The most crucial prerequisite for the practise of dharma is complete isolation because when we are alone, we are subject to fewer distractions, creating the perfect conditions for sadness to grow in our minds.
For those who know how to use it, sadness is a fertile ground from which all kinds of beneficial thoughts can spring with very little effort.
Jigme Lingpa described sadness as one of the most invaluable kinds of noble wealth, and in the sutras Buddha hailed sadness as the trailblazer for all subsequent good qualities.
With sadness comes trust and devotion, which, once developed, mean the practises of shamatha and vipashyana require very little effort. Shamatha practise ensures that mind becomes malleable and workable, and a flexible mind makes vipashyana relatively easy to accomplish.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices
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Further quotes from the book Not for Happiness:
- Being able to start practicing right away
- Obstacles Create Fertile Ground for Practice
- It cannot be fixed
- Life is a stream of sensory illusions
- Rip that ego apart
- Sign of a mature practitioner
- Not designed to cheer you up
- Three higher trainings
- Dawn of wisdom
- Avoid being distracted
- Without the personal advice of Buddha
- Mara’s five arrows
- Filtered perception
- Wishing happiness for those who have hurt you
- Very little time left for practice
- Dealing with Emotions
- Remain alone and practise the dharma
- Opposite direction to dharma
- Sources of our inspiration
- Practise whichever method works for you