Monday, August 28, 2006


Having meditated on love and compassion,
I forgot the difference between myself and others.
Having mediated upon my lama, I forgot those who are influential and powerful
Having meditated on the yidam, I forgot the coarse world of the senses.
Having meditated on the instruction of the secret tradition, I forgot the books of dialectic. Having tasted the joys of solitude, I forgot the need to please my relatives and friends.
Having assimilated the teaching in the stream of my consciousness, I forgot to engage in doctrinal polemics.
Having lived in humility in body and mind, I forgot the disdain and arrogance of the great. Having made a monastery within my body, I forgot the monastery outside.
Having embraced the spirit rather than the letter, I forgot how to play with words. --Jetsun Milarepa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Your Present Naked Awarened

5. Your present naked awareness How amazing! Your present, naked awareness-- Unspoiled by thoughts of past, present, or future, Not fettered by mind grasping to so-called "meditation" Nor falling into a pervasive blankness of so-called "non-meditation"-- The natural state nakedly sustained, Is the practice of Great Perfection. Regardless of what thoughts arise during that practice, To reject negative ones or foster positive ones is unnecessary. Mere recognition liberates them in their own ground. Take this liberation upon arising as the path's key point. Destroy whatever meditative experiences arise, and relax. A tantric practitioner without fixation is deeply content. You've reached your goal of contentment right now. What is the use of numerous enumerations of Buddha's teachings When you discover Buddha Kuntu Zangpo within yourself? Keep the meaning of these words close to your heart. --from Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche's Heart Advice by Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, translated by Ron Garry, a Tsadra Foundation Series book published by Snow Lion Publications

Saturday, August 26, 2006

George Lucas

Train yourself to let go of what you fear to lose...

--George Lucas, Star Wars III (One of Mingyur Rinpoche's favorite movies.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Be ever mindful of the shortcomings of desire's rewards

Be ever mindful of the shortcomings of desire's rewards, and know that all the phenomena of the cycle of existence are never still, like the ripples on a pond, and that these manifestations of delusion which are no things in themselves are like magic and dreams. When you have the determination to be free of samsara and are content with your material situation, you will be able to sit quietly with your mind happy and at ease. --Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, The Writings of Kalu Rinpoche

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Question of Geography


Student: Tonight you mentioned the emphasis hundreds of years ago on students practicing meditation in
their caves. What is the real difference between the experience of a practitioner then and our experience

Chogyam Trungpa: There’s not very much difference. The main difference is that they heard different
noises then. These days we might hear airplanes flying above, and in those days, they might have heard
flies buzzing about….In actual reality, as far as the living situation is concerned, it’s essentially the same,
then and now. In those days, caves were routinely used for sitting practice, not for romantic reasons but
because, in that geographical area, there were lots of caves. You didn't have to spend money to build a
cabin; there were holes in the mountains already. You just went and lived there. Nowadays, we can't find
many holes in the mountains around here, so we have to build retreat cabins. It’s simply a question of
Actually things haven't changed that much. We might romanticize the "good old days," but if you were
there right now, you wouldn't think that those were the "good old days" at all. You would have the same
experience then as now, anyway. It’s just a gap in time, a time lapse.

From "Trungmase and the Three Idiots," Talk Three in THE LINE OF THE TRUNGPAS, an
unpublished manuscript being edited for publication. Forthcoming in 2007 from Vajradhatu Publications.

Chogyam Trungpa

The real function of a spiritual friend, is to insult you... --Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Friday, August 18, 2006

Patrul Rinpoche

...however fully you have realized in your view the nature of reality, you must pay minute attention to your actions and their effects. -- Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


If the mind twisted into knots is loosened, It is undoubtedly freed.
Saraha, Song for the People

Monday, August 14, 2006

Do not regard the thoughts in your mind as things to be rejected

Do not regard the thoughts in your mind as things to be rejected/ Do not deliberately create nonceptuality. Post the watchman of mindfulness, and rest.

