Quotes by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Look into the mirror of your mind
Whatever you are doing, look constantly into the mirror of your mind and check whether your motive is for yourself or for others. Gradually you will develop the ability to master your mind in all circumstances; and by following in the footsteps of the accomplished masters of the past, you will gain enlightenment in a single lifetime.
Some people spend all their energy, and even risk their lives to achieve fame. Fame and notoriety are both no more than an empty echo. Your reputation is an alluring mirage that can easily lead you astray. Discard it without a second thought, like the snot you blow from your nose.
Stillness through visualization
In the secret-mantra vajrayana, once one has been ripened through the abhisheka, it is very important to practice the development and completion stages. In particular, it is extremely important to practice the development stage properly, since it is the preparation for the completion stage. If one can properly concentrate on the visualization during the development stage, stillness is accomplished within that state. (PA)
Look at the country where you are now. How many people have ever heard the term “the Three Jewels” or the sound of OM MANI PADME HUM? And how many have not? You can appreciate the rarity of hearing the Dharma and the even greater rarity of meeting an authentic teacher. But even so-called Dharma practitioners hardly know how to follow a spiritual teacher properly: they live with plenty of expectations, plenty of defects, and plenty of wild thoughts. Using your human life to achieve trivial aims is like storing garbage in a golden vase.(PI)
Ordinary enjoyments are pleasurable in the beginning, but as time goes on, they become an increasing source of torment, If you wrap a strip of wet leather around your wrist, it is fine at first, but as the leather dries and shrinks, it tightens painfully. What a relief it is to cut it away with a knife!...
Once you have understood the union of emptiness and the dependent arising of phenomena, you will see clearly how deluded and deceiving the ways of the world really are, and, like an old man forced to play children's games, you will find them very tiresome. When you realised the utter foolishness of spending your life attached to friends and scheming to subdue your enemies and competitors, you will find it tedious.
Once you have been struck by the pointlessness of letting yourself be forever influenced and conditioned by your habitual tendencies, you will become sick of it... That will inspire you to strive towards liberation — and by striving for it, you will attain it. Samsara will never just disappear on its own. You have to want to get rid of it actively yourself.
Enlightenment will be ours when we are able to care for others as much as we now care for ourselves, and ignore ourselves to the same extent that we now ignore others. (EC)
The supreme sign of a great practitioner is not that he sprouts a halo, has extraordinarily auspicious dreams, experiences bliss continuously, or can foresee our miserable futures. The supreme sign is that he no longer has any interest in material gain, fame, the respect of others, or being the centre of attention.
The literal meaning of guru yoga is 'union with the teacher´s nature'. To blend your mind with the teacher's mind is the most profound of all practices, and the shortest path of realization. It is the life force of the path and the one practice that includes all others. It was through relying on a spiritual teacher that all the bodhisattvas of the past generated the mind of enlightment and reached perfection. (THT)
Once you overcome the hatred within your mind, you will discover that in the world outside, there is no longer any such thing as even a single enemy.
The more you are preoccupied by your own physical aging, the more anxious you will become. Do not worry so much about your physical appearance. Concentrate, rather, on not wasting your life. Practise the Dharma. The more you engage in it, the more your satisfaction will grow.
You may look very impressive, with your eyes constantly gazing into the sky like a great meditator, declaring, “My view is that of the Great Perfection”—but if you lack inner stability, you will stumble over the first obstacle in your way. As it is said, “The sign of being wise is self-control; and the sign of a mature spiritual experience is the absence of conflicting emotions.” This means that to the same degree that one becomes wise and learned, one also becomes serene, peaceful, and subdued—not a reckless person bursting with pride and arrogance. However much your practice progresses year after year, you will have no concern with comfort and discomfort; you’ll have no pride at all. You will be always at peace, untroubled by outer events, with a humble mind, beyond hopes and doubts and indifferent to the eight worldly concerns: gain and loss, pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and obscurity. (PI)
Encontrar alguém que realmente machuca você é encontrar um tesouro raro e precioso. Mantenha essa pessoa em alta estima e aproveite ao máximo a oportunidade de erradicar seus defeitos e avançar no caminho. Se você ainda não pode sentir amor e compaixão por aqueles que o tratam mal, é um sinal de que sua mente não foi totalmente transformada e que você precisa continuar trabalhando com uma maior aplicação.
