Thursday, 4 November 2010

Do Buddhas experience negative emotions?

I’m assuming that one day I’ll be able to clear myself and expand myself and become everything I want to be—become a Buddha. But even then I would still be able to retrieve all these negative moments—moments of pain, moments of anger born of attachment and born of all the defilements—just the way an actor does. I’m pretty clear about using emotions as an actor. They’re what allows me to be human. The same is true for highly evolved beings. I don’t know any teacher who is devoid of those emotions, but the attachment to them is absent. They’re not used to bludgeon or to harm. But they’re absolutely there and they’re used skillfully. I don’t think a teacher could be skillful without having use of all the full range of human emotions in the same way that Manjushri [bodhisattva of wisdom] manifests himself as Yamantaka [Subduer of the Lord of Death] skillfully.


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