Episode 85

May 12, 2024


Hopelessness | Ajahn Brahm

Hopelessness | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Hopelessness | Ajahn Brahm

May 12 2024 | 00:49:55


Show Notes

Ajahn Brahm gives guidance on how to see through mind states of hopelessness and how to end hopelessness using skilful means.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 5th November 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Hopelessness by Ajahn Brahm [NOTE: AI generated transcription – expect errors!] Okay. Then it may be strange for some of you to hear this story, but I do recall many years ago, maybe after I'd been in Perth 1 or 2 years and about 19 years ago now. I remember giving a talk on a Friday night in an old centre in North Perth. There's only a small room. But as I was giving the talk. Most of the people in that room walked out. It was a hopeless talk, and I knew it was a terrible discourse, which I gave. And after that, it was only the very few very, very kind friends and also those who are deaf. Who carried on listening to that. So I remember afterwards I was thinking, ah, this is hopeless. Sort of. I'll never be able to give a talk. And I thought I'd spend my whole life just being this marvellous meditating man, just living alone, not being bothered by people. I should have really quit what I was ahead, but instead I persisted and started giving talks. And now many people come to listen to them. But the reason I tell that story is just that, to show that sometimes when we think things are hopeless, we get just totally disappointed. We think there's nothing can be done. And some things as hard things change with his persistence, with effort, where the sustaining of your intention, your goal takes you to do something good. So this evening's talk is going to be about hopelessness and the end of hopelessness. And there is that. So the main reason I'm giving this talk is because I was, uh, desperately seeking for something to talk about this evening when somebody reminded me about an election which happened recently, and they were feeling very hopeless and depressed, as many people are, but many people obviously feeling very happy. But this talk is especially for those people who are feeling hopeless or disappointed. And not just for that, but for many other things which happen in life. Sometimes it is as if that's all our expectations, all the things we work really hard for all come to nothing. And I mean. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Our life seems hopeless because we wonder sometimes. What's the point? We get this feeling of intense disappointment, hopelessness, and of course, when people get to those situations, then sometimes they either get depressed, suicidal, even, or sometimes they just get angry and to say, take out their hopelessness on others. You see that in many parts of our world where, um, nations or even like monks feel so hopeless because you ask people to turn off their mobile phones and it never works. I'm going to go and kill myself. I think. But sometimes people actually get that negative attitude. They want to destroy themselves or destroy others. And you see that in some societies where hopelessness breeds violence and breeds terrorism and breeds wars. And place all sorts of other terrible social ills. But in particular you can see that happening oneself. Now, when that hopelessness gets very, very strong, we'll liable to get you to do some very, very unskillful, unhelpful, violent things in this world. So what is going on there? And how can we transcend this feeling of hopelessness, which will come from time to time in all of our lives? Of course, going back to that original story, just when I gave this really terrible talk and everybody sort of left. You did feel hopeless at that time. But one of the things which always keeps you going as a monk is this this beautiful teaching, uh, which is, uh, certainly, um, central to Buddhism, but which is obvious to all other parts of life and all other teachings of life, this wonderful teaching of impermanence and each other. Things are always changing. They never stay the same. Things are always moving. And because they're always moving, we know that this too will pass. As we said in that book, actually, in that book of opening the door of the heart, the original story of this too Will pass had to be taken out, and we put a new one in because it was too close to another story, which was published in another book. And that original story is pertinent here. It's not in the book. It was a story very similar, but the story of the emperor, the young man who was always depressed when things went wrong and when he was depressed when things went wrong. He stayed in his room and he would sell. He wouldn't do anything. And of course, very often you see that when people have the feeling of hopelessness, disappointment, they tend not to do anything. When there's something to be done, they miss opportunities, they sulk, they get disappointed. And of course, because of that. The bad times in that kingdom, for the Emperor lasted longer. When things went badly, he