Our instinctive, emotional attachment or clinging to a vague notion of self is the source of all our suffering. From the idea of ‘self’ comes that of ‘other’. It is from the interaction of ‘self and ‘other’ that desire, hatred and delusion arise. There are many kinds of desire including greed, envy and miserliness. Hatred can take the form of jealousy, anger and resentment. Delusion includes mental dullness, stupidity and confusion. From these unhealthy mental states arise actions motivated by them, and their results. The results take the form of all kinds of sufferings, which one cannot escape as long as one identifies with the ‘self’ who is suffering.
Thus the only way to remove one’s suffering is to realize not-self. The wisdom mind that realizes not-self is like light removing darkness. Just as darkness cannot exist in the light, so suffering cannot exist in the light of the wisdom mind.
Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche
from the book Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness
translated by Shenpen Hookham
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Further quotes from the book Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness:
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- Perceiver and Perceived
- It is all change and impermanence
- The wisdom that realizes not-self
- Our constant pre-occupation
- Simply a vague concept