To meet someone who really hurts you is to meet a rare and precious treasure. Hold that person in high esteem, and make full use of the opportunity to eradicate your defects and make progress on the path. If you cannot yet feel love and compassion for those who treat you badly, it is a sign that your mind has not been fully transformed and that you need to keep working on it with increased application.
Understand this: it is more important to take to heart the key instructions than to receive a great many teachings.
When you feel you are being harmed by someone, remember that the harm that person may be inflicting on you (or someone dear to you) is the direct result of yourself having harmed others in the past. Reflect that this person is so overpowered by delusion that he or she is as if possessed, and cannot resist harming you. As a result of this harm, he or she will have to suffer in samsara's lower realms ia a future life. When you think how terrible that will be, you will feel only sadness and pity rather than anger.
Clarity and emptiness are inseparably united in the true nature of mind, which is beyond all concepts of existence and non-existence.
Authentic spiritual friends are those who have received teachings from the same teacher as yourself and, detached form worldly concerns, are devoting themselves to practice in secluded places. In the company of such friends, you will naturally be influenced by their good qualities, just as birds flying around a golden mountain are bathed in its golden radiance.
Experiences are like mist: they will fade away. Practitioners who spend their time practicing in seclusion are certain to have many different experiences, but these experiences are very unreliable. As it is said, experiences are like rainbows, but the great meditator who runs after them like a child will be deceived. We may occasionally have flashes of clairvoyance, seeing things we cannot ordinarily know. We may have signs of accomplishment, or predictions from the deity or the dakinis. But such experiences in most cases give rise to hope and expectation. They are none other than the tricks of demons: they simply cause obstacles. When true realization dawns in one’s mind, it is like the king of mountains, Mount Meru, which no wind can shake.
Gradually you will be able to meet all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Vidyadharas dwelling in the Budhafields and receive their blessings and instructions so that all obstacles and problems on the path are cleared. Just as a son who takes care of his family’s fields, tilling the soil and producing a good harvest, will greatly please his parents, so too by keeping your body, speech, and mind in tune with the Dharma and persevering on the path for the sake of all sentient beings, you will gladden all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and they will shower blessings upon you. You will be able to reach Buddhafields like Tushita and Dumataka and other celestial fields. And you will be protected by all those who abide by virtue – Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the various protectors. You will obtain the majesty of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, with all their blessings, so that no hindrances, negative forces, or obstacle makers will be able to do you any harm. (ZT)
It is always beneficial to be near a spiritual teacher. These masters are like gardens or medicinal plants, sanctuaries of wisdom. In the presence of a realized master, you will rapidly attain enlightenment. In the presence of an erudite scholar, you will acquire great knowledge. In the presence of a great meditator, spiritual experience will dawn in your mind. In the presence of a bodhisattva, your compassion will expand, just as an ordinary log placed next to a log of sandalwood becomes saturated, little by little, with its fragrance.
Indeed, adversaries and people who try to harm you can be powerful sources of help on the bodhisattva path. By bringing about situations which would normally trigger your anger or hatred, they give you the precious opportunity to train in transforming those negative emotions with patience. On the path, such people will do you far more good than any well-disposed friend.
A hidden yogi is a practitioner who does not mix with other people and become involved in worldly activities, and who seeks neither fame nor followers. He bums with an irresistible longing for spiritual practice and has seized the root of Dharma- the determination to be free from Samsara. Now, you might think: "If I renounce all worldly activity now, what will happen to me later? How am I going to find food, lodging, and all the rest of it?"
But such deluded hesitations and anxieties could, if you allow them, dominate the rest of your life, pulling the net of Samsara tighter and tighter. As long as these inveterate tendencies continue, so will suffering.
You will never be a good Dharma practitioner until you are truly sick of ordinary life and know how to be satisfied with whatever you have. (THT)
"Unlike ordinary drinks, the nectar of mindfulness is available everywhere all the time, and can quench your thirst once and for all. Jetsun Milarepa said: If you need something to drink, drink the tea of mindfulness and vigilance."
For objects that please us and for people that we love, for example, our parents and relatives, we experience attachment. But when confronted by uncomfortable situations, when for example we see enemies or people we dislike, we experience aversion. When we see people who are neither close friends nor enemies, we feel indifferent. In pleasant situations, we feel attachment; in unpleasant situations, anger; in indifferent situations, ignorance. Many people, like myself, are infected by the three poisons! Therefore we should pray, "May the obscurations of all beings, arising through these three poisons, come upon me as a load to bear. May all beings live virtuously, performing positive actions, and be free from the three poisons of attachment, anger, and ignorance. "We will be greatly benefited if we constantly train ourselves in thinking like this. (EC)
Unless you have made a clear decision to turn your back on samsara, then however many prayers you recite, however much you meditate, however many years you remain in retreat, it will all be in vain. You may have a long life, but it will be without essence. You may accumulate great wealth, but it will be meaningless. The only thing that is really worth doing is to get steadily closer to enlightenment and further away from samsara. Think about it carefully.