just didn't do anything. And because of that, the bad times lasted exceedingly long. But part of hopelessness is actually not realizing just what happens when things go well. When things go well, we tend to take it for granted. And because we take it for granted. Just like the Emperor in the story, the Emperor, when things were going well, we'd have parties and celebrations. And because again, he wasn't working. The good times never lasted very long. And what it needed was, say, ministers, the king's advisers to me together. And I decided to present him with this ring is called the Emperor's Ring. And the only special thing about that ring was on the outside was inscribed the words this tour will pass. And those words helped him throughout his life. When things were going badly for him. He'd always never get the feeling of desperation because he knew no matter how bad it got. This too will pass. And that gave him hope. And hope gave him motivation to put forth effort and energy instead of sulking still to do his job. And because of that hope and the energy which came from it, knowing that this too will pass. He worked hard even in the desperate times. And of course the things did pass very quickly. And when things were going well, instead of having parties, it would continue to work because he remembered even the good times, he still will pass. You cannot take those good times for granted. You still have to be active to maintain that goodness, that health, that prosperity, that happiness, as long as you possibly can. And so, because this too will pass even in a good times. He worked hard. And of course, the good times lasted longer than usual. He became a very successful and very well loved emperor. And of course, you can see the moral of that story. Sometimes we do get depressed. Sometimes we do get disappointed. Sometimes our expectations do get frustrated. But when you remember, this too will pass. You will never give up. You will keep on because you know the situation which is broken. You at the moment will eventually change, and when it does, all your hard work will come to fruition. Whenever you are planting a garden, it takes years for those seeds to grow. Even some of the trees we planted at our monastery in serpentine. I will never see them when they're fully grown trees, but nevertheless, I'm very glad to have planted them to a watered them and seen them grow into seedlings. That is enough to give me hope to know that you are putting forth our effort for something good in the future, even though you may not see its fruition. You know he will eventually come. Hopelessness disappears when you understand that this too will pass and you understand this beautiful cause and effect. So whenever we get desperate, whenever we get upset, whenever we get a feeling of hopelessness, we should always put that, uh, words into our mind. This too will pass. It won't be the same. And just like you. Just like me. Just like anybody living in this world. There are times when it feels just is really hopeless. Things are really going all wrong. It's one of those days again. Do you ever say that when things are going wrong? It's one of those days again. I shouldn't have got up out of bed this morning. Sometimes you get up on the wrong side of your bed in the morning. Monks never do that because we don't see from there. I get up on the wrong side of my mat, sleep on the floor sometimes in the morning. But for every time you get up on the wrong side of the bed and there's a rotten morning, there's many other mornings when you get up on the right side of the bed, when things are well. Now please keep those in mind as well. And then we don't lose hope. Sometimes it's just a focusing on all the faults and things which go wrong in the world, which create this illusion of hopelessness. It's this feeling of depression and disappointment. Too often the depression, disappointment, frustration, lack of hope again comes from focusing on only one part. It's just too easy to sing all. Now Mr. Bush is in the white House. Oh, now Mr. Howard is sort of elected in Canberra. Oh, this. Whatever else you say. Oh, that. You think this whole person is terrible, but you all know that life goes on is always something good. Happens when this something bad. One of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism, which I like because it's actually outside of my tradition and council. Mahayana. Everybody's got Buddha nature. There's always something good in everybody. When you get really hopeless and depressed, you're saying, oh, Mr. Bush is nothing good in him. Oh, Mr. Howard is nothing good in him. Oh, my husband, he's even worse than Mr. Bush. Oh, my wife, he's worse. Mrs. Howard. Maybe I don't even know what she's had, but I'm sure she's a very nice lady. But the point is that we can always just focus on the negativity. And in Buddhism we say everything's got Buddha nature. Everything we can learn from, we can make something out of it. Out of adversity. Now, this is the perhaps the of all of the strategies to deal with disappointment and frustration and a feeling of