Quote Archives: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Experience is like a mist in the morning ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

An important point to remember is that whatever information we gather, we also filter, so what we’re left with is a very particular kind of understanding unique to ourselves. This understanding is not realization. It’s not even an experience. It is like a patch that will eventually fall off. It’s fine to be covered in […]

Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

We have to realize the Dharma is priceless. That does not mean Dharma is free. Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice, and sacrifice comes in many forms. If you are a hippie-dippy person and your guru tells you to get a job at a bank or to become a CEO, that is probably one of the most […]

The path is practical ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The goal we are aiming for is not far off in the distance; the goal is already here and now, just as the path is working here and now. The path is practical. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Not paranoid but prepared ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Fearlessness is generated when you can appreciate uncertainty, when you have faith in the impossibility of these interconnected components remaining static and permanent. You will find yourself, in a very true sense, preparing for the worst while allowing for the best. You become dignified and majestic. These qualities enhance your ability to work, wage war, […]

Examining the Guru ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

There is no contradiction between the need to examine the guru and the understanding that the guru is our own perception. In fact, the two positions complement each other. Basically, we must always examine our owin perception. Other than that, there is nothing to examine. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The decision to follow a spiritual path ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The decision to follow a spiritual path is the central most important undertaking of a person’s life, one that is usually made when trust in more worldly objectives is betrayed, causing you to resolve to switch to a more trustworthy path. If listening to and contemplating the teachings and practising meditation inspires you, the likelihood […]

Sources of our inspiration ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

A willingness to be inspired and a tendency to be turned off are both relative reactions: some people are inspired by the sight of a serene monk with a begging bowl; others by a half-drunk, half-naked yogi. Certain vajrayana students derive far more inspiration from the sight of a bizarrely dressed guru sporting a good […]

Buying into emotions ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Siddhartha was also trying to cut suffering at its root. But he was not dreaming up solutions such as starting a political revolution, migrating to another planet, or creating a new world economy. He wasn’t even thinking about creating a religion or developing codes of conduct that would bring peace and harmony. He explored suffering […]

A practicing Buddhist ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

As long as you accept and practice these four truths (all compounded things are impermanent, all emotions are pain, all things have no inherent existence, nirvana is beyond concepts) you are a “practicing Buddhist.” You might read about these four truths for the sake of entertainment or mental exercise, but if you don’t practice them, […]

Devotion ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

It may sound as if you must have devotion in order to have an understanding of the view, that devotion ignites the practice of the Dharma. But as you become more seasoned in practicing the Dharma, especially the Vajrayana, the gap between devotion and the goal of the devotion becomes very small. As you become […]

Wishing happiness for those who have hurt you ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Every one of us has been hurt by people we have cared for, and although we may insist we have forgotten all about it, we rarely have. To help ease any lingering pain, visualise them in the place of honour, and as you arouse bodhichitta, wish them everything that is good. If thinking about them […]

The solutions have to be progressive ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The Buddha advised that the practice of the Vinaya has to be progressive, adapting to time and place. Over time, the nature of emotions, hang-ups, reference points, and neuroses have adjusted because of changing culture; therefore, the solutions have to be progressive. One can be progressive and still traditional. The guru should not insist that […]

Buddhanature ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

If you want to know about buddhanature, then Maitreya’s Uttaratantra Shastra is the text you have to study. It’s important to be careful when establishing the idea of buddhanature, because otherwise it might end up becoming something like an atman, or a truly existing soul. The Mahayana shastras talk about the qualities of freedom, or […]

Nondual Wisdom ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The essence of all of the Buddha’s teachings is emptiness, or interdependent arising. Nothing arises, dwells, or ceases independently. Therefore, there’s nothing permanent. There is no truly existing self. Everything that we think exists, or does not exist, or both or neither — all these things are fabrications of our mind. We fabricate them and […]

The authentic guru lineage is indispensable ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

One quality that is indispensable is the authentic guru lineage. As the great Sakyapa master Drakpa Gyaltsen said, a guru without lineage has no blessing. Lineage establishes a pedigree of sorts and is an absolutely necessary component of the path. Lineage is a history; it provides authentication. Where there is a lineage, there is a […]

Check how the guru handles criticism ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Many gurus claim they are straight shooters: they say what they think without inhibition or filters. But if they dish it out, they should be able to take it. They should embody tolerance. But most of the time, critical gurus don’t tolerate criticism very well. One way to check is to watch how the guru […]

Look beyond titles and hats ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Though essentially unnecessary, the rank of a lama does serve a purpose. Institutions and titles can provide a measure of safety. Just like it might be safer to go to a popular restaurant because it has been written up in guidebooks, popular lamas come with many personal endorsements. Then again, the system is not foolproof; […]

Sign of a mature practitioner ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

A mature practitioner will usually have a far purer perception of others than a beginner. The more enlightened qualities a practitioner acquires, the humbler he will become; the more time he spends with his guru, the greater his devotion; and the more he hears and contemplates the dharma, the quicker his pride and arrogance will […]

The clarity aspect ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

You could say that when Nagarjuna explains the Prajnaparamita, he concentrates more on its empty aspect, whereas when Maitreya explains the same thing he concentrates more on the “-ness” aspect. This “-ness” is buddhanature. You might wonder why the Buddha taught in the sutras that all phenomena are like clouds—unstable, naturally illusory, and empty. Why […]

Humble Gurus ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

It’s usually safer to go with a guru who is not interested in fame. There is a chance that some gurus might be madly designing and printing pamphlets and buttons for the sake of all sentient beings. Not all lamas who are zealously promoting themselves and sitting on the highest thrones have an ulterior motive; […]