You will fall sick, experience pain, and encounter many adverse circumstances. At such times do not think, ‘Although I am practicing the Dharma, I have nothing but trouble. The Dharma cannot be so great. I have followed a teacher and done so much practice, and yet hard times still befall me.’
Such thoughts are wrong views. You should realize that through the blessing and power of the practice, by experiencing sickness and other difficulties now, you are purifying and ridding yourself of negative actions.
By purifying them while you have the chance, you will later go from bliss to bliss. So do not think, ‘I don’t deserve this illness, these obstacles, these negative influences.’ Experience your difficulties as blessings. When you do experience such difficulties, you should be very happy and avoid having adverse thoughts like, ‘Why are such terrible things happening to me?’
By and large, human beings tend to prefer to fit in to society by following accepted rules of etiquette and being gentle, polite, and respectful. The irony is that this is also how most people imagine a spiritual person should behave. When a so-called dharma practitioner is seen to behave badly, we shake our heads over her audacity at presenting herself as a follower of the Buddha. Yet such judgments are better avoided, because to “fit in” is not what a genuine dharma practitioner strives for.
Think of Tilopa, for example. He looked so outlandish that if he turned up on your doorstep today, you probably would refuse to let him in. And you would have a point. He would most likely be almost completely naked; if you were lucky, he might be wearing some kind of G-string; his hair would never have been introduced to shampoo; and protruding from his mouth would quiver the tail of a live fish. What would your moral judgment be of such a being? “Him! A Buddhist?” This is how our theistic, moralistic, and judgmental minds work. Of course, there is nothing wrong with morality, but the point of spiritual practice, according to the vajrayana teachings, is to go beyond all our concepts, including those of morality.
Such is the strength of delusion and habitual tendencies that practicing Dharma might initially seem very hard; but these difficulties will gradually subside. Once you have understood the essential point of the teachings, you will experience no hardship or difficulty with the practice. Your efforts will bring you joy. It is like developing any skill - as you master the important points, it becomes progressively easier, you gain increasing confidence, and your capacity and endeavor keep on growing.
Whatever meditation or reflection you have done, it will never be wasted. The benefit it brings will be present in your mindstream at the time of your death, and will help you be reborn in a place where the Dharma flourishes, near an authentic spiritual teacher. Life after life, you will evolve from a mediocre into an average practitioner into an excellent one. The essence of learning is reflection, and the essence of reflection is meditation. As you go deeper into the meaning of the teachings, the wondrous qualities of the Dharma will become ever clearer, like the sun appearing ever brighter the higher you fly.
The sign that you have fully assimilated your learning of the Dharma is that you become peaceful by nature. The sign that you have assimilated your meditation is that you are free of obscuring emotions. As learning leads to reflection and reflection transforms into meditation, your eagerness for the deluded activities of this life will relax, and you will yearn for the Dharma instead.
Anything you do that is in accord with the Dharma, however small or trivial it may seem, will be beneficial. As the 'Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish' says:
Do not take lightly small good deeds,
Believing they can hardly help;
For drops of water one by one
In time can fill a giant pot.
Simply hearing the sound of the Dharma being taught—even the sound of the conches and gongs that call the community to gather for teachings—has inconceivable blessings and benefits, the Buddha said, and can liberate beings from rebirth in the lower realms.
And so, when attachment for the 'I' appears-and it is after all only a thought within our minds-we should try to investigate.
Is this ego a substance, a thing? Is it inside or outside? When we think that someone has done some- thing to hurt us and anger arises, we should ask ourselves whether the anger is part of the enemy's makeup or whether it is in ourselves.
Likewise with attachment to friends: is our longing an attribute of the friend, or is it in ourselves? And if there are such things as anger or attachment, do they have shape or color, are they male, female or neither? For if they exist, they ought to have characteristics.