hopelessness. When you understand that strategy, there's always something you can do. There's no such thing as hopelessness. I don't know the meaning of the word. Hopelessness is the word doesn't exist. It's only an illusion. It's a sort of a one way of looking at things. It's a distorted perception. It's a blindness. There's always hope. There's always something we can do no matter what we're experiencing. You tell this to the children who are about to face the Te exams? So many children are going to get their results, and many of them are going to come bottom. Someone has to come bottom. Not everyone can get into university. Many are going to get very, very disappointed. When something you can do about that. You don't need to feel life is hopeless. In fact, I've been telling children who've been coming to my monastery for the last couple of weeks. They've been very afraid about their exams. They say, listen, if you fail your exam, great. May. I don't have to do any more exams anymore. But those people who pass the exams are going to go to university and do more exams, or they're going to have so much hard work now you're free. You're so lucky if you fail your tea. Okay. I get a big trouble with the parents, but the children love me. Because you have to keep on taking exams until you fail one, and when you fail one, then you can stop. You might as well get it over and done with sooner than later. So big deal. So the point is this not hopeless. And many look at the mug sitting next to me here. He failed his tea and. And what a fine example of a young man that is wearing robes. Do. He didn't even take his tea. Instead, he became this amazing chef. And so it's very welcome when I'm on the street. And so the point is that it's not hopeless when you feel that there's always something else you can do with what you have. Well, of course, as I talk, which I gave at curtain, when one door shuts, there's always another door opening. And that's what you have to find. So it's never hopeless. Sometimes we feel that, despite what John Brown says, that sometimes my problems, my difficulties, my pain, my imminent death is so great. That it is hopeless. It's not hopeless. Even when you're dying, that's a great time. To become enlightened. So never throw away your imminent death. So wonderful opportunity. For example, if you're dying, you get free access to Edinburgh. I'll go there straight away. And it's a great time actually to contemplate that. What's really happening in life too often that we are quite heedless. We take things for granted. But when pain, disappointment, imminent death, bankruptcy, sort of cancers, our family sort of falling apart. Whatever happens now, that's a wonderful time in your life. At the moment it may not seem it, but when you understand that it has got this Buddha nature, this this sense that there's something in there which you can learn from, which you can grow, from which you can make use of to become a better person. Then you understand what we mean, that nothing is hopeless. Just like every being mystical Buddha nature. According to the Mahayana teachings, every person has got an aspect of goodness inside of them. The same way that every situation has got something beautiful which we can use. I could dual wrapped him to a dirty cloths. If we unwrap the cloth, go to the jewel inside. There's always something we can find which is valuable, which is so useful for us. As it says in the the old Buddhist suitors is the most beautiful lotuses. They grow out of the mud. The safe in that mud is the seed of this beautiful, pure lotus. In the same way, in the mud of our lives, in the sort of the dirty, pulpy, uh, smelly manure of what happens to us, a lotus can grow a beautiful, pure, fragrant, wonderful flower. So understanding there is always a possibility there. There's no such thing as hopelessness. It's just another opportunity. It may be a tough opportunity, but still is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Stephen. I'm not quite sure if I said this last week. If I have, please interrupt me. But I've said this at a talk recently at Curtin University. I was there last Wednesday. I recall this occasion when a woman came up to me in Malaysia. She wanted some personal counselling because she had been raped. So I tell that story last week. No. Okay. She had been raped, and she came to see me for some help. What we do to. Of course, as a monk, you look at her very quickly and to see just how her mind is, whether she is ready for some deep teachings or ordinary teachings. I realized right away that this woman was quite advanced, you know, wisdom and the ability to see a deeper level of that experience. And so straightaway I looked her in the eye and said, you're very fortunate to have been raped. To which she was surprised. But interested because you'd never heard that before. Of course, it's difficult for me to say that, but I know what I was doing, I explained. So that's an opportunity for you. It's a terrible thing which has happened. And of course I don't approve of it in any which way. But it's there. It's happened. I really think