We must always examine our minds in our daily life — not just through formal meditation, but even when we’re eating, sitting, walking the dog, spending time with our friends, and so on. Then, as soon as any form of attachment, anger, jealousy, or any disturbing force arises, challenge it, because these afflictive emotions cause nothing but chaos — not just in this life, but in terms of lower rebirth in the future too. No outer enemy can do that, but the inner afflictions can.
The avoidance of our inner demons — our fears of change and death, our rage and jealousy — only imbues these adversaries with greater power. The more we run away, the less chance we have of escaping. We must face suffering, move into it; only then can we become free from it.
In today’s highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal responsibility. It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members, and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.
When we connect with our heart of devotion, then, in that moment, we are connecting very powerfully, immediately, and directly with the awakened heart of the guru and the lineage, as well as our own inherently awakened state. Working with our devotion means that we are not just relying on our own efforts. We are opening ourselves to a source of blessings that is an embodiment and a reflection of our own fundamental nature.
Who ever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world, and we buy it. But pain and pleasure go together; they are inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary.
Shouldn’t we all try to contemplate the inevitability of our own death at least once this lifetime? Particularly as every one of us will die – itself a crucially important piece of information. Doesn’t putting some effort into processing the inescapable fact of our own death make sense?
What should you do after you get up from your meditation session? Consider all phenomena to be like illusions or dreams. You should do all your activities of walking, sitting, eating, and lying down within that state of mind.
Self and other — everything — is as a dream;
There isn’t even the slightest thing which is truly established.
When you maintain the natural state as it is
Without spoiling or fabricating your mind,
The emptiness of all inner and outer phenomena
Is realized to be the sky-like union of clarity and emptiness.
That is ultimate bodhicitta.
Migrating beings who do not realize this
Wander in saṃsāra under the influence of dualistic apprehension.
We see pixels on a screen and hear the digital reproduction of someone’s voice and think, “I see them, they see me, and we can talk.” But when you get right down to it, there is no one there. It is an electronic and therefore artificial representation we are gazing at and talking to. This may be an entertaining way to pass our time, but when we are in real emotional pain, these electronic connections fall far short of the comfort and intimacy we yearn for. It is extremely difficult for technology to transmit the basic human warmth that we all need, and that we especially seek in our moments of pain.
When you are hurt, sometimes you just want someone to hug you. A flat screen cannot hold your hand and share your pain. Even if your loneliness is relieved by a text message or a smiling face on your screen, those data bytes can never fully replace the full vividness of direct contact with someone who is present with you physically and emotionally.
Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up. We can use everything that occurs — whether it’s our conflicting emotions and thoughts or our seemingly outer situation — to show us where we are asleep and how we can wake up completely, utterly, without reservations.