Stopping to reify our experiences ~ Pema Chödron

None of us wants to be miserable; we all want to be happy. But we can’t achieve this aim if we stay stuck in biased, narrow-minded thinking. No matter how much we long for joy, it will elude us if we continue buying into concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptance and rejection. What ultimately frees us from these constricting patterns is to stop reifying our experience, and to connect with the ineffable, groundless nature of all phenomena.

Teachings don’t just rain down ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

There is so much benefit in requesting teachings, especially if you supplicate not just for your own benefit. If you request teachings with a motivation triggered by renunciation and compassion (bodhichitta) — if you are requesting the teachings to benefit all beings — this is the supreme way to request.

But if the guru is a proper, brave, qualified master, he might not give the teaching even if he seemingly has all the knowledge, time, and place to give it.

I requested specific tantric teachings from Kyabje Dejung Rinpoche many times over the course of two years. Finally, one day in Nepal, instead of sending me away, he told me to wait. He appeared to go through the hassle of searching his suitcases and summoning his attendants to search for his almanac. I think I had to wait an hour. He didn’t answer my questions—he didn’t even look in my direction as he was reading the almanac and making notes. Finally he said, “Good. This is the seventh time you asked, so I will teach you.”

Attaining freedom of mind ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

You cannot simply remove mental afflictions (kleshas), by saying to yourself, “I will not generate any more mental afflictions,” because you do not have the necessary freedom of mind or control over the kleshas that would allow you to do so. In order to relinquish these, you need to actually attain this freedom of mind, which begins, according to the common path, with the cultivation of tranquility.

Protecting ourselves from future suffering ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

If we do practice the dharma now, so as to protect ourselves from future suffering, then when we die, although we will still have to face suffering, if we have no regrets, are confident in our practice and in the dharma, and put our trust in the Three Jewels, we can be confident that we will not go to the three lower realms, because we will not be attached to samsara.

The three things that really tire us ~ Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

We exhaust ourselves in three ways: We create fabrications like mental concepts. We exert a lot of effort. We create many objects or targets in our minds. These are the three things that really tire us. It is like an insect caught in a spider’s web: the more agitated it becomes, the more tangled it gets in the web. This creates real suffering, real torment for the mind.

So amazing ~ Longchenpa

In the experience of yogis who do not perceive things dualistically, the fact that things manifest without truly existing is so amazing that they burst into laughter.

At the time of death ~ Gyaltsab Rinpoche

If we consider how impermanent things are, then we must face the fact that we can die at any moment. If we were to die right now, what credentials, wealth or friends could we take with us? No matter what our plans for the future might have been, all of them will be meaningless at the time of death. The only thing that will matter is how much we understand ourselves and our own mental attitudes. How much we are able to unravel the bewilderment of our habitual patterns alone will be meaningful.

A fertile ground for training in being open minded ~ Pema Chödron

We are at a time when old systems and ideas are being questioned and falling apart, and there is a great opportunity for something fresh to emerge. The time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open minded and open-hearted.

Only ignorance can sustain it ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

Anger’s nature is not rendered empty by looking; it was already empty and always will be. As anger is empty in essence, it cannot be changed or transformed in any way whatsoever. As anger, or any other thought or emotion has no concrete nature, by looking into it and recognizing it, it naturally subsides. Only ignorance, the failure to know this fact, can sustain it.

Two great sources of fear in samsara ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

There are two great sources of fear in samsara, the moment of birth and the moment of death. The suffering and fear experienced at these two times have to be faced completely alone; there is no one who can really help us. The only thing that can help alleviate those sufferings is the practice of the supreme Dharma. Nothing else can do so.

But we do not know how to practice it: we have only become clever at doing worldly things. From an early age we have learned how to make things comfortable for ourselves and how to avoid being uncomfortable. This sort of attitude has resulted in a high degree of material achievement. We can fly through the sky in airplanes, and so on, and we have made life very easy from the material point of view. But actually we are just like children running after a rainbow. These things do not really help us.

We need to turn our minds toward the Dharma by reflecting on these sufferings of birth and death. By doing so, we enter the path, going first through the preliminaries, and then proceeding to the main practice. As we practice, we will gradually get a true taste of what it means to become disillusioned with worldly affairs and to progress on the path. This is something that will come with experience.

But we must not postpone it, thinking, “I will do this practice next month or next year …” If we have received a teaching today, it is today that we should start putting it into practice, for it is only from the moment we actually plant a seed that it will start to sprout.