Having this precious human life is like having a well-rigged ship on which to sail across the ocean to an island of treasures. As Shantideva says in The way of the Bodhisattva:
Cross the sea of emotions
On the boat of human existence.
You have not obtained this precious human existence just by chance. It is the result of having heard the buddha’s name in a past life, having taken refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions, and of having developed some wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again.
If you fail to practice the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not obtain a human existence in the next life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be very foolish. Do not waste it. Practice day and night.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva
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Further quotes from the book The Heart of Compassion:
- The best opportunity to put the teachings into practice
- Meaningless activities without end
- Nothing to be grasped
- No greater obstacle to Dharma practice
- Start observing your mind
- Before it is too late
- Never stop thinking about how to gain liberation
- Sealing your merit with authentic dedication
- No more than an empty echo
- Phenomena adorn emptiness, but never corrupt it
- Giving and taking
- The only thing that is really worth doing
- The reason you are wandering in samsara
- Neither discouragement nor pride
- Powerful sources of help
- The importance of relative bodhicitta
- Accepting short-term sufferings
- Phenomena adorn emptiness