Quote Archives: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Preparing ourselves for certain death ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

One of the main reasons we practice the Dharma is to prepare ourselves for certain death. For some, it is the only reason they practice – but that reason alone will make their Dharma practice worthwhile. These days various aspects of the Dharma, like mindfulness, are becoming more and more popular, but rarely as a […]

Pure perception ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The guru must have pure perception of his own guru and, if possible, of all phenomena. On a more individual level, the guru must have pure perception of his or her students. Pure perception is the foundation of the Vajrayana. Even in the Mahayana, pure perception if the driving force behind working with a disciple. […]

Supplication to the guru ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Praying to the guru is not necessarily a matter of chanting mantras or reading a supplication composed by others. The real prayer, on the relative level, is just thinking of the guru — his form, his name, his activities, his color, his shape, even his movement. If you forget to pray to the guru for […]

Teachings don’t just rain down ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

There is so much benefit in requesting teachings, especially if you supplicate not just for your own benefit. If you request teachings with a motivation triggered by renunciation and compassion (bodhichitta) — if you are requesting the teachings to benefit all beings — this is the supreme way to request. But if the guru is […]

Nonviolence ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The Buddhist practice of nonviolence is not merely submissiveness with a smile or meek thoughtfulness. The fundamental cause of violence is when one is fixated on an extreme idea, such as justice or morality. This fixation usually stems from a habit of buying into dualistic views, such as bad and good, ugly and beautiful, moral […]

Contemplating the inevitability of our own death ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Shouldn’t we all try to contemplate the inevitability of our own death at least once this lifetime? Particularly as every one of us will die – itself a crucially important piece of information. Doesn’t putting some effort into processing the inescapable fact of our own death make sense? Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Abundance and variety in the teachings is so important ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Another danger is that Buddhism is becoming synonymous with mindfulness, happiness, and nonviolence. Many people think that’s all there is. When they talk about mindfulness, they immediately think of sitting cross-legged on a cushion with a straight back. This kind of thinking will destroy Buddhism. If we choose to emphasize only one technique, the others […]

Everything we experience is a product of mind ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Remembering everything you experience is created by mind is also the direct antidote to pride and ego, and once it becomes second nature, you will no longer cling to your dharma activities. This does not mean you will not practise. On the contrary, in the same way someone dying of thirst cannot resist taking large […]

Guru ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

In ancient India, people used the term “guru” with genuine veneration. If a guru was not a savior, at least he or she was worthy of trust, someone to lean on. Spiritual gurus were associated with wisdom and protection, leading a way on a path to the truth. Now the word “guru” is frequently associated […]

The habit of self ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Habit makes us weak against the self. Even simple habits die hard. You may be aware of how bad smoking is for your health, but that doesn’t necessarily convince you to stop smoking, especially when you enjoy the ritual, the slender shape of the cigarette, the way the tobacco smolders, the fragrant smoke curling around […]

Eventually we are disappointed ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Even though we don’t consider ourselves to be so desperate, and believe that we are well educated, sane, and sober, when we see and feel that everything truly exists, we are behaving like the man in the desert. We rush to find authentic companionship, security, recognition, and success, or simply peace and quiet. We may […]

The guru is like the horizon ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Here, in this book, I will try to show that the guru is actually like the horizon. A horizon is apparent — a line where earth and sky appear to meet. But in reality, they never meet. There is only an illusion of an ending point, a point of reference where we can stand and […]

Sooner or later, you will have to check ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

When you check into a hotel you don’t immediately start thinking that you’ll spend eternity with the managers, maids, and waiters. Your home, your friends, your ideals and values are just part of a hotel experience. Sooner or later, you will have to check out and leave them all behind. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Not doing anything ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Meditation is one of the rare occasions when we’re not doing anything. Otherwise, we’re always doing something, we’re always thinking something, we’re always occupied. We get lost in millions of obsessions and fixations. But by meditating – by not doing anything – all these fixations are revealed and our obsessions will naturally undo themselves like […]

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 […]

Why can’t the Guru be perfect? ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Why are our human gurus so apparently fallible? Why can’t they be perfect like the Buddha? A human guru will often exhibit some of the inherent flaws and imperfections that we also struggle with, but as a result he or she will be a far more effective teacher than a “perfect” guru. Ironically, it’s human […]

Advice on selecting a guru ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

It’s recommended that beginners do a thorough background check of the guru in question — listening to the stories that follow a particular guru around, reading books and other literature, evaluating his or her social media. Also, don’t limit your search to just one guru; leave the mind open to other options, apparent or unseen. […]

Seeing a student’s potential ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

A guru should be able to see a student’s potential and know that any negative quality the student exhibits can be transformed and that therefore that student is a worthy recipient of aspiration. There should be no competition, no preference for some students to get enlightened faster; it’s not a race. If the guru judges […]

Fearlessness ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Fear and anxiety are the dominant psychological states of the human mind. Behind the fear lies a constant longing to be certain. We are afraid of the unknown. The mind’s craving for confirmation is rooted in our fear of impermanence. Fearlessness is generated when you can appreciate uncertainty, when you have faith in the impossibility […]

Mind-made illusions ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

While practising or performing dharma activities, we must remain constantly aware that everything we do is illusory—or at least try to bring that thought to mind. If we prick our flesh, our logical mind tells us we will feel pain. The pain itself will feel real because the idea that phenomena are both solid and […]