that you can grow from that. You can learn from that, that you can actually make use of that. And when you've actually made use of that, grown from that, and transcended that terrible experience of abuse. Then you will be able to be the one who can help other people through those experiences in a way which I, as a monk, as a mayor, will never be able to do. This is a chance for you. It's a tough door which is opening for you. But I thought that that lady was courageous and strong enough to take it. I haven't seen her for a while, but I hope she has taken that door. Instead of being a victim, instead of denying, instead of thinking. It's a terrible thing which has happened. Instead of losing hope for her future, she can incorporate that in to her spiritual life. It's the old simile of the truckload of dung. The more done, the better the fertilizer, the more you can grow in the garden, the spiritual garden of your heart. I love saying things which people don't expect, which challenged them, which made them see things in a different way. Because one of the reasons that woman came to me for counselling, because she'd obviously been to all the other counsellors. She probably hadn't got any money left. So that's why she came to the muck. Because we never charged. But obviously nothing had worked. That's why she came. And so sometimes you actually change the words to suit the person. And I think I hit the spot by the reaction of that woman. I think she understood what she should do and how she should proceed. Instead of denying, instead of feeling guilty, instead of looking, looking for revenge, instead of feeling hopeless. There was hope there. A challenge. A path with very few women a strong enough. To ask you to take. But if she could take that, I could see at the end of that path she would be an amazing lady. So much wisdom and compassion because of what she had experienced. That has always been my attitude to what happens in life. No matter what I have to do, no matter what I experience, no matter what. Burdens are given to me in life. I say, okay, let's stop complaining. Let's go and do it. Do something about it. That is the potential. For not getting, uh. What's the word? Um. Overwhelmed by what happens in life. Because you should know that we can't control elections. We can't control our health. We can't even control our safety and security. No matter how many burglar alarms you have in your house. Still, the burglars will find a way in some way or other. But actually I would tell you, if you really want the best Berkeley lab, of course, is the monks chanting. And I said this recently when I went to a lady's house to do a blessing, and I can see them in the corner over there. And I was telling them it was the lady, actually, who offered a catena last, last week at our monastery that she was woken up one morning and about 4:00. She thought it was her husband. I usually went to work very early and it was her husband downstairs in her house. She saw through one of the windows the head of a burglar. He was about to come in and she shouted on the burglar because it wasn't all the way in yet, took his head out of the window and ran off. She'd caught him just in time, and a situation where just a shout would cause him to run off. She checked her house. No burglar been in yet. He was about to go in. So of course you did what most people would do. She called the police and she alerted her neighbors. Especially one neighbor who replied said, look, I don't have to be afraid of burglars. I've got security screens and security shutters and alarms. I've got everything in my house. Nobody can come in here. And she told this, uh, this lady who did that Catena last week, she said, you should get all these alarms and stuff. Then the burglars could never get in your house. Because this lady never had any alarms at all. She had something else. She said, I don't need the alarms because the monks have charged in my house. My house is safe and said the burglar couldn't come in. And of course her neighbor said, ah, you're just crazy. Just superstitious. But when her neighbor checked her house, she found that the burglar had already been in her house. Now it's just coming in the next house just to get some nice desserts, as it were. And it was showed. That doesn't matter how much lives you have the burgers and get in the house, but if you have the chanting or the burglars, they could never get in your house. But sometimes the charging wears off, so you have to have it renewed every now and again. Instead of all of that story is that sort of, you know, so so what if they do come into your house? I remember one lady, she told me that I'd charged in her house and somebody burgled her house. So what did I steal? I said, start a couple of bottles of whiskey. And I said, excellent. I think that's a good Buddhist burglar. Get your whiskey out of the house, sweetie. But nevertheless, there's always something you can do. What happens if the burglar does come in your house? Oh, they were leaving. Of all these things you have to worry about. Imagine if the burglar came into the