Who feels angry? Where does this anger rise from? Is there a place where this anger is now? Is there someone who is angry, since we feel so strongly, “I am angry”? Is there a real substance, a force? Questioning in this way, it’s absolutely impossible to find such a thing. There is neither a place to find, nor a substance, nor any entity. It’s simply a seeming presence, a mere movement of the attention which has no reality to it whatsoever. It is like a bubble on the surface of water.
14th Dalai Lama
Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.
All parties are changed by being in relationship. Just being connected to someone or something means we are each forming part of the other. This is true in all forms of interdependence, from those that form planetary systems to our most intimate and personal relationships. For example, in the case of parents and children, although in the more obvious sense parents produce children, yet it is only by having children that people become parents. We could even say that parents are born in the moment that their first child comes into their life. Before they had children, a woman and a man were not a mother or father. In that sense, children also make their parents “parents”. Interdependence connects us on many levels and always works both ways.”
Tulku Thondup Rinpoche
Unless one is omniscient or at least enjoys some degree of clairvoyance, no one can judge others. One can see how others appear and how they are behaving, but not who they are or why they are behaving in a particular manner. For example, enlightened ones such as buddhas, bodhisattvas, and sages appear in peaceful forms and wrathful forms, but all their activities will be for serving others with love. This is why the fully enlightened Buddha said, “Apart from myself and those like me, no one can judge another person.”
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Some people may have the idea that these teachings on compassion and exchanging self and others are part of the ‘gradual path’ teachings of the sutras, and are not nearly as effective as the more advanced ‘direct path’ teachings of the Great Perfection or the Great Seal. That is a complete misunderstanding. Only if you have developed the love and compassion of relative bodhichitta can absolute bodhichitta – the very essence of the Great Perfection and the Great Seal – ever take birth in your being.
My son Naropa, for phenomena that come from interdependence,
Until you realize all these are unborn,
You must not separate
From the wheels of merit and wisdom.
As long as there is an ego, there are demons.
When there is no more ego, there are no more demons either!
If there is no ego, there is no more object to cut through,
Nor is there any more fear or terror.
Free from all extremes, co-emergent wisdom
Gives birth to the understanding of [the nature of] all phenomena.
This is referred to as the fruit of liberation from the four demons.
Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
At the time of the meditation of tranquil stillness and true seeing, although this meditation is not the basic nature of clarity and emptiness just as it is, it is the arising of an aspect of experience that is similar, like the way the form of the sky appears in water. This is called an example demonstrating clear light. The essential nature of wisdom is free from the coverings of experience, like stainless sky. When this is realized, it is called absolute clear light.
By realizing the basic nature of the great bliss of the clear light of empty awareness and by continuously sustaining it, when one actually accomplishes the stages of the path, the consciousness of the five senses will dissolve into mind. Mind will dissolve into the consciousness of alaya. When alaya dissolves into the dharmata of empty clear light, even though there is no consciousness, because consciousness is purified from the root, self-awareness wisdom light will arise like stainless sky. Thus it is also said. For example, when gold mixed with earth, stone, sand, and so on is melted down and refined, the power of the ordinary stain or nature of the elements of earth and stone is reduced more and more, like the gross energy of obscurations, and the quality of the element gold is purified more and more. Eventually the time will come when even the object of purification, the gold itself, will be purified and there will be nothing left.
Don’t mistake mere words to be the meaning of the teachings. Mingle the practice with your own being and attain liberation from samsara right now.
Constantly apply cheerfulness, if for no other reason than because you are on this spiritual path. Have a sense of gratitude to everything, even difficult emotions, because of their potential to wake you up.
Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye
Atisha, the protector of the snowland, said:
“Among many, examine your speech;
When you stay alone, examine your mind.”
Briefly he taught these two points.
The mind is the root of faults
And the mouth is the gateway for these faults to emerge.
Thus, always watch over both.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
So if you waste your life now on endless minor tasks, you can be sure that at the time of death you will weep with regret and be stricken with intense anxiety, like a thief who has just been thrown into jail and anxiously anticipates his punishment. A person might find himself with nothing to eat, no clothes to wear, and no house to live in; but if his mind is filled with faith in his teacher and the Three Jewels, that person will both live and die with his heart always joyful and confident.
Resting in the natural state does not mean that you cannot think about things or work. The idea is to rest in the natural state and think at the same time. If you can do that, you can think things through and work but there are no painful or sharp feelings.
Awareness is the natural, innate, knowing quality of mind that is with us all the time. We cannot function without awareness; we would have no experience of anything without awareness. However, we do not always recognize it. In fact, most of the time we don’t. Meditation teaches us to recognize the awareness that we already have.
In your meditation you yourself are the mirror reflecting the solution of your problems. The human mind has absolute freedom within its true nature. You can attain your freedom intuitively. Do not work for freedom, rather allow the practice itself to be liberation.
When resting evenly in meditation with the points of body,
If appearances cease and you are without thoughts,
These are the doings of a lethargic shamatha.
But when you rouse yourself with mindfulness,
It’s like a candle, self-luminous and shining bright,
Or like a flower that’s naturally vivid and clear.
Like looking with your eyes at the glow of the sky,
Awareness-emptiness is naked, open, and clear.
That nonconceptuality that’s luminous and clear
Is the arising of the shamatha experience.
On the basis of that meditative experience,
While supplicating the precious jewels,
Gain certainty by studying and contemplating the dharma.
Take the vipashyana that brings the understanding of no self
And tie the sturdy rope of shamatha to that.
Then that strong noble being with love and compassion
Through the mighty strength of rousing bodhichitta to benefit others,
Having been lifted up with a pure aspiration
To the completely pure path of seeing,
There, vipashyana directly realizes the purity that cannot be seen
And then the faults of mind’s hopes and fears will be known.
Without going anywhere, you’ll arrive at the Buddha’s ground.
Without looking at anything, you’ll see dharmakaya.
Without achieving anything, your aim will be spontaneously accomplished.
Focusing on all sentient beings, practice the four boundless qualities: love, which is the wish that they be happy; compassion, the wish that they be free from suffering; sympathetic joy, which is to feel happy when they are happy; and impartiality, which is to treat them impartially as equals, without attachment or aversion.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
It is no more logical to think “I am more important than this person” than it is to think “I’m more important than this insect.” Such a view has not one single logical reason to support it but is merely dictatorial and egotistical reasoning. An ant’s life may be of little consequence to us, but to the ant it is everything.
The essence of the Lama or Buddha is emptiness; their nature, clarity; their appearance, the play of unimpeded awareness. Apart from that they have no real material form, shape or colour, whatsoever – like the empty luminosity of space. When we know them to be like that we can develop faith, merge our minds with theirs, and let our minds rest peacefully. This attitude and practice are most important.
Except for not putting forth the necessary exertion, there is no reason whatsoever why we cannot achieve complete enlightenment. Because we have this nature that allows for enlightenment to be achieved, we should never think, “I could practice forever and it won’t do any good.”