Having this precious human life is like having a well-rigged ship on which to sail across the ocean to an island of treasures. As Shantideva says in The way of the Bodhisattva:
Cross the sea of emotions
On the boat of human existence.
You have not obtained this precious human existence just by chance. It is the result of having heard the buddha’s name in a past life, having taken refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions, and of having developed some wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again.
If you fail to practice the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not obtain a human existence in the next life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be very foolish. Do not waste it. Practice day and night.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva
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Further quotes from the book The Heart of Compassion:
- Seeing clearly how deceiving the ways of the world are
- A practice based on your mind
- Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it
- Just projections of the mind
- The only thing that is really worth doing
- Accepting short-term sufferings
- Cutting through subtler misconceptions
- The magnifying glass of your faith and devotion
- No more than an empty echo
- Never stop thinking about how to gain liberation
- The children of the buddhas
- The best opportunity to put the teachings into practice
- Powerful sources of help
- Nothing to be grasped
- The reason you are wandering in samsara
- As the Dharma takes birth in your mindstream
- Putting all their energy into spiritual practice
- A firm determination to get out of samsara
- A deep feeling of renunciation