house and they stole your television. Oh, marvellous. Thank you so much, burglar. Now I can meditate instead of watching those stupid movies on TV at night. And if they stole your car? Oh, wonderful. I can get a bicycle and get some exercise. I'll probably live much longer that way. Oh, thank you, burglar, for giving me the opportunity to exercise. So there's always something you could do with what you got. So it's again, that positivity, the way of looking, which doesn't see it as hopeless but sees as an opportunity. There's something you can do no matter what happens. And of course, you know, this is probably coming. Tell your children, if they do father to you, they can always become monks and nuns that are monasteries. And that will motivate them to study like hell. There's always something you could do with what you've got. So is it really hopeless? Whatever you have to experience in life, no. It's always opportunities. When you get sick, you get cancers. If ever that happens to you when you first get diagnosed, you think, oh, my whole life has fallen apart. All my expectations have now been ruined. It hasn't fallen apart. There is something you can do and. Does anyone who has actually worked with Kansas? I was about to say Kansas sufferers. I shouldn't say that. Cancer experiences. It's amazing just how many people just say what a wonderful blessing that was. Painful. So it's very, very uncomfortable. But teaching them a lesson. So many people have told me that they wouldn't have given up that experience for the world. It's amazing how many people said that. He really showed them the meaning of life and it showed them care. It to show them how many friends they have and how wonderful that friendship could be. What we all love is. If somebody was asking me today. They wanted me to go and see a doctor. I said, no, look, I'm healthy. So now please go and see a doctor. I said, okay, that I'll get sick for you. But because it's wonderful having a monk who's sick. Someone who you can look after. So I'm very, very sorry I'm so healthy. I'm not depriving you of the opportunity to make good karma by looking after me. I always some of the disciples, devotees. If a man gets sick. Oh, they're so happy. I think they go give this medicine and that medicine and all sorts of other things. This is monk and your friend in Thailand, an American monk, when he was visiting his mother in Chicago. You know how Chicago is such a cold and icy place. He slipped on the snow and broke his leg. And so you had to go to hospital. And he told me that. No, you know, when his mother heard the news, she rushed to the hospital. She came into the ward. He had his leg up in a plaster and instead of her mother, his mother saying, oh, you poor thing. He said, I've never seen my mother so happy. So why is smiling so much, mother? And a mother replied, because, son, now I've got you exactly where I want you. Where I can mother you for the next couple of weeks, and you can't escape back to your monastery in Thailand. It's lovely to be able to look after someone who's sick. It's a privilege. And if you're sick. You're giving that privilege to others. You're giving them the opportunity to be compassionate, to be caring in a way which sometimes we don't have the opportunity to do. When people are healthy. So sometimes if you're sick, don't think of yourself. Think of the opportunities you've given to others to show this beautiful side of human nature called care, devotion. Love someone who really is looking after you and caring for you. That's why some sicknesses become such a beautiful occasion of giving. So this is something even positive in sickness. So that's why in this temple here, I've often told you there's nothing wrong with being sick. If people say something wrong, they're not really understanding the truth. It's natural. It's normal. It happens to everybody. Therefore, you should never say there's something wrong with me. I'm sick. Why should you? Should you say there's something wrong with me? I'm sick. Some of the disciples here are great because whatever I say, they actually put into practice. I got some complaints from doctors. Let's say your disciples come to my surgery and they say. Doctor, is something right with me? I'm sick and they call the psychiatrist. But they don't. But you get the message there because there's nothing wrong with being sick. There's nothing wrong with things going wrong. We do get disappointments in life. Things go wrong. They don't go according to plan. People fail exams. We crash our cars. We get divorced. Sometimes we have arguments, we get sick, have elections which go one way, elections which go other ways. Your soccer team sometimes loses. Welcome to life. This is life. The problems are that we misunderstand life. We live in delusion that things should always go in the right way. And sometimes when it doesn't go right, we've got the idea of something is not right. This is not just we've got what we call perceptions of injustice. And that is probably the underlying cause for the anger, the angst, the frustration, even the violence which