It’s all a matter of motivation ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Be ambitious about the magnitude of the motivation you arouse. Don’t settle for simple kindness when nothing less than the fully-fledged mind of bodhicitta is what is needed. Kyabje Dudjom Rinpopche said that dharma practice is really not that difficult, it’s all a matter of motivation. So never forget to arouse the motivation of wanting to bring all sentient beings to complete enlightenment. And the more magnanimous your motivation, the more merit you will accumulate, even when all you do is light a candle.

If you light a candle merely as a decoration for the living room, your motivation is that of an ordinary person.

If you light it with the wish to accumulate merit and eventually destroy samsara, you share the attitude cultivated by shravakayana practitioners.

To light the candle with the wish that any merit attained be dedicated to the enlightenment of all sentient beings, your attitude is the same as that of bodhisattvayana practitioners.

To consider the candle to be the light of wisdom that ilmuinates all sentient beings, with the aspiration that wherever its light falls becomes the mandala, is the attitude of a tantric practitioner.


Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices


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