Quote Archives: Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

The intellect ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

The intellect is a valuable tool, but it doesn’t extend to the whole of our reality. In fact it can be a trap preventing our gaining access to the most profound aspects of our own nature. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Integrating one’s practice with one’s life ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

In order to be able to truly integrate one’s practice with one’s life, a few sessions of sitting meditation a day are simply not enough, because we live a twenty-four hour day, and an hour or two of practice just won’t give the right results. “Integrating”, on the other hand, means understanding the condition of […]

Integrating awareness in all daily actions ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

If one does not know how to integrate the presence of awareness with all one’s daily actions, such as eating, walking, sleeping, sitting, and so on, then it is not possible to make the state of contemplation last beyond the limited duration of a session of sitting meditation. If this is so, not having been […]

Genuine compassion ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Until pure compassion arises, there is no way to overcome limitations and sectarianism. However, there are many practitioners who reach a point after a while where they consider themselves like deities and treat others as opposing evil spirits, thereby strengthening their limitations and further accentuating attachment and hatred. Though they talk a lot about Mahamudra […]

Awareness of our own condition ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

The only source of every kind of benefit for others is awareness of our own condition. When we know how to help ourselves and how to work with our situation we can really benefit others, and our feeling of compassion will arise spontaneously, without the need for us to hold ourselves to the rules of […]

Dont confuse any culture or tradition with the teachings themselves ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Every kind of teaching is transmitted through the culture and knowledge of human beings. But it is important not to confuse any culture or tradition with the teachings themselves, because the essence of the teachings is knowledge of the nature of the individual. Any given culture can be of great value because it is the […]

Dualistic vision ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

When Buddha Sakyamuni died, his eighteen disciples quarreled over doctrinal issues and founded eighteen separate schools. Why did they do that? Because each of them heard and understood something different, sometimes contradictory to what the others had understood. [We are in] a dualistic vision in which everything seems solid to us, therefore, if I’m right […]

Observing our conditioning first ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Many spiritual paths have as their basis the principle of compassion, of benefiting others. In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, for example, compassion is one of the fundamental points of the practice, together with the knowledge of the true nature of phenomena, or voidness. Sometimes, however, compassion can become something constructed and provisional, because we don’t […]

A state of total presence ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Enlightenment, or Nirvana, is nothing other than the state beyond all obstacles, in the same way that from the peak of a very high mountain one always sees the sun. Nirvana is not a paradise or some special place of happiness, but is in fact the condition beyond all dualistic concepts, including those of happiness […]

The supreme path for that person ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

All the various types of teachings and spiritual paths are related to the different capacities of understanding that different individuals have. There does not exist, from an absolute point of view, any teaching which is more perfect or effective than another. A teaching’s value lies solely in the inner awakening which an individual can arrive […]

Becoming the slave of illusions and distractions ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Our mind is the basis of everything, and from our mind everything arises, Samsara and nirvana, ordinary sentient beings and enlightened ones. Consider the way beings transmigrate in the impure vision of samsara: even though the essence of the mind, the true nature of our mind, is totally pure right from the beginning, nevertheless, because […]

The root of samsara ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Just as a person who has a ‘bile’ disease sees a shell as being yellow even if one can see objectively that that is not its true color, so in just the same way, as a result of the particular karmic causes of sentient beings, the various illusory visions manifest. Thus, if one were to […]

Buddha never created any kind of religion ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

In general, people say, ‘We are following Dharma”, and speak of it as a kind of religion created by Buddha Shakyamuni. That is not a correct point of view. Buddha never created any kind of school or religion. Buddha was a totally enlightened being, someone beyond our limited point of view. The teaching of the […]

Just another concept ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

But it can happen that a phrase intended to indicate a state beyond concepts just becomes another concept in itself, in the same way that if you ask a person their name and they reply that they have no name, you will then perhaps mistakenly call them ‘No name’. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

We can’t ignore our reality ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Someone who begins to develop an interest in the teachings can tend to distance themselves from the reality of material things, as if the teachings were something completely apart from daily life. Often, at the bottom of all this, there is an attitude of giving up and running away from one’s own problems, with the […]

Enjoying with awareness ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

If we are spiritual practitioners we feel contempt for samsaric situations; we are not seriously or deeply interested in them. This does not mean that we feel disgust for or reject everything. In our life, all is relative. In our life, not everything is how it should be, nonetheless we continue to live. We accept […]

The Confusion of Dualism ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

But if, through fundamental misperception of reality, the individual enters into the confusion of dualism, primordial consciousness, which is in fact the source of all manifestation (even of dualistic consciousness and, in fact, of all phenomena), itself becomes obscured. The individual’s deluded mind then mistakes the manifestations of its own pure, innate primordial awareness for […]

The mistaken dualistic mind ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

All the philosophical theories that exist have been created by the mistaken dualistic minds of human beings. In the realm of philosophy, that which today is considered true, may tomorrow be proved to be false. No one can guarantee a philosophy’s validity. Because of this, any intellectual way of seeing whatever is always partial and […]

Observe yourself ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Before talking to the teacher it is better to observe yourself a bit, in that way you might find the answer for yourself. It is better to be one’s own teacher or master rather than assigning this job to someone else. That is why the teacher, and above all a Dzogchen teacher, teaches us to […]

Conditioned by one’s ego ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

In general, many people have a strong ego. They think, “Oh I know everything”. Some people even qualify themselves. They feel, “Oh I am not normal, I am a special person, I am a daka, or dakini”. This means one is not daka or dakini, but is conditioned by one’s ego. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche