New Year message from Lama Jigmé

Dear Friends and Students,

At this time, as an old year is closed and a new year has begun, I would like to share this message with you. While the Western New Year does not correspond to the Tibetan Losar (which this year will be on February 16 2018), it is nonetheless a good time to look back at what has been achieved and to look forward to what remains to be accomplished.

According to Tibetan custom, I would therefore like to wish you, as well as your families and friends, Tashi Delek! Tashi means auspiciousness, whereas Delek means excellent well-being. Auspiciousness: good luck and good fortune, not just for ourselves, but for everyone. Well-being: true happiness is not derived from external conditions, but rather from within, from inner peace of mind. So my wish for you all is: may we cultivate inner peace and radiate this happiness to all those around us!

Of course, as you know, inner peace will not come about by itself. Rather, it arises when we are able to remove the defects obscuring our true nature and thereby to improve our character by developing compassion, kindness and tolerance. The defects obscuring our true nature are the various afflictions of stupidity, hatred, desire, pride and jealousy. We are not condemned to live in the shadow of these afflictions. Rather, we can remove them through the appropriate antidotes. In this way, as we learn to control our mind, we no longer automatically give in to the power of the afflictions: we thus discover and develop inner peace of mind, the true source of lasting happiness.

It is clear that we all want happiness. But first we should realize that lasting happiness depends foremost on peace of mind. Secondly, this peace of mind does not simply fall into our lap. Yet it can be cultivated, as briefly mentioned above and as described in great detail in the Buddhist teachings. We don’t know how long we will live or when we will die, so it is wiser if we make it our priority right now to train and develop our minds in this way.

We all face various problems, but if we know how to reduce our afflicted emotional reactions to these difficulties by applying the appropriate antidotes and methods, then these problems cannot overcome us – this is the kind of mind training that we need to practise. Otherwise, what will happen is that even small difficulties will be able to unsettle us, and our problems will be blown out of proportion by an untamed mind. Learning to train our own mind is something only we ourselves can do; it is extremely important, as it is the basis of inner peace and lasting happiness.

Wishing you long life and good health, Lama Jigmé Namgyal