For Centuries, Tibetans have been devoted to the study of human consciousness. The Tibetan Buddhists believe that there is no greater vehicle than compassion and forgiveness to counteract the suffering in the world. Their unique Buddhist practise and beliefs provide a framework for the attainment of mental peace and enlightenment, a goal they are encouraged to pursue from an early age. They are taught to value contentment, fulfilment, and mental peace above all else, since one’s state of mind is believed to be the only possession that survives from one lifetime to the next.
The classical portraits of the Tibetan people by Phil Borges are an outstanding representation of a culture who embody compassion as the core of their existence. More than any other race the Tibetans have introduced pure Buddhist teachings to the world. With the forced expulsion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from his homeland in 1949 the world has benefited greatly from his presence. Having audiences with most western leaders his influence cannot be underestimated.
He continually speaks of non-violence and compassion as the essential qualities for a peaceful world.
“From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and wants to avoid suffering. In this we are all the same. Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion. The reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another”.
Our distinctive attachment to the feeling
Of an independent “I” works to inhibit
True compassion can only develop
And grow as such self-grasping is reduced
And eventually eliminated.
The Power of Compassion
Photographs by Phil Borges
Text by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Prologue by Jeffrey Hopkins
Published by Rizzoli Publications Inc.
Available online at www.biblio.com