sometimes comes out when we don't get what we want. You think it's not right? It's not just. That Mr. Bush is in the white House. It's not just what's happening to this group or that group. It's not just what happened to me. Why me? You know the Buddhist answer to that question. Why me? Why not? Yeah, you know that one. Why not you? It's going to happen to somebody. So why don't you? Maybe it's your turn now. But there's no cause. There's no reason it's unjust. And I mention this especially. And when I was at Curtin, because my main thought was on Buddhism when he went. Rights and human rights is always about this underlying theme of justice. And in order to get this justice in the world, we have this, uh, Bill of rights and declaration of human rights. And there's many constitutions which are supposed to safeguard this idea of justice. But what is justice? Isn't the law of karma. Sane is like a cosmic justice and underlying fairness of life. It's only because we only see part of the picture. We don't see the whole. We cannot see the causal connections. Why some people have to experience a cancers while some people don't, while some people are rich, while some people are poor. While some people can live in safe societies like we do or some people can. While some people can watch the TV at night while monks can't. But the. The rest of the course. You can see there is some fairness to the whole story which I tell, which is a classic story in that book again was let's throw this. The prisoner who was Incarnate Prison Farm, used to go and see him teaching meditation. This old lag, as they say, been in and out of jail for a long time. And he came and saw me, wanted a personal interview, and he said the crimes which I put in jail for, I did not commit, I'm innocent, he claimed. He added, he said, I know you probably have heard that before. The all crimes in jail cell are innocent, but I would not lie to you. This is true. And I believed him. Actually, I found out he was innocent. He didn't commit that crime. Is that unjust? You go to jail for a crime you didn't do. Is that people would say that, yes, I'd say that's unjust. But the criminal never thought that because he told me afterwards, he said, but there were so many other crimes I did. I wasn't caught for this fair. Now do you understand about perceptions of justice and injustice? What's fair and what's unfair? Whenever you think it's not fair. This is unjust. Is it the case you're seeing the full picture? Or are you just looking at only part of what's happening? Every time you get caught by the speed cameras and you think, oh, this is really unfair. Why me? How many times you've been speeding and there hasn't been a speed camera there? Do you ever think, oh, this is unfair? Why did I not get caught today? Now, can you understand about justice and injustice? Too often there is a misperception. Of injustice. Not seeing the full picture. Which leads us to a sense of hopelessness and depression. What it really means is that we're out of control. Hopelessness means that we're disempowered. There's nothing we can do anymore. It's unfair. But once we see that there is an underlying cosmic justice occurring in the world, which the Buddha called the law of karma. Then there's no such thing as a hopeless situation anymore, and there's always something that can be done. Sometimes the understanding, the full extent of the law of karma. Makes it very easy to be more accepting of the way things are. Really is your karma. To be under a government led by Mr. Howard. You deserve it. Your husband is your gardener. You have to just enjoy it for me. So the point is that what it really means? First of all, there's a course there instead of complaining about it. We understand there is some justice. There is some fairness in life. It's only sometimes that we're just blind to all of the. Underlying causes we just judged too quickly. We don't see the full picture, and therefore we get this sense of injustice and the violence which comes from that. However, as I mentioned in a stress that this talk about, uh, Buddhism in human rights, that's only half of the idea of karma. To understand what we have to experience some of the difficulties, sometimes the problems, they have got, their causes, there are reasons there for it. There's no such thing as being really unjust. Life is fair. Your health, your happiness, your freedom, your prosperity. You do deserve it. Life is fair. You've worked for that. But. What's happening now? What are we doing about it? That is the other half of the law of karma. Were you experiencing now? This being cautious. It is just. But it does not mean that. Oh, I just got to sit and enjoy this. I've just got to sit back and enjoy another four years of this government, or another three years of that government I got to endure. And I don't know how many years of my wife I got to endure this cancer. I shouldn't do anything about it. It's just my karma just going to let it happen. I got to endure sort of fighting my exams. I got to enjoy being a monk or whatever it is. That's not what karma is. That's fatalism. Nothing