-- Gyalwa Yang Gönpa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Sevenfold Cause-and-Effect Method

The Sevenfold Cause-and-Effect Method If we have been reborn time after time, it is evident that we have needed many mothers to give birth to us. ...the first cause bringing about bodhicitta is the recognition that all beings have been our mother. The love and kindness shown us by our mother in this life would be difficult to repay. She endured many sleepless nights to care for us when we were helpless infants. She fed us and would have willingly sacrificed everything, including her own life, to spare ours. As we contemplate her example of devoted love, we should consider that each and every being throughout existence has treated us this way. Each dog, cat, fish, fly, and human being has at some point in the beginningless past been our mother and shown us overwhelming love and kindness. Such a thought should bring about our appreciation. This is the second cause of bodhicitta. As we envision the present condition of all these beings, we begin to develop the desire to help them change their lot. This is the third cause, and out of it comes the fourth, a feeling of love cherishing all beings. This is an attraction toward all beings, similar to what a child feels upon seeing his or her mother. This leads us to compassion, which is the fifth cause of bodhicitta. Compassion is a wish to separate these suffering beings, our mothers of the past, from their miserable situation. At this point we also experience loving-kindness, a wish that all beings find happiness. As we progress through these stages of responsibility, we go from wishing that all sentient beings find happiness and freedom from suffering to personally assuming responsibility for helping them enter this state beyond misery. This is the final cause. As we scrutinize how best to help others, we are drawn to achieving the fully enlightened and omniscient state of Buddhahood. --from An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life by The Dalai Lama, edited by Nicholas Vreeland

Monday, August 07, 2006

Just as the pattern of colors in a peacock's feathers

Just as the pattern of colors in a peacock's feathers are due to poison, may the afflictions be transformed into the aids to enlightenment by my taking on the physical, verbal, and mental deeds of other living beings past, present, and future.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ultimately, every state of existence

Ultimately, every state of existence that we or any other being in the universe experiences arises from the mind and is experienced by the mind as its own projection.

--Kalu Rinpoche, The Gem Ornament of Manifold Oral Instructions

How then does the mistaken idea, that things exist from their own side, operate?

How then does the mistaken idea, that things exist from their own side, operate? Whatever appears to the mind appears as if it existed truly from its own side. ...Now if the object existed as it appears to you, then, when you searched for it, you could actually find a real [object]. So, we must ask ourselves whether or not this object, when searched for, is to be found or not. If the object is not found when it is searched for, we must conclude that it does not exist from its own side, that when the label is applied to its basis, it is not so labeled because the basis somehow bears within it something which is the object. At this point, one must conclude that the object does not exist as it appears to, but then, one may wonder whether it exists at all.

Things, however, are not utterly non-existent. They do exist nominally. So things do exist, but they do not exist from the side of the basis of the label. And hence, though they do exist, because they do not exist within the object itself, they must exist only as they are labeled by the subject (the conceptual mind, for example). There is no other way for the object to exist apart from the way it is posited by conceptual thought. This is then what we mean when we say that all phenomena are merely labeled by conceptual thought. However, things do not appear to us as if they were mere conceptually labeled entities. Instead, they appear as if they existed from their own side. Therefore, it is a mistake to think that things exist as they appear.

--from Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists by The Dalai Lama, edited by Jose Ignacio Cabezon, published by Snow Lion Publications

Friday, August 04, 2006

Samsara is not always pleasant

Samsara is not always pleasant; it is made up of a lot of suffering and problems. When they have problems, some people get upset immediately. Why? Because they do not notice or understand what the condition of samsara is like. If, for example, you are aware that you are in samsara, you know what the situation of samsara is like, when you have a problem there is no reason for you to be too upset. Of course if you have some problems, it isn't very nice. You are not happy but you know what the situation is like so you can accept it the way it is and do your best to overcome and diminish problems. This way you don't get charged up and accumulate tensions. Even when there are problems, they become lighter instead of heavier. This is called: knowing how the situation or the condition is. --Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche