Keep It Simple ~ 17th Karmapa

Once you have committed to a particular path, I suggest that you look for the simplest way forward. You should make things accessible and approachable in your religious community and in your personal practice, rather than more complicated.

Keep it simple. The life of the spirit is actually very basic and easy. We often don’t appreciate that. In the beginning, our spiritual path may strike us as very simple and perfectly clear. But then, after we have been practicing it for a few years, we sometimes find ourselves going backward, and moving away from that initial simplicity. The spiritual breakthrough we experience may simply consist in rediscovering what we had seen in the beginning.

Spiritual discovery is not a matter of finding wisdom out there somewhere. It is a matter of discovering what already exists within us. Like cleaning the surface of a stone inscription, the more you clean it, the more the original carving becomes apparent. We are like that stone. With spiritual practice, instead of gaining something we did not have before, we gradually make ourselves clearer to ourselves.


17th Karmapa

from the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar & Damchö Diana Finnegan



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