to do with Buddhism. The point is, yes, it's here. It's got its causes. It's fair. It's just it's an opportunity. For you to do something about it. Too often when people talk about carbon, I just think of the calm of the past without adding the karma of the present. So what we're doing now is also very, very important. So what I mean by it is not hopelessness. If I just thought that karma from the past is going to just determine our life, we can't do anything about it. Because, you know, I might have hay fever because we punched a saint in the nose in our past life or whatever else you think you did. But no, it's not hopeless. There is something to be done. And that's where that we have our effort, our energy to actually to try and make a better world, to do something. So we don't get depressed. We don't as salt in the the bedrooms of our mind. Not the Emperor. This too will pass. And we put forth energy to try and build whatever we think is goodness, kindness, generosity, tolerance, harmony. We have to keep working to build that in our world. It does not matter if there are belligerent governments, we will still try and develop harmony and peace. By example, by word, I see to show that that is a better way. And this is actually our duty in the world. No matter just what happens, we still work hard for our principles. We never give up. Because we know if we keep on working for that, which we know is good for that, which we know is kind for that, which we know is something which is going to be useful in our world. Eventually that will come. You know, I had this little theory about elections because we had lots of elections recently. I don't know if you'd agree with this, but think about this. Why don't we have actually people of different ages having different weights for their votes? So that people who like 60 maybe only have only accounts for over 66 and above the way they're only accounts for a third. 40 and above. They have their vote counts for two thirds, and so 20 and above. They get the full vote. Because really, when you think about it, if you are sort of 20, then whatever the government does, you got to pay for that for about 60 or 70 years. As for those of you who are 60 and over you, you know you're on the way out anyway, so it's not going to matter. So it isn't. Is it more important, sort of, that the young people have more of a say what's going to happen, because they have to live with the consequences longer than anybody else. So I really think that sort of 60s and overs, you know, was relegated to a quarter. The 80s are over. You shouldn't get a vote at all because you're almost gone. So it's a waste of time. What do you think that. Do I think that's going to be a new electoral programme? A fairly simple thing, but you can see the point of it there. And it says sometimes that, you know, it's the outcomes. But I was saying in kirtan the other day that one of the wonderful things about Buddhism, because we have the idea not just of calm, about reincarnation. It means that we don't have just children's rights because they were focusing on, you know, women's rights, human rights, children's rights. And they said, what about all people's rights? And that's never as important or focused as like her children's rights. But nearly all people are abused. You know why? Because I think it's a waste of resources. And why should we look after our old people? We just got that beautiful. Was that that, um, the Sunset Home Trust in Netherlands some years ago. It's a beautiful home. And the elderly people got kicked out of there because it was prime real estate. Why? So we have all people's rights. I'm very interested in all peoples rights as I get older. 7s And as a Buddhist, we do have all peoples rights because they're going to come back in and out of their lives. And if we don't look after our old people, we're going to suffer when they become children in their next life. As is happening now, the problem with youth is because it's the old people we didn't look after in the last generation getting their own back. That's why it's so. It's amazing. Why now we have delinquent youth, all those delinquent youths who do burnouts in Scarborough Beach and attack the police. There are probably those old people who were left in nursing homes to rot, and now they take their revenge. And in this line, I don't know if that's really true or not, but it's a nice thing. The interesting thing to say, the point is that we do look after old people and care for them. So when we talk about human rights, this is something that is very wonderful about the law of karma and about the law of reincarnation. This is a big picture. And in the big picture of things, look, I mean, Mr. Howard only three years, Mr. Bush, four years, Mr. Blair, was it five years? No. So quickly, when you look at the really big picture, you can actually see the whole movement and what happens in the world. If you just look so small pictures. Sometimes it does get quite depressing, but you actually do see some very positive and wonderful things happening in the world. Just look at this room