This is the third visit that makes the nun buddhist to Nicaragua. Guen Kelsang Sangden is the spiritual director of national buddhist centers kadampas of Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Chile. She is originally from Northern Ireland and resides in Mexico since 19 years ago. With a warm smile, the teacher exposes how the buddhist teachings can help us to cultivate states of mind gentle to improve our life.
What is the reason of your visit to Nicaragua?
I have come by an invitation from the Buddhist Center Kadampa Bodhichitta to teach two lectures and a course. The two conferences are “to Love without suffering,” and “How to transform your life”. In particular, “How to transform your life” is based on a new book, our main teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, called “How to transform your life”.
In this book, occurs mainly how to transform into good the evil of our human nature by means of controlling the mind. The book says that they are scientific methods to transform into good the evil of our nature.
Explains how to estimate others and how to decrease our self obsession.
What does it mean to change our nature from evil to good? What is the evil of our nature?
The evil of our nature, is our selfishness. To think that we are the center of the universe leads us to selfishness, the anger, the attachment, the pride, the arrogance, intolerance and impatience. This selfish attitude come out all negative mental states.
What do you mean when you say that these teachings are a scientific method?
Scientific method means that it is tested and proven that if we do, it always produces the same effect. In this case, if we estimate to the others is definite that we will experience mental peace and happiness. If we continue with self-obsessive, is it definite that we’re going to generate negative states of mind and we will experience suffering.
We’re used to that what is scientific is something external, like physical science, chemical, or biological. This is about the science internal, of how the mind works. If our mind is peaceful, we always feel happy. This is the best way of benefiting others in a practical way.
In general terms, people accept that selfishness is something negative, but why do we struggle to overcome selfishness?
I think that because we do not understand that it is something negative. We believe that it is something that is necessary. We all want to be happy, and we believe that the way to ensure our happiness is just thinking about the same. We believe that the role of all and all is to make us happy. This leads necessarily to frustration, anger and impatience, because we feel that the function of all is to please us and when our desires are not met we get upset.
I think the way to convince us that selfishness needs to be reduced and eliminated is through the experience.
This is the scientific method. If you experiment that thinking of others diminish my mental states as troubling, I start to be more patient, loving, compassionate, and this brings peace necessarily. If I estimate the other, I feel good, then empirically one observes that this works.
How can we really practice that?
It is not enough to say don’t be selfish. We need to listen to again and again to the teachings, contemplate, and take them to the heart in meditation. Meditation is precisely the method to deshabituarnos of those bad habits mental, verbal and physical acting so selfishly and familiarise ourselves with states of mind, virtuous, loving, and patient. We may think that meditation is the method for acquainting the mind with virtuous thoughts.
Do people who have other religious beliefs, or none, may apply these teachings?
Not only can, but we all need this, because in the buddhist teachings it is explained how the mind works and this is information for everyone, regardless of lifestyle or beliefs of the people. You need to understand how the mind works, because the mind depends on the happiness and suffering.
On the side of the teachings there is no requirement on what a person believes, each person has to adopt and believe what they like. The purpose of this is to improve our lives, solve our problems from the inside.
The teacher Sangden will impart the conference “How to transform your life” today, at 6:30 p. m., in the University of Commercial Sciences (UCC). For more information about this teaching, you can visit the page of Facebook to Meditate in Nicaragua.