Worldly people use their religion, in order to have success in business, to acquire power and situations of prosperity; but if they fall sick, lose their position and so on, they think their gods are displeased and begin to think of them as demons.
If through the Mind Training we become proud and boastful, it will be as Gampopa once said: Dharma not practised properly, will bring us down to the lower realms. If we become pretentious and conceited, we will certainly not be practising Dharma.
Because of our pride, the Mind Training, instead of taming us as it should, will make us all the more hard and obstinate. We will become so arrogant that, even if we were to see a Buddha ﬂying in the sky, or someone suffering greatly, with his intestines hanging out, we would feel neither devotion for the qualities of the Buddhas nor compassion for the sufferings of beings. The whole point of the Dharma will have been missed. It does not help to station soldiers at the western gate, when the enemy is in the east.
When we have a liver complaint, we should take the proper liver medicine. When we have fever, again, we should take the appropriate remedy. If the medicine we take is unsuited to the illness we have, our condition will be all the worse.
In the same way, we should apply the teachings so that they act as an antidote to our ego-clinging. Towards everyone we should consider ourselves as the humblest of servants, taking the lowest place. We should try really very hard to be modest and self-forgetting.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Enlightened Courage: An Explanation of the Seven-Point Mind Training
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Further quotes from the book Enlightened Courage:
- Anger is an illusion
- The three essential factors on which the accomplishment of the Dharma depends
- The vows of the Mind Training
- Well rewarded
- Begin the training sequence with yourself
- Bodhicitta practice
- Give up hoping for results
- Forsaking all self-centeredness
- Honest examination
- The degree of self-clinging
- Morning pledge
- The impurity of our perception
- Using illness on the path
- Taking advantage of suffering
- All Dharma has a single goal
- Always be sustained by cheerfulness
- Signs of realization
- Failing to use the instructions as an antidote