Someone asked me, “Aren’t you worried about the state of the world?” I allowed myself to breathe and then I said, “What is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.” There are wars — big and small — in many places, and that can cause us to lose our peace. Anxiety is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and the state of the world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we will get sick.
However industrious you may be,
There is no end to worldly activities;
But if you practice the Dharma
You will swiftly conclude everything.
However nice they may seem,
Samsaric affairs always end in disaster;
But the fruits of practicing the Dharma
Will never deteriorate.
Since beginningless time you have collected and encouraged
Karma, negative emotions, and habitual tendencies,
Which force you to wander in samsara.
If you continue like that, when will liberation arrive?
If you only see all this at the moment of death,
It’s rather too late –
When the head’s already been severed,
What use is any medicine?
Recognizing the suffering of samsara,
Turn toward the peace of nirvana.
You won’t accomplish
Both the Dharma and the aims of this ordinary life
If that is your wish,
No doubt you’re deceiving yourself.
There is no greater obstacle to Dharma practice
Than to be obsessed by the achievements of this life.
To be kind to those who have come from afar, to those who have been ill for a long time, or to our parents in their old age, is equivalent to meditating on emptiness of which compassion is the very essence.
If someone has compassion, he is a Buddha;
Without compassion, he is a Lord of Death.
With compassion, the root of Dharma is planted,
Without compassion, the root of Dharma is rotten.
One with compassion is kind even when angry,
One without compassion will kill even as he smiles.
For one with compassion, even his enemies will turn into friends,
Without compassion, even his friends turn into enemies.
With compassion, one has all Dharmas,
Without compassion, one has no Dharma at all.
With compassion, one is a Buddhist,
Without compassion, one is worse than a heretic.
Even if meditating on voidness, one needs compassion as its essence.
A Dharma practitioner must have a compassionate nature.
Compassion is the distinctive characteristic of Buddhism.
Compassion is the very essence of all Dharma.
Great compassion is like a wish-fulfilling gem.
Great compassion will fulfill the hopes of self and others.
Therefore, all of you, practitioners and laypeople,
Cultivate compassion and you will achieve Buddhahood.
May all men and women who hear this song,
With great compassion, benefit all beings!
The method of Lord Buddha’s teachings is to show you the nature of the human mind, your human potential and how you can develop further. Moreover, this method does not emphasize blind belief in, rather than understanding of, metaphysical processes. However, whether you are religious or non- religious, or a believer or a non-believer, the important thing is to know the nature of your own mind. If you don’t, it is so easy to think that you are healthy and functioning well in your daily life while in fact the root of disturbing emotions is growing firmer and deeper within your mind. With this fundamental cause of psychological disease within you, a tiny change of conditions can precipitate mental illness. As long as you are totally immersed in blind attachment to the sense world, not knowing the nature of your mind, this can happen. You can’t reject this: “I don’t believe it.” You can’t reject your nose: “I don’t believe I have a nose.” Whether you believe you have a nose or not, it’s there!
We’re always in some kind of mood. It might be sadness, it might be anger, it might be not much of anything, just a kind of blur. It might be humor or contentment. In any case, whatever it is, that’s the path.
When something hurts in life, we don’t usually think of it as our path or as the source of wisdom. In fact, we think that the reason we’re on the path is to get rid of this painful feeling. In this way, we naively cultivate a subtle aggression against ourselves. However, the fact is that anyone who has used the moments, days, and years of his or her life to become wiser, kinder, and more at home in the world has learned from what’s happening right now. We can aspire to be kind right in the moment, to relax and open our heart and mind to what is in front of us right in the moment. Now is the time. If there’s any possibility for enlightenment, it’s right now, not at some future time.
So stay right 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.
This piece of advice is from the bottom of my heart:
fully engage in contemplation and understanding is born;
cherish nonattachment and delusion dissolves;
and forming no agenda at all reality dawns.
Whatever occurs, whatever it may be, that itself is the key,
and without stopping it or nourishing it, in an even flow,
freely resting, surrendering to ultimate contemplation,
in naked pristine purity we reach consummation.
Birth, sickness, ageing and death flow on, a river without ford or bridge;
People of Tingri, have you prepared yourselves a boat?