Supplication to the guru ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Praying to the guru is not necessarily a matter of chanting mantras or reading a supplication composed by others. The real prayer, on the relative level, is just thinking of the guru — his form, his name, his activities, his color, his shape, even his movement.

If you forget to pray to the guru for a long time, he will not complain that you haven’t been offering enough prayers. But the moment you remember the guru, he is there; his compassion is there, and his blessing is there. The notion of the guru being there comes from remembering the guru. Remembering is the presence of the guru.

We can supplicate to the guru for mundane things like longevity, prosperity, good health, materializing Rwandan hunks. The main aim is to have compassion, bodhichitta, renunciation mind, and to experience the enthusiasm and joy of supplication itself so that we will have devotion. We supplicate to understand the meaning of nonduality, beginning with actualizing the nonduality of guru and student.

It helps to recite supplication prayers in a loud voice with all kinds of tunes, so as to penetrate your stubborn shell of impure perception.

Diligent with our body, speech, and mind ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

Striving at the Dharma means being diligent about the Dharma. How do we do that? We need to do it with our body, speech, and mind – all three. Is it enough to be diligent with just our body or just our speech or just our mind? No, it is not enough.

Collective actions and attitudes ~ 17th Karmapa

We not only share the world; many of us also share similar attitudes and behaviors. When enough people think and act in similar ways, the effect of those actions is amplified. We can refer to this dynamic as cumulative action or collective action. In Buddhist terms we call this collective karma, which in this case simply refers to the fact that many people engaging in the same intentional action has a cumulative effect that impacts us all.

We do not generally spend much time thinking about the wider impact of our collective actions and attitudes. When we can see the immediate results of our personal actions, we take more care. But the connection between collective actions or shared attitudes and their longer-term or indirect impact is more obscure, and for this reason we fail to concern ourselves with these wider consequences.

The world has always been interdependent. But in the twenty-first century, communications technologies help make that fact more readily visible to us. Globalization promotes — and global society seems to embracing wholeheartedly — a consumer culture that is spread instantly through communications technologies. This lends an added force to shared attitudes and actions. Our individual lifestyle choices are greatly amplified as consumer trends and values are expressed online and carried rapidly to all corners of the globe. More and more people seek to embrace the global consumer culture they see articulated online, believing such a lifestyle will bring them personal happiness and social success.

We urgently need to recognize that we are not making choices for ourselves alone. When we choose for ourselves, we are also choosing for many others. Therefore we need to take much greater care what we decide and how we behave. Many individuals acting out of personal wants and desires have far-reaching collective effects on the world as a whole.

Clinging to the body ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

We cling to the entity of a body that even a tiny prick from a thorn makes us miserable. When there is warm sunshine outside, we feel comfortable and the body is pleased. We are constantly preoccupied with the comfort and attractiveness of our body and treat it like the most precious thing. Clinging to the body is the reason we experience such reactions to the pleasant and the unpleasant.

Beyond meditation ~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

When one realizes the ultimate nature of mind, there are no longer any moments that fall outside the sphere of meditation. However, the only way to achieve this realization is through meditation. One is free from the struggle to give up afflictive emotions or to “attain” wisdom. At this point, meditation as such no longer exists, because there is no longer any separation between meditator, meditation, and an object of meditation.

See all causative phenomena like this ~ Buddha

A star, a defective view, the butter lamp flame,
an illusion, a dew drop, or a water bubble,
a dream, lightning, a cloud —
see all causative phenomena like this.

Overcoming the inner enemy ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

If we had no negativity in our mind, there would be no opportunity for suffering to arise. The first thing to do is overcome the inner enemy: the real enemy isn’t outside of us, it is the negativity within us that leads us to do negative things that cause suffering. If we can overcome this inner enemy, we will really be heroes who can find happiness and who can go beyond suffering.

Turning Emptiness Into a Belief ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

Just thinking, “all is empty,” without a system of proof based on sound reasons arrived at through valid reasoning is not emptiness. That is just belief about emptiness. In this particular context, entertaining a supposition about emptiness and holding a belief about it come down to more or less the same. Just to think, “all phenomena are empty,” is pure supposition; it is turning emptiness into a belief. For emptiness to be more for a given individual than just another system of beliefs, the first two characteristics of complete practice, namely, listening and reflection, are required. In the context of listening and reflecting, the way emptiness is defined necessarily derives from a process of logical thinking built up on valid reasons. Without that, what you think is emptiness is your own supposition.

Discipline ~ 17th Karmapa

The downside of the perfection of discipline is called “the demon of austerity” — taking on discipline as a hardship and making it into a struggle. Done right, discipline is taken on joyfully and with a clear understanding of why engaging in it is good…

Whatever we give up or whatever we do, we should first feel a connection to the practice and then be very clear why we are doing this and not something else. When we act this way, our discipline becomes very inspiring.

Death ~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

The bardo of death is a successive process. Our physical body is an aggregation of flesh, blood, etc. and deteriorates at death. Mind, on the other hand, does not die since it isn’t composed of particles. The physical components of our body are formed at birth and disintegrate at death. Our physical body only functions as long as it is sustained by our mind. Every physical body is dependent upon many causes and conditions and is only appropriated in dependence upon them. For this reason, our body is subject to decay and collapses in the absence of our mind, our consciousness. Mind, which isn’t an aggregation of particles, doesn’t cease when it leaves the body. Its nature is clarity and awareness.