The fact is, however, that even if we persevere in our search, we will never find anything. If we do not find anything, how is it that we keep on clinging? All the trouble that we have had to endure until now has been caused by something that has never existed! Therefore, whenever the ego-clinging arises we must rid ourselves of it immediately and we should do everything within our power to prevent it from arising again. (EC)
Without being concentrated by a magnifying glass, dry grass can not be set alight by the rays of the sun, even though they bathe the whole earth evenly in their warmth. In the same way, it is only when focussed through the magnifying glass of your faith and devotion that the all-pervading warm rays of the buddhas’ compassion can make blessings blaze up in your being, like dry grass on fire.
Trample on anger with realization and it dissolves like a cloud in the sky; and as it dissolves, the notion of 'enemy' will vanish with it.
All sentient beings without exception, whose number is as vast and limitless as space, and who have been our kind parents in the past, aspire to happiness and wish to avoid suffering. Yet, afflicted by ignorance and mental poisons, they ignore the causes of happiness. Contradicting their aspirations with their actions, they suffer from all kinds of torments in samsaric existence. They are like blind people abandoned in the middle of a desert. When they were our kind mothers, they gave us life, provided us with food, clothing, protection, and education. Seeing their unhappy condition now, we cannot help but feel great compassion. Yet the mere feeling of compassion is not enough; we must actually do something to free them from suffering. Now that we have obtained a human existence and met a spiritual teacher, it is time to progress toward enlightenment solely for their benefit.
An unsuitable friend is one who is fond of distractions, totally immersed in ordinary worldly activities, and who does not care in the least about achieving liberation—a friend who has no interest or faith in the Three Jewels. The more time you spend with such a person, the more the three poisons will permeate your mind. Even if you do not initially agree with their ideas and actions, if you spend a lot of time with unsuitable friends, you will eventually be influenced by their bad habits. Your resolve to act positively will decline, and you will waste your life. Such people will prevent you from spending any time studying, reflecting, and meditating—which are the roots of liberation. And they will make you lose whatever qualities you may have developed, especially compassion and love—which are the very essence of the teachings of the Great Vehicle. An unsuitable friend is like a bad captain who steers his ship onto the rocks. Such people are your worst enemy. You owe it to yourself to stay away from them. In contrast, being with people who embody or aspire to gentleness, compassion, and love will encourage you to develop those qualities so essential to the path. Inspired by their example, you will become filled with love for all beings, and come to see the inherent negativity of attachment and hatred. Authentic spiritual friends are those who have received teachings from the same teacher as yourself and, detached form worldly concerns, are devoting themselves to practice in secluded places. In the company of such friends, you will naturally be influenced by their good qualities, just as birds flying around a golden mountain are bathed in its golden radiance. (THC)
This is very shortsighted
Most people, thinking of the future, make a lot of plans but the future they plan for is only the very few years of this life. This is very shortsighted; we have such a long way to go in lives to come. Death is just the threshold, which we have to cross alone, aided only by our faith in the teacher and the Three Jewels and by our confidence in the practice. Relatives, friends, power, wealth, and whatever else we have become so used to relying on will simply no longer be there.
The only way to put an end to samsara is to practice the dharma. The dharma is offered to you, ready to be used. Therefore, it is up to you whether or not you practice it; the teacher cannot practice it for you. If you practice with full dedication, you can achieve liberation in the span of this present life; if not, you can prepare the ground for achieving it within a few lifetimes, or at least you will acquire some affinity for the dharma that will eventually lead you along the path. (…) Those who are strongly motivated to practice the dharma do not really need to receive a lot of instructions, just the essential ones. In this present dark age, there is no time for extensive learning such as studying the entire Tripitaka and the numerous commentaries upon it. Anyway, people nowadays lack the necessary intelligence and diligence for such study. Now is the time to practice the pith oral instructions of your guru, which are like butter churned from milk. (PI)
Keep in mind the many beings who are suffering in the same way as you are, and pray that your suffering may absorb theirs, and that they may be liberated from all suffering. In this way, illness can teach us compassion.
Throughout the day, put the teachings into practice. In the evening examine what you have done, said, and thought during the day. Whatever was positive, dedicate the merit to all beings and vow to improve on it the next day. Whatever was negative, confess and promise to repair it. In this way, the best practitioners progress from day to day, the middling practitioners from month to month, and the least capable from year to year
The practitioner who has the greatest yearning devotion receives the greatest blessing. Even though rain falls evenly over the land, it is only where perfect seeds are properly cultivated and ready to sprout that a plant grows
PA - Pure Appearance
EC - Enlightened Courage
THC - The Heart of Compassion
THT - The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones
ZT - Zurchungpa's Testament
PI - Pith Instructions