here. This. How many people of different nations are coming together as friends? At 20 years ago. You'll never find that. Look at just how we mingle together. There has been an improvement in human rights, which is just basically compassion and kindness and wisdom. There has been a lessening of, um, intolerance and exploitation and abuse. Sure we fight many battles and then we lose a couple and then we fight some more. But the whole tide of history of our human race is always more compassionate, more wise, more kind. The values of the past. If you look in history. Many of those values are seen as anachronistic, as harmful and hurtful. And an alumna. No part of any society. There is still much more work to be done. Which is good because that stretches us. It would be terrible if it was the perfect world. It was the perfect world to be nothing. To stretch us, to be. No need for compassion. There'll be no need for wisdom. We would have no growth without the fertilizer of disappointments and things going wrong. But nevertheless, we can have that hope that this is a world which may go two steps forward and then one step back, but it's always going forward. Look at your history. See how this world has grown. Sure there are problems, but with every problem there are solutions. And instead of getting depressed or hopeless. Instead of making the problem worse with depression, with frustration, or with violence. It's always something we can do. Again, it's planting a seed for the future. Maybe you may not see that future in this life, but maybe you'll see in the next. Seeds of people working together and living together. Seeds of husbands and wives learning to form a family. To letting go of the selfishness and the arguments. To be able to give of themselves for something greater than the person. Personal ego, and abandoning herself to some degree of selflessness. It's part of the Buddhist teaching of non-self, is abandoning yourself more and more and more. The more selfless you are, the happy you are. And you can see that happening in some relationships where people really do give up of themselves for us, for the community, for the nation, for the world. And that's a very, very beautiful thing. And you can see that selflessness is the roots of compassion and of forgiveness. And it's of course, the cause for great happiness and also for prosperity in our world. These are things which people see when they see they get inspired. When they get inspired, they put it into practice. We do find a more harmonious world. Sure, it grows slowly, but it's growing. So there is hope in this world. There are times when one is in the middle of the dung and it covers one, and one cannot see the horizons. I can't even see further than one's nose. But when that happens, when you're depressed, when you are swamped with the problems of life. Always remember this. More than that problem. Don't you think you're just a part of dung which is covering you? Beyond that dung with sweet air. And eventually that dying will become the flowers. So when we get the big picture, the picture of many lives, of the flow of human beings through the school of life. We understand that some lessons are hard, but as much joy as well on the journey of life. You remember the both of them. We know this to pass. Bad times must pass. Eventually the good times must come. When they do, come. Never be heedless. Otherwise a good times will not last long. So there's no such thing in my vocabulary is hopelessness. There's always something I can do. Make use of it and never get depressed. So don't just sit there. Do something about it. If there's nothing you can do, then just sit there. There's always something you can do. Just meditate and become a monk. So that's it for this evening about how to deal with depression, with hopelessness, with disappointment in life. Whatever happens, whoever gets elected, who doesn't get elected, whoever wins the soccer or the footy or the cricket. And I was not. There was a lot of Sri Lankans here. Then I have this. What I continue doing is now to get hopeless. Sure they lose one day, then they win the next. The ball is round. One day it flows this way, one day it goes the other way. Sometimes arguments that you in love, sometimes you pass the exams and you fail the exams. Sometimes you have fun. Sometimes you cry. Now you're born, now you die. Here we go again. La da da da da. And see if we can actually let all that one go and see the big picture. And then there's always something we can do. Growing the garden in our heart so as to talk tonight on hopelessness. I hope you didn't think it was a hopeless talk. Okay. Any questions, comments or complaints today? I was very, very careful in his talk. Not to say too many bad things about Mr. Bush, otherwise the CIA might come and get me if I disappeared next week. You know that I have overstepped the mark. I mean. Okay. Any questions? Questions, comments or complaints? Okie dokie. So you are speechless. There could be 1 or 2 things. You are really depressed. I thought it was a good talk. Okay. Announcements now. Mr..

Other Episodes