior.  These are core beliefs that pervade all Buddhist paths.


Here is one link to the text of the Dhammapada online:

www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/...


 


If you Google, "Dhammapada + humility" - you will probably find a link that lists passages within the Dhammapada about humility.


You could do the same with all spiritual virtues... - peace, patience, kindness, morality, compassion, goodness, etc. etc. etc. ---- and passages from the Dhamapada will come up with the Buddha's words about the various spiritual virtues.



 


 


 


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  May 15, 2011 - 3:47PM #10
amendelo
Posts: 5

Wow Great Idea!!!

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook