Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Buddha-nature is the luminous, ceaseless, and primordial nature of mind. It has not been fabricated or created by various causes and conditions. It does not dwell as a separate entity that truly exists. It did not begin and therefore it cannot cease. It is simply the ultimate nature of phenomena.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
This experience of luminosity is nothing but the nature of your mind. Remaining in that state of utter simplicity will bring you to the realization that the space-like nature of mind is the Dharmakaya; that is expression, luminosity or wisdom, is the Sambhogakaya; and that it’s manifestation, all–providing compassion, is the Nirmanakaya. You will realize that the object of refuge, the three jewels, is not something outside you, but naturally present within your mind. This is the ultimate refuge.
Since everything comes down to mind, we can attain the ultimate result. We are able to give up all of samsara because samsara is just the mind. We are able to achieve nirvana because nirvana is just the mind. The afflictions of desire and hatred sometimes seem like solid things that we can’t get rid of. But if we look at their ultimate nature, how they actually are, we see that they can disappear. Since we have the instructions, we can have confidence that we can eliminate the afflictions of desire and hatred.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
If you vanquish ego-clinging today, tonight you will be enlightened. If you vanquish it tomorow, you will be enlightened tomorow night. But if you never vanquish it, you will never be enlightened. Yet ” I ” is just a thought. Thoughts and feelings have no intrinsic solidity, form, shape, or color.
3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche
Although the nature of mind, the basis, is completely pure, one does not recognize this luminosity. Failing to recognize one’s own mind is what is known as ignorance. Out of ignorance arises the fixation to a self.
The nature of mind, which is cognition, or awareness of the fact that one is aware, is fałsely experienced as a self with which one then identifies; this is grasping.
Simultaneously, mind’s luminosity, its ability to project, is experienced as something separate from this identity, as an externał object; this is fixation.
This dualistic view shapes one’s actions, and thus karma is accumulated in many ways. The accumulated impressions and the accumulated karma ripen; the ongoing process of karma ripening is the wheel of samsara, through which one circles constantly. The image of the waterwheel of samsara turning constantly refers to this process.
Don’t conclude that your mind is significantly different from anyone else’s. We all have this monkey mind. Once we put the monkey under the magnifying glass, the mind commonly appears crazier than ever. It’s not. You are just allowing yourself to become acquainted with how crazy it has always been. This is great news.
In Buddhism we cultivate a wise concern regarding death. Because we know that one day we’ll separate from all that is loved and valuable in this life and that only the seeds of our actions and our mental habits will continue to the next life, we want to make this life meaningful. To do so, we ask ourselves what is and is not important in life, and set our priorities accordingly. The Dharma practice that leads to inner transformation becomes a priority, and we are able to make clean, clear decisions in life, leaving confusion and doubts behind.
14th Dalai Lama
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
Interdependence means that change is always possible. This is a basic facet of causality: because all things are dependent on causes and conditions for their existence, all things are always open to change. In fact, they are always changing. Causes and conditions are constantly interacting in ways that affect the outcome. If we think of a seed as a cause and a tree as the result, it is clear that one cause alone does not produce a tree. Conditions such as moisture, soil, and warmth are all instrumental in determining its size, strength, and the quality of its branches and fruits. By manipulating any of those conditions, we change the result.
This is why by changing the conditions in our lives — beginning with our inner conditions — we can change our lives. Because they are interconnected, we can change our inner world and our outer circumstances. We just need to identify correctly the conditions that we can and must change; then we change them. In this way, the greater our attentiveness to the workings of interdependence, the more opportunities we have to take charge of our own lives. This is a true form of self-reliance — self-reliance that does not deny the role of other people or external circumstances but rather wisely takes them into consideration.
Generally we do not recognize that our social identities are molded and confined by context, and that these outer layers of ourselves exist within a boundless reality. Habitual patterns cover over this boundless reality; they obscure it, but it is always there ready to be uncovered.
We become attached to our wealth and possessions, to food and clothing, to our home — all the good things of life. Through clinging to these things, we get distracted. We might have faith in the Dharma and understand that we need to practice, but we are so distracted that we don’t get around to it. Even though we understand death and impermanence, and we know that death is going to happen to us, distractedness makes us lazy. This is a difficult situation… Don’t take your time getting around to Dharma practice. Do it right now.
When you first try stabilizing the attention, it seems that mental agitation is worse than before you made any effort at all. But the mind was always scattered. You were just not aware of it. If you acknowledge that one of the goals of meditating is to witness the condition of the mind and realize that stability develops gradually, you will not be disappointed.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Just as it is impossible to buy anything without money or make anything without materials and tools, there is no way to attain enlightenment without practicing. Unless you practice properly, purifying your past negative actions and avoiding further downfalls, it is no good imagining that the Buddha will catch you with his hands and prevent your falling into the lower realms. It is true that no one in this world has greater compassion, wisdom, and ability than the Three Jewels, whose blessings are omnipresent. But if you do not have devotion and do not practice, you will not be open to the Buddha’s blessings, and even if he holds you in his hands, he will not be able to help you.
14th Dalai Lama
As Buddha says in the Diamond Cutter Sutra:
“View things compounded from causes
To be like twinkling stars, figments seen with an eye disease,
The flickering light of a butter-lamp, magical illusions,
Dew, bubbles, dreams, lightning, and clouds.”
When I am about to start a lecture in front of a large crowd of people looking up to me for wisdom and insight, I repeat to myself these lines about the fragility of everything and then snap my fingers, the brief sound symbolizing impermanence. This is how I remind myself that I will soon be descending from my current position.
Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
The essence of liberation is the attainment of the nature of mind itself, which from the beginning has never wandered in samsara and is liberated in profound great space, like a garuda spreading its wings inside the egg. When it has perfected the three skills of the body, the eggshell falls on the ground at the same time as the garuda soars into the sky. Other birds are not capable of flying immediately; only garudas can do this. As with this example, no other way except Dzogpa Chenpo has this quality of giving no regard to the signs of accomplishment of stages and paths.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
A mantra works in two ways: externally as a sacred sound that carries a blessing, and internally as a tool to transform our mind into one that is more compassionate and wise.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
If you feel any hesitation at all in the constant pursuit of ordinary goals, it is simply about how best to achieve them — should you continue whatever you are currently doing, or turn your efforts in some new and more profitable direction? You end up engaging in meaningless activities without end, frittering away what is left of your precious life. In the same way, conflict arises much more easily in such circumstances. Hatred is often engendered by arguments, feuds and distorted beliefs that can be perpetuated through a family or district for generations. In truth, even if you live to be seventy or more, you can never hope to overcome all your adversaries and totally gratify your close ones.
Protecting ourselves from pain — our own and that of others — has never worked. Everybody wants to be free from their suffering, but the majority of us go about it in ways that only make things worse. Shielding ourselves from the vulnerability of all living beings — which includes our own vulnerability — cuts us off from the full experience of life. Our world shrinks. When our main goals are to gain comfort and avoid discomfort, we begin to feel disconnected from, and even threatened by, others. We enclose ourselves in a mesh of fear. And when many people and countries engage in this kind of approach, the result is a messy global situation with lots of pain and conflict.
A common metaphor for the entire Buddhist path is swimming against the stream. This refers to the reverse aspect of all forms of mind training. To investigate consensus-reality reverses social norms. In a noisy and materialistic society, to sit down and remain still and quiet is a reverse activity. To devote even one hour a day to becoming nobody when we could be in the world becoming somebody reverses socially rewarding goals. To aspire that all sentient beings have happiness and be free from suffering runs counter to self-centered preoccupations. When we take a wide look at reverse, we can appreciate that the meaning runs much deeper than labeling a category of discrete exercises. It can become a foundational principle for guiding daily-life situations. It can be used to cut through mindless behavioral loops, and for using disruption to wake us up from our sleepwalking habits.
The moment we say, “I’ve been born,” someone can reply, “Yes, and you are going to die. The sign of your approaching death has already appeared.” We may think that we can put our feet up, relax for a while, and take it easy, but that’s not how it is. Instead, we need to realize, “I need to practice the instructions that will help me at the time of death. I don’t have much time. I need to be diligent about this.” We absolutely need to rouse our diligence.