Completely free from conceptual projections ~ Padmasambhava

If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky,
There are no projections emanated by the mind,
And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind,
There is no projectionist who projects [thoughts] by thinking them,
Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear.


The union of space and wisdom ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

Vipashyana means “the prajna that realizes in a very precise way.” In shamatha we look at mind, but not at what mind actually is. Looking at our mind, we assess the mind’s stability, clarity, wildness, and so forth. But we don’t examine what mind is. What is its shape? What is its color? Does it have any of those qualities? This kind of investigation isn’t part of the practice of shamatha. When we look for the mind, we find that things, such as feelings, discriminations, and so forth, are nearby, and we can look at them. But when we look, we find nothing there. Does this mean that mind is nothing more than a corpse? No, because the mind’s emptiness is suffused by luminosity. Sometimes we talk about this as “the union of space and wisdom,” with space referring to emptiness and wisdom referring to luminosity. This experience is vipashyana.

Thrangu Rinpoche

Post-meditation is the real practice ~ Ringu Tulku

The time you practise on your cushion is just an exercise. The real practice is when you are not on your cushion. Sometimes that is called ‘post-meditation’, but it is the real life. The practice that you do on your cushion needs, therefore, to affect how you react, how you do things and how you carry yourself, in your daily life.

Post-meditation is the real practice. And there you should be able to connect, even a little bit, with the practice you do on your cushion. Remaining a little bit mindful of what is going on, what you are doing, with your body, speech and mind. Or wishing well to others, remembering to send a little bit of healing light from your heart if you see someone in a difficult situation. Or remembering Tara and sending a little bit of blessing to someone. When this happens, then your life becomes very much affected by your practice. Eventually so much so, that even in your dreams, you can act like this. Then you know your practice has gone deeper into yourself. And this is the important thing.

Ringu Tulku

Seeing the inner teacher ~ Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

Externally, the teacher appears in human form and teaches the path to liberation. Then comes a time when, through his instructions and his blessings, one comes to a realization identical to his. Then one sees that the inner, or absolute, teacher has always been present. It is simply the nature of one’s own mind.

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

The inseparability of appearance and emptiness ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

The main point of the union of appearance and emptiness is that emptiness is not the absence of phenomena, but the absence of its nature. That is why things can appear in so many different ways even though they are devoid of intrinsic reality. The inseparability of appearance and emptiness is the most essential and direct way of describing reality.

Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

You lucky people ~ Longchenpa

So stay here, you lucky people,
Let go and be happy in the natural state.
Let your complicated life and everyday confusion alone
And out of quietude, doing nothing, watch the nature of mind.


The moment there is devotion ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

It may sound as if you must have devotion first in order to have an understanding of the view, that devotion ignites the practice of the Dharma. But as you become more seasoned in practicing the Dharma, especially the Vajrayana, the gap between devotion and the goal of the devotion becomes very small.

As you become more skilled in practicing, you will see that devotion is the awareness of impermanence, devotion is the renunciation mind, devotion is compassion for all sentient beings, devotion is none other than the experience of dependent arising. Most important, the moment there is devotion, you have the view, and there is the awareness of shunyata.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Mindfulness and alertness ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

Without mindfulness (Tib. dranpa), there can be no samadhi. If mindfulness fails, the mind wanders. What is it that knows whether or not the mind has wandered? It is the quality of alertness (Tib. shezhin), which has the sense of knowing what is occurring in the mind in the present. These two are of great importance to the practice of meditation.

Thrangu 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

The practice of simply observing ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

The sounds, sights, and smells of rush-hour traffic can become an overwhelming source of preoccupation, the practice of simply observing the sensations of traffic rather than focusing on the goal of getting through congestion offers a tremendous opportunity for meditation practice.

Mingyur Rinpoche

Self-reliance ~ 17th Karmapa

I hope it is clear that interdependence does not undermine your individuality but is what has enabled you to become the unique person you are today. Embracing your interdependence can give your individuality new meaning. The same is true of self-reliance. There are forms of self-reliance that works in harmony with interdependence, and it is precisely these forms of self-reliance that we most need to cultivate. Thinking in terms of interdependence, in turn, provides a firm base for our exercise of healthy self-reliance.
It is on the basis of interdependence that we are able to consciously change course in life and grow in new directions. We are not destined to live out our lives as dictated by the initial set of conditions that first gave us life.

17th Karmapa

How to guard the mind ~ Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

If you follow after thoughts and afflictions
Such as hatred, anger, and desire,
It will cause you to take birth in the three lower realms.
To be born in any of them brings about unimaginable torment.

Whatever afflictions or sufferings occur,
By looking at their essence they vanish into emptiness.
There is no way for wisdom to revert from that state.

To not separate your mind from this
And always guard your mind is critical.
The entirety of the dharma is encapsulated in guarding your mind.
The bodhisattva Shantideva spoke of how to guard the mind:

“For those who wish to guard their minds,
This is brought about by mindfulness and introspection.
As is said, ‘All should diligently guard their minds!’
I fold my hands in reverence to such persons.”

To practice in accordance with what is said here is critical.
That being so, the six collections of consciousness and all appearing objects,
Are simply the magical display of mind’s nature.
Thus, it is a mistake to think there is some agent who practices adoption and rejection.

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

Clarity inseparable from emptiness ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

The nature of the mind, the essence of the mind, is empty. But is this emptiness just blank, inanimate nothingness? No. It is clear in that it can know things; it is able to understand and be aware of things. This is what is meant by clarity. The essence of this clarity is empty, and the essence of the emptiness is clarity. We can establish this through logic and inference, and by doing so we can develop certainty about the union of clarity and emptiness. We can also experience it in meditation. Through meditative experiences, we can come to know that the nature of mind is clarity inseparable from emptiness.

Thrangu Rinpoche

Dedicating illusion like merit ~ Dudjom Rinpoche

In absolute truth, all phenomena are devoid of any intrinsic nature, and therefore merit too cannot be objectified, being entirely free of the three concepts.

In relative, conventional truth, every aspect of a positive action – the agent who performs the action, the object of the action, and the action itself – is like a dream or a magical illusion: although it appears, it has no intrinsic nature.

It is with this approach that the dedication should be made, for as we read in the Middle Sutra of Transcendent Wisdom:

“Subhuti, all phenomena are like a dream,
like a magical illusion.”

Virtue too should be dedicated in the manner of its being like a dream.

Dudjom Rinpoche

The three worlds ~ Buddha Shakyamuni

The three worlds are ablaze with the suffering of old age and sickness;
This world is ablaze with the fire of death and without a protector.
Always deluded in impure existence,
Beings spin like a bee caught in a vase.

The three worlds are unstable, like autumn clouds;
The birth and death of beings is like watching a play.
The life of a being passes quickly,
Like a lightning bolt in the sky or a mountain stream.

By the power of craving for existence and ignorance,
Beings take birth as humans, gods, or in the three lower realms.
In their ignorance they continuously circle among these five existences,
Like the spinning of a potter’s wheel.

Buddha Shakyamuni

The nurse and protector of samadhi ~ Ajahn Chah

Mindfulness is the nurse and protector of samādhi. It is the dhamma which allows all other wholesome dhammas to arise in balance and harmony. Mindfulness is life. At any moment that you lack mindfulness, it is as if you are dead. Lack of mindfulness is called heedlessness, and it robs your words and actions of all meaning. Whatever form of recollection mindfulness takes, it gives rise to self-awareness, wisdom, all kinds of good qualities.

Ajahn Chah

Gradual change ~ 17th Karmapa

This may be helpful to keep in mind if at times we find ourselves progressing more slowly than we had hoped. Once we realize that our personalities are not fixed and that we can decide to actively change them, we might become inspired and expect to be able to push ourselves to change rapidly. But compassion and other inner qualities are not solid things that we can just decide to acquire, install, and power on. They do not exist as discrete or unrelated entities but rather need to be cultivated gradually, over time, and in concert with other qualities.

17th Karmapa

What a waste of time ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

What a waste of time it is to take so much care if this body, feeding it the most succulent dishes, dressing it in the most fashionable clothes, and trying to make it look younger than it really is. The body has no other destination than the cemetery where it will be burned, buried, or fed to the birds.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Actual experience ~ Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

If we remain focused outwardly and enthralled with intellectualizing the view, this is exactly what is meant when the Great Perfection speaks of being “spoiled by concepts and fabrication.”

If we direct our mind outwardly while learning teachings on the view, this is exactly what will happen. But if we look within, into our own mind, we will certainly gain actual experience through the oral instructions of our teachers. We will practice in accordance with the buddhadharma and gain true experience and realization.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

The seventh paramita ~ Tenzin Palmo

We all take ourselves a little bit too seriously. I always say that a good sense of humour is the seventh paramita. We should learn to laugh about ourselves in a kind way, not in a harsh way. Even if we keep falling down, it doesn’t matter, let’s keep going.

Tenzin Palmo