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Quotes by Phakchok Rinpoche

Dharma kiss

One American said to me, “I do not like prostrations and rituals. Can you teach me dharma without rituals?” I told him, go out on a date with no ritual behavior. You just sit there, you don’t talk, you don’t make eye contact, you don’t giggle, you don’t touch. Nothing. Do you think this will be a successful date? No. I went out on my first date with my wife in New York City. You dress nicely, you smile, you talk, you gaze, you touch. This is the ritual of dating. And at the end of the night you get a kiss.

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The magical advice for relationships:

Care
Share
Understand
Respect
Retain some spice of jealousy
Avoid comparing too much with others
Enjoy yourself while avoiding too much selfishness and remaining without too many expectations
Stay free of judgement
Egolessness (That is, work together without attachment to too many of your own ideas. Avoid fighting with each other or having problems based just on your own strong opinions. In order to love another person you have to let go of your "self".)
Think about impermanence, that’s very important.

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Expectation, comparison, and judgement are all obstacles for both compassion and meditation. With mindfulness, look out for them and let them go.

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If possible, your meditation should be continuous and on a daily basis. The duration doesn’t matter; it can be for few seconds or minutes at first. Later on you will be able to practice for hours at a time. When you make it a habit to meditate continuously, you’ll have fewer problems with your mind and the emotions that follow from thought patterns. So for instance, while watching the World Cup, in the moment of jubilation or grievance for your team, you can meditate for a few seconds and try to be mindful of those very feelings at that very moment. Isn’t that quite simple? Meditation, a term with just ten letters, can sometimes seem to bear a certain weight because of the length of sessions and its meaning and so sometimes people tend to be too careful with it. This can happen to the point where we build a completely new environment for it: the right place to meditate, the right time to meditate, and the right circumstance to meditate. And in the process of planning, we lose out on time and hence a day skips by followed by a week and then we lose the entire momentum of wanting to meditate. So before you get entrapped in this repeated cycle, try not to plan too much and just meditate."

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Don't think everything makes sense. Just keep practicing.

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Please don't always believe what you feel.

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You have no chance of practicing Dharma (the Buddha's teachings) if you are not certain what Dharma actually is. So let me make this simple:
What is Dharma? Dharma is:
1.) Having a good heart (not causing harm, and wishing happiness and freedom from suffering to yourself and all other beings without bias).
2.) Tame the mind (practicing meditation baby).
3.) Realize the nature of mind.
4.) Stabilizing the natural state (which is enlightenment).

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One American said to me, “I do not like prostrations and rituals. Can you teach me dharma without rituals?” I told him, go out on a date with no ritual behavior. You just sit there, you don’t talk, you don’t make eye contact, you don’t giggle, you don’t touch. Nothing. Do you think this will be a successful date? No. I went out on my first date with my wife in New York City. You dress nicely, you smile, you talk, you gaze, you touch. This is the ritual of dating. And at the end of the night you get a kiss.

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A practitioner's attitude is: "It's ok." Relax. Wherever you are, be content about it, good or bad. Smile. Be gentle. Give advice to others that you take yourself. An attitude like this is how you will actually benefit more and more beings.

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I want to be like the great masters, completely without hope.

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Obstacles only arise when you agree with what your obstacle-thoughts are telling you. Don't fight back against your difficulties, just go back and keep practicing. This is how a sincere practitioner strengthens their diligence.

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You need to let go of yourself when you are practicing compassion. Trying to practice compassion while remaining absorbed with yourself is going to exhaust you, you're going to feel very tired, you're going to feel that you can't change anything, that you aren't helping enough, you think you need to do something good and then feel guilty about not doing enough. If you are filled with worry, with fear, that is not actually compassion. We become exhausted by our ideas, but genuine compassion is bigger than our ideas, it's stronger, it has no exhaustion. Compassion does not drain you. What really drains you is when you try to practice compassion while being absorbed with yourself. Check for yourself, look at yourself. Don't believe me. Experiment with yourself and see if it is true.

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People like me when I teach emptiness, because they don’t like compassion much these days. They don’t like devotion, praying—they don’t like these things. Emptiness is exciting. But, excitement is not good when it is the basis of your motivation, because excitement will go away. That’s why it is called excitement. When your motivation is based on something that goes, then it will go. It should be based somewhere that doesn’t go away.

All the lamas and great masters, all the way back to the Buddha have said, 'Accumulation of merit is important, purification is important, practicing bodhicitta is important, taking refuge is important, being decisive is important, practicing devotion is important. Then after, you are going to get a little bit of realization of emptiness.

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When you practice meditation, if you get pissed off or discouraged when you find you are distracted, then you don't know why you are meditating.

First, see the conditions of your discontent in life/why you aren't happy, then you will start to see all your negative emotions. When you look deeper, you will see the negative emotions arise from the judgement thoughts of "I, me, my". If you can clearly see that the "I" is the trouble maker, then you can gradually convince yourself to train to reduce the "I", and this is the very purpose of the path of meditation.

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I should notice, but not judge.

I should have compassion but not feel so much pain.

If I have something to do, but I face obstacles, I should not get angry.

I should measure myself through my motivation to see whether I am improving or not, but without any expectation.

Having this balance in your practice is the golden key of success.

This is why we practice, and why we train so that we can find this enlightened way that we've never understood before.

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I'm going to say a few things candidly,

Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.
Your mind training doesn’t matter when you don’t have compassion.
Your meditation doesn’t matter when you don’t see your own faults.
Dharma practice doesn’t matter when you don’t have devotion.
Obstacles don't matter when you have the blessings.

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I used to think that you don't need to sit down and do a meditation sessions.

I used to think you can just improve in daily life by living with a positive compassionate mind, living a "dharma life".

But you can see for yourself, just as I did, it's not enough!

There are many reasons why.

First, without sitting, you are definitely going to have a grumpy unstable mind more and more. That shows very clearly that it's not enough. You check!

Second, you can see that you have much more distraction, very fast unnecessary distraction. Unnecessary thoughts arise very fast and that shows very clear that you are not doing your practice.

Third, whenever you need to sit down to practice meditation on your own, or with the Sangha your mind goes hay-wire! That shows again that it's not enough! If you aren't sitting, but you just going around and thinking positive mind, this does not really contribute as complete training. You NEED to sit! Because when your body is sitting, and your voice is stopped, all you have left to see is the mind. Easy.

Don't fool yourself, you'll see it yourself, you are not ready! Not at all. Just look at your mind! Your mind is grumpy, your mind distracted, you have the mood swings. If you think you a practioner, but you don't make the time for meditation you aren't really doing practice, you're just "thinking" that you are doing practice.

Don't be a fool. So that's why sitting is very important, equally as important as having a good heart in day to day life.

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Without cutting or reducing ego clinging, no matter how much you want to practice the dharma or live a positive life it is not going to work.

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Compassion... what is compassion? Just "talking" about compassion everyday, like so many Buddhist like to do is so boring. Honestly speaking, boring. Compassion needs skillful ways to deal with what arises in your life, compassion needs to act, compassion needs dignity. Your compassion needs fuel, so that it can generate more and more. So how do we do that? Through aspiration. You must know how to make aspiration. My aspiration is "to fulfill how much I can the needs to help the beings." That is my fuel.
Our Buddhist compassion these days, I'm sorry to say but it's merely lip service. Really. We're very egocentric, I'm not kidding. Like, "May all sentient beings." we like to TALK about sentient beings and compassion but we never do anything! Non-Dharma practitioners they are sometimes better at compassion than us. What is wrong with that? Think. We like to say something is wrong with the Dharma because of course we never like to say "I'm wrong" we need to blame somebody, so we blame Dharma. Totally wrong understanding baby.

Compassion needs skillfully ways, compassion needs dignity, compassion needs aspirations my dears. Aspiration only comes when you gain your own direct experience of Dukkha, which means your suffering. Do you understand? You can't have aspiration if you don't recognize your own suffering. Please understand that aspiration is fuel, and you can only get it from experiencing your own suffering. I think maybe we Buddhists don't have enough suffering, I don't know. You have compassion there, the "compassion car", