If you spend the present meaninglessly and leave with empty hands,
People of Tingri, a human life in the future will be very hard to find.
Outwardly, practise according to the sutras,
Be meticulous about cause and effect, and what you adopt or avoid.
Inwardly, practise according to the unsurpassable secret mantra,
It is important to combine generation and completion.
Secretly, practise according to the great secret Atiyoga,
And gain liberation in a body of light within a single lifetime.
Only when we have a genuine, abiding desire to free ourselves from suffering and all its causes does our spiritual journey begin. That original desire is very potent and very real. It is the basis upon which we enter the path that will lead us to our goal. Yet from the point of view of the Vajrayana, or tantric, school of Buddhism, there is no place to go on that path, no end of the road where we will one day satisfy our thirst for liberty. Why? Because the very thing that we are looking for — freedom, wakefulness, enlightenment — is right here with us all the time.
If you do not pray with devotion to the wish-fulfilling master,
the requisite and desired accomplishments will not come,
so diligently cultivate a mind filled with devotion.
If you do not give rise to the four powers of devotion,
toward the master, the buddha of the three times,
the blessings of the wisdom mind transmission will not enter you,
so diligently give rise to devotion.
If you do not serve the master’s enlightened body with devotion,
your mind will not be liberated by blessings,
so diligently bring forth this devoted mind.
From the maṇḍala of the master’s enlightened speech,
when the nectar of pith instructions is bestowed,
if one-pointed devotion does not arise,
it will be difficult to tame a discursive mind like mine,
so diligently cultivate devotion.
From the maṇḍala of the master’s enlightened heart,
the entrance to the profound teachings of the secret treasury is bestowed.
If you are not inspired with devotion,
it is impossible for the accomplishments of your spiritual heritage to well forth,
so definitely give rise to devotion.
If you do not respectfully and in the threefold manner
please the master who is endowed with the three kindnesses,
you will lack even an atom’s worth of the essence of generation, recitation and perfection practice,
so diligently cultivate this devoted mind.
The guru is the actual buddha of the three times,
whose awakened mind is endowed with the wisdom of twofold omniscience.
His compassion is neither near nor far,
but if you do not pray with devotion,
it is difficult to be held by his compassion which can lead you,
so definitely inspire yourself with devotion.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
If you merely talk about the view of emptiness but at the same time behave inconsiderately, it is said that your conduct has become lost in the view. If you believe that, since everything is empty by nature, it is all right to do whatever you want and it makes no difference whether your actions are virtuous or non-virtuous, then your conduct has become “lost in the view.” All the great teachers say just the opposite — that the more you understand the view of emptiness, the more aware and careful you are regarding the law of cause and effect.
Interdependence is not a mere theory or interesting philosophy. It impacts our lives directly every single day. By deepening our awareness of interconnectedness, we can create a far more harmonious and healthy society and live far more satisfying lives. For that to happen, we can’t just stop our analysis at the interdependence of the physical world. The human heart and mind — what we might call our inner world — form an integral part of these webs of interdependence.
There is no other difﬁcult practice equal to patience – not getting angry with someone who harms you, and even if you do get angry, not remaining so. It is the ultimate austerity. Therefore do not allow yourself even the slightest occasion for anger, which is incompatible with such a sublime austerity as patience.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
An important point to remember is that whatever information we gather, we also filter, so what we’re left with is a very particular kind of understanding unique to ourselves. This understanding is not realization. It’s not even an experience. It is like a patch that will eventually fall off. It’s fine to be covered in patches of understanding because sooner or later they are bound to fall off so that experience can be revealed. However, we should also be aware that living with all these patches will prolong the time we spend on the path to enlightenment. How much time do we really have left in this lifetime? Twenty years? Thirty, if we’re lucky? Given that everything we have understood so far is nothing more than a patch that’s holding together our version of samsara, are any of us really willing to spend another ten years believing in that reality? We must, therefore, be prepared to peel off those patches.
But be aware that once the inner skin has been exposed, it’s possible to mistake it for the fruit, which is why we must always be ready to accept that it is just another skin. This is not a principle we apply only to hearing, contemplation, or reading; it’s even more relevant when we meditate. This is what is meant by the Tibetan saying “Experience is like a mist in the morning. It will evaporate.”
We should be quite gentle in judging ourselves and remember that the habits we are fighting against come from beginningless time and are very strong. So from time to time there will be some backsliding — though in the long run there is progress and improvement. Furthermore, remember that even having entered the gate of the Dharma, having the intention to reduce our disturbing emotions, or being concerned about disturbing emotions is amazing because most people involved in samsara never even think about this.
14th Dalai Lama
The only way to experience deep meditative equipoise and subsequent realization simultaneously, and to overcome [the] perception that the two truths are essentially different, is by bringing about that realization of emptiness at the subtle most level of consciousness. What is required is the merging of the ultimate meaning, which is emptiness, and the ultimate mind, which is the innate mind of clear light. When this occurs, then appearances and emptiness no longer appear separately, and the subtle defilements are overcome.
Rest at ease within the uncontrived nature of mind.
By looking, nothing is seen;
Seeing nothing is actually to see naked awareness:
That itself is Buddha Kuntu Zangpo.
This deluded samsara, the illusion of outer appearance,
I have realized to be unborn Mahamudra.
This mental consciousness, the inner grasping one,
Just like meeting a dear old friend,
Mind knows to be its own true nature.
What is truth? The truth is the reality of mind which is formless and pervades the ten directions. It is being used presently right before your eyes, yet people do not trust it sufficiently, so they accept terms and expressions, seeking to assess Buddhism conceptually in the written word. They are as far away as the sky is from earth.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
We have to realize the Dharma is priceless. That does not mean Dharma is free. Practicing Dharma requires sacrifice, and sacrifice comes in many forms. If you are a hippie-dippy person and your guru tells you to get a job at a bank or to become a CEO, that is probably one of the most effective forms of guru yoga you could do. And if you are a fresh Ivy League graduate and your guru tells you it’s time to do a nine-year retreat, following that suggestion would be a good act of renunciation.
You might spend your whole life in pursuit of only food and clothing, with great effort and without regard for suffering or harmful deeds, but when you die you can’t take even a single thing with you. Consider this well. The clothing and alms needed to keep you alive are all you need. You might dine on the finest meal of delicious meat and alcohol, but it all turns into something impure the very next morning, And there is nothing more to it than that. So be content with life-sustaining provisions and simple clothes, And be a loser when it comes to food, clothing and conversation.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Just as space can accommodate the whole universe – the mountains, continents, and so forth – the nature of the mind is so vast that it can accommodate the whole of phenomena.
With compassion, you need to be able to envision the end goal – the happiness that you want the other to attain. It is not the case that when you feel compassion you only see suffering and pain and cannot see anything beyond that. Rather, you have the imagination to see the other as free and happy, and you keep that aim in mind”
The realization that all phenomena of samsara and enlightenment are emptiness inseparable from naked awareness is the view.
To release present awareness within the spacious natural state and then to sustain the self-liberation of thoughts without grasping is meditation.
All post-meditative activity done harmoniously with the Dharma is the conduct.
The complete manifestation of that abiding nature is the result.
Sit on a cushion in a manner as comfortable as possible, wearing loose clothing. Hold your body straight without leaning to the left or the right, forward or backward. Your ears should be in a line with your shoulders, and nose in a straight line with your navel. Keep the tongue at the roof of the mouth and close your lips. Eyes are slightly open, and breathing is quiet through the nostrils.
Ajahn Fuang Jotiko
Birth, aging, illness, and death: these things are normal. Birth is the normal way of things, aging’s the normal way of things, illness and death are the normal way of things. Get so that you can see clearly that this is the way things normally are. That’s when a sense of disenchantment can arise. You’ll be able to loosen the grip that these things have on you. You’ll be able to pull them out, root and all.
We’ve suffered as the slaves of defilement and craving for how long now? Can you remember? Ask yourself. Can you remember all you’ve been through? And how much longer are you going to let it keep on happening — this holding and carrying and weighing yourself down? How many eons have you been doing this? Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of eons. Can you count them all? Of course you can’t. And how much longer will you have to keep on suffering in this way? If you’re still stubborn, still unwilling to listen to the Buddha’s teachings, this is the kind of reward you’ll have to expect out of life. Do you want it? Do you like it? If you don’t want it, then you’ll have to develop the goodness of your mind so that you can see your way out of this, so that you can see your defilments, so that you can see the suffering and harm they cause.