The path is practical ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The goal we are aiming for is not far off in the distance; the goal is already here and now, just as the path is working here and now. The path is practical.

Our scales ~ Shunryu Suzuki

When we analyze our experience, we have ideas of time or space, big or small, heavy or light. A scale of some kind is necessary, and with various scales in our mind, we experience things. Still the thing itself has no scale. That is something we add to reality. Because we always use a scale and depend on it so much, we think the scale really exists. But it doesn’t exist. If it did, it would exist with things. Using a scale you can analyze one reality into entities, big and small, but as soon as we conceptualize something it is already a dead experience.

We “empty” ideas of big or small, good or bad from our experience, because the measurement that we use is usually based on the self. When we say good or bad, the scale is yourself. That scale is not always the same. Each person has a scale that is different. So I don’t say that the scale is always wrong, but we are liable to use our selfish scale when we analyze, or when we have an idea about something. That selfish part should be empty. How we empty that part is to practice zazen and become more accustomed to accepting things as it is without any idea of big or small, good or bad.

Open your mind ~ Dogen Zenji

Life is short and no one knows what the next moment will bring. Open your mind while you have the opportunity, thereby gaining the treasures of wisdom, which in turn you can share abundantly with others, bringing them happiness.

Guidance of a qualified teacher ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

To progress, we need the constant guidance of a qualified teacher. As we report to him the progress of our meditation and describe our experiences, he may say, “You should relax more,” or on the contrary, “Be more vigilant.” It is important at this time to rely upon a teacher’s instructions. When the great Gampopa had many spiritual experiences, he explained them to Jetsun Milarepa and was thus able to avoid deviations and continue to progress.

Once you’ve been introduced to this nature of the mind, you should achieve stability and confidence in recognizing it, so that the mind remains in that state of simplicity without wavering.

If we allow water to remain still without agitating it, it becomes limpid and transparent; but if we stir it up with a stick, mud rises and the water becomes turbid. Likewise, leave the mind in a state of natural clarity, without interference, so that awareness remains limpid.

Beneficial action is an act of oneness ~ Dogen Zenji

Foolish people think that if they help others first, their own benefit will be lost, but this is not so. Beneficial action is an act of oneness, benefiting self and others together.

Due to ignorance ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

When we are under the influence of attachment, we discriminate between good and bad, beautiful and ugly, and then cling to what seems to be attractive and shun those things which seem bad. Attachment and aversion are disturbing emotions that arise from not understanding the nature of things as they are and as they appear. It is due to ignorance that our mind accepts and rejects the objects of attachment and aversion.

Until meditation experiences are destroyed without trace ~ Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

As Jigme Lingpa says in our text, “Merging your mind with the guru’s mind, let awareness be free and unbound.” Rest in meditative equipoise, completely relaxed and without holding on to anything or modifying anything. From the depth of your heart, it is important to persevere unremittingly in this (snying la rdo rus gtug), until your experience of meditation is utterly free of any fixation or reference point; until meditation experiences are destroyed (nyams bshig) without a trace.

The opportunity to love ~ 17th Karmapa

Living interdependence is the opportunity you have been waiting for. Perhaps the most valuable opportunity it offers is the opportunity to love. We need to expand our access to the love we have within us. This requires that we put ourselves in situations that ask us and allow us to love.