How to be kind to all sentient beings by understanding the self

Hi everyone, As the year draws to a close, I thought we have to look back to 2017 and reflect on what we have been doing. I like to thank all our students/friends here and in Europe for their unfailing support. I had a wonderful time in Switzerland with my friends and students both Tibetan and Swiss. Everybody did their best to make my stay comfortable. I enjoyed every moment tremendously.
I have been visiting Switzerland every year since 2012 and every year I find the same wonderful hospitality and warm friendship. I really feel fortunate to have such wonderful support.
Since, my main reason to visit Switzerland is teach those who have continued to maintain their interest to have me come to teach, it is my duty to talk about the topic we have discussed.
We have been doing teaching on emptiness according to great masters like Chandra Kirti, the great Indian master. The whole reason for understanding emptiness is to dispel our ignorance which makes us hold onto an independent self which is responsible for all our misfortune. We have to make an attempt to understand that everything is dependent and nothing is independent. As it were, there is no independent self either. We have to remember the example of the coiled rope which appears like a snake in the twilight or late evening because of lack of light and we get a fright but on through examination, we realise that it is infact just an illusion and there is no real snake in the rope. In the same manner, our ignorance makes us think there is an independent self but in reality, there is no such self at all. This is what emptiness is all about in a nut shell. So, whenever, our self obsession arises, we have to withdraw ourselves and not be selfish and self-centred.
To understand emptiness is difficult enough but realising it is far harder. Therefore, we have to create merit in order to understand the nature of emptiness. When our mind is diluted with ignorance, aggression, desire and aversion, there is no way, we can ever hope to realise emptiness. We have to constantly, keep our minds clear of these afflictions and only then it will be conducive to realise emptiness. When the mind is free from undesirable emotions like the ones I just mentioned, then it is capable of being active to dispel our misconceptions. When the mind is under the influence of desire and aversion, our wisdom mind is weakened and has no strength to be active and focus on emptiness. Its just like a emaciated person cannot do anything concrete owing to severe weakness, in the same way, when our minds are dominated by negative emotions, it gives no opportunity to our positive minds to do anything meaningful.
That is why creating merit focuses our mind on the positive aspects of the Dharma and this enables us to keep our mind free from delusions giving space and focus on the positive things like wisdom and altruism.
The negative emotions and the positive emotions are competing for dominance within our mental system. Dharma practice, helps us to encourage the positive emotions to rise to the occasion and make their presence felt. This helps us to remain more relaxed and composed in life and consequently, more at peace with ourselves. It is a long term effort and nobody should expect any quick results. The main thing is to pursue this goal with unabated effort and never give up. As time goes by one will be able to see the results. So, friends, take a long out look and preserver in both your studies and practice. Don’t be in a hurry or entertain high expectations. You will reap what you saw. Whatever and however much effort you put, the result will be compatible to your own personal practice.
It goes with Bodhicitta too. At the moment we are obsessed with self-aggrandisement. We seldom think of other people’s interest but always only ones own self interest. This has deceived us until now by always giving us the impression that we are doing good to ourselves and in the process, we fail to consider the plight of others. Our self importance and lack of consideration for others makes us commit immense amount of harm either directly or indictectly. This in turn rebounds back upon us in future in the form of pain commensurate to the pain we have inflicted upon others through our ill conceived self-centerdness. Therefore, being kind, compassionate and caring is the way to ones own happiness here and into the future. Kindness is appreciated by all beings including animals. It is the single most important human emotion which is universal in appeal and appreciation. It is the single most important human emotion which is the very life blood of all sentient beings for their personal survival. Every sentient is brought up with the love of their mother, be it a bird, animal or human being. It is what each of us thrived until now through the love and care of our loved ones. That is why, kindness is like a universal language that every being understands and appreciates. This is what makes us happy, others happy and brings us together without boundaries created by selfishness and ignorance. Therefore, let us all try to be kind to each other. This is Dharma.