We receive what we put into the Dharma. Our joyous effort brings good results over time. We are responsible for our spiritual practice, although we certainly depend on spiritual teachers to instruct us and a community of Dharma friends for support. However, no one is going to spoon-feed us. Our teachers and the Three Jewels are there to guide, teach, and inspire us, but we have to do the work of transforming our minds. As we do, we will become wiser, calmer, and more compassionate. Our mental and emotional clarity will increase, as will our sense of well-being.
To encourage curiosity and flexibility, it’s important to discover our limits, and then stretch a bit further.
Wishing to attain liberation from intolerable suffering, rely upon a wise guru. When the guru’s blessings enter your heart, your mind will be liberated. These things of samsara are meaningless or pointless, the causes of suffering. And since all of these things that have been done or made are pointless, look at that which is meaningful.
When the old plum tree suddenly blooms, the world of blossoming flowers arises. At the moment when the world of blossoming flowers arises, spring arrives. There is a single blossom that opens five petals. At this moment of a single blossom, there are three, four, and five blossoms, hundreds, thousands, myriads, billions of blossoms – countless blossoms.
Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.
The enlightened mind is like a bird in flight that leaves no trace of its path. People will say, “A bird just flew by.” In their mind, there is a trace of the bird’s path. This is attachment. For the enlightened practitioner, that moment is already gone—the bird has left no trace of its flight. Like the bird, from moment to moment the enlightened practitioner’s actions do not leave any trace.
Many people cannot allow themselves the time to sit and do nothing but breathe. They consider it to be uneconomical or a luxury. People say “time is money.” But time is much more than money. Time is life. The simple practice of sitting quietly on a regular basis can be profoundly healing. Stopping and sitting is a good way to focus on mindful breathing and nothing else.
Effortlessly, the inconceivable qualities are naturally perfect. The only difference between buddhas and sentient beings is whether these qualities are realized or not. In terms of how things are, there is no difference between buddhas and sentient beings. However, in terms of how things appear, sentient beings are confused and buddhas are not. So confusion is the only difference.
You are good; fundamentally, you are healthy. Moreover, that particular health is capable of accommodating your badness as well as your goodness. When you’re good, you’re not particularly bashful about your goodness, and when you’re bad, you’re not particularly shocked by that either. These are simply your attributes. When you begin to accept both aspects of your being as energy, as part of the perspective of your view of yourself, then you are connecting with the fundamental goodness, which can accommodate all of these energies as part of one basic being. This is very solid and earthy. It is invincible in fact. That is the basic idea of good: that good can accommodate both wrong and right at the same time. Because of that, it is good. It is solid soil, solid ground.