The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one will accomplish nothing.
The near enemy of equanimity is indifference or callousness. We may appear serene if we say, “I’m not attached. It doesn’t matter what happens anyway, because it’s all transitory.” We feel a certain peaceful relief because we withdraw from experience and from the energies of life. But indifference is based on fear. True equanimity is not a withdrawal; it is a balanced engagement with all aspects of life. It is opening to the whole of life with composure and ease of mind, accepting the beautiful and terrifying nature of all things. Equanimity embraces the loved and the unloved, the agreeable and the disagreeable, the pleasure and pain. It eliminates clinging and aversion.
Although everything is temporary and dreamlike, with equanimity we nevertheless honor the reality of form. As Zen master Dogen says, “Flowers fall with our attachment, and weeds spring up with our aversion.” Knowing that all will change and that the world of conditioned phenomena is insubstantial, with equanimity we are able to be fully present and in harmony with it.
Since your ego is your enemy, against whom shall you fight? Since your ego itself is the protector, whom shall you protect? It is the very witness of all you have done and left undone. When you have tamed your ego, you shall be liberated.
The essence of the highest teachings lies within a simple moment of awareness.
When there are thoughts, mental images or perceptions, the usual habit is simply to lose control and be caught up in the show. We continually get absorbed in what is going on, instead of taking a good clear look at the perceiving mind.
We have to study with our warm heart, not just with our brain.
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.