What makes us happy ~ 17th Karmapa

In my experience, we look down on what is ordinary and simple and are not content with it. We have the constant expectation that things should be better and more fancy, and we make things more complicated. However, in actual reality what makes us happy is simple and ordinary, in my view.

For example, it can be just breathing. Breathing is very ordinary and nothing special. But if we direct our attention to it and savour the experience, we can come to see that the simple act of breathing is absolutely amazing. The oxygen we need must come from outside us, from the plants and trees. We cannot survive without breathing; yet with absolutely no effort on our part, all the conditions we need are continually and naturally present. This is true not just for one breath, but for one after another. This alone can produce a tremendous sense of wonder, satisfaction and happiness.

17th Karmapa

The road to nonduality ~ Sengcan

One thing, all things;
move among and intermingle,
without distinction.
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about nonperfection.
To live in this faith is the road to nonduality,
because the nondual is one with the trusting mind.

Sengcan

Assertion and denial ~ Sengcan

Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.

Sengcan

Always before your eyes ~ Sengcan

Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.

Sengcan

No other understanding is necessary ~ Bankei Yotaku

Don’t hate the arising of thoughts or stop the thoughts that do arise. Simply realize that our original mind, right from the start, is beyond thought, so that no matter what, you never get involved with thoughts. Illuminate original mind, and no other understanding is necessary.

Bankei Yotaku

Hearing the Dharma ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

In order to purify the defilements, the teachings and blessings have to penetrate. The most accessible way for the blessings to penetrate is through hearing, so ordinary people are encouraged to listen to teachings. To this end, a guru who can provide accurate practical information is very important, even if he or she isn’t your root guru or tantric master. So, at least in the beginning, a guru with knowledge of the Dharma who is from a traditional, institutionalized path is a safe bet. Through hearing penetration, you acquire a tool to be penetrated by contemplation. And then gradually you develop the capacity to be penetrated by meditation.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Temples of Goodness and Compassion ~ 14th Dalai Lama

The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.

14th Dalai Lama