Monk favors mental strength over material comfort

MIDDLEBURY — After the Dalai Lama finished his lecture at Middlebury College Saturday morning, he answered a few pre-submitted questions. One asked, “How can a person have a fulfilling spiritual life in a world of modern conveniences and materialism?”
His answer: “It has to do with mind.”
“Practice analytical meditation… Sensory life can overwhelm the mental state,” he said, noting that those who have had a taste of what it feels like to have a healthy mind do not rely as much on sensory gratifications. This is something you can practice, he told the audience.
One of the most common and successful Buddhist practices is drawing attention to a single object, he said, “It trains your mind not to be distracted by outside stimulus.”
When the economic crisis hit, many people had disturbed minds, but most disturbed were those very attached to money, the Dalai Lama observed:
“Material wealth provides sensory comfort, that is a short-term happiness… Mental strength allows for deeper satisfaction.”

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