Aspire to aspire ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Aspire not only to understand the Dharma intellectually, but to understand it experientially.

Aspire to embody ultimate and relative bodhichitta, so that it’s not just your good looks, knowledge and political clout that attract and magnetize sentient beings.

Aspire to create connections with people – even those who catch no more than a glimpse of your brightly coloured T-shirt in a crowd – that result in the seed of Dharma being sown in their minds.

Aspire that your body, your bearing, your ideas and thoughts all, in one way or another, become beneficial to sentient beings. For example, if I suddenly had an urge to check the state of the stock market, may that mundane thought mature into a beneficial manifestation.

Aspire never to be reborn into the family of a billionaire, as such circumstances would mean you only see a rosy picture of the world and deprive you of the wealth of understanding the Dharma.

At the same time, aspire to become President of the United States, or of China or Russia, so you can skilfully benefit sentient beings with the powers that job brings you.

Aspire to become a prostitute in a seedy red-light district of a major city, and for bodhichitta to be born in the minds of anyone with whom you become acquainted.

Aspire to practice the Dharma thoroughly and completely and pray that you will not always be waiting for the right time to start practising. When you have time, go somewhere quiet and practise.

Aspire never to put off practising what you already know because you want to gain more intellectual Dharma knowledge.

Aspire to experience sadness.

Aspire always to take the right direction, however ignorant you may be.

Pray that when you chase after meaningless desires, the object of your desire will lead you to benefit sentient beings.

When you lose your temper, may you feel embarrassed at your behaviour and gain some realisation.

When you feel depressed, may that very depression be the cause for you to realise the truth.

And most important of all, always aspire to aspire.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book Best Foot Forward: A Pilgrim's Guide to the Sacred Sites of the Buddha

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