Why are we in this situation? Where are we going?
Do our lives have any meaning? How should we make use of our lives?
How does Buddhism view the position of beings in the world and
the ways humans can make their lives meaningful?
In this course the Dalai Lama presents the
basic world view of Buddhism: how Buddhism views the position of
beings in the world and how human beings can make their lives meaningful.
The Dalai Lama elaborates on the meaning of life
by pointing out the causes behind our situation as well as the
altruistic purpose to which life can be put. In this course he
offers a view of inner psychic cosmology that has had great influence
throughout Asia. From a vivid description of how we become trapped
in a counter-productive maelstrom of suffering, there emerges a
sense of how Buddhists place themselves in the universe. The unsettling
description of the steps of entrapment is in fact a call to action,
for it shows how, through reversing the process, the limiting prison
of selfishness can be turned into a source of help and happiness
This course is based on lectures given by
the Dalai Lama in London in 1984, published in The
Meaning of Life from a Buddhist Perspective (Wisdom
Publications - 2000). Both the book and this course include
commentary by Jeffrey Hopkins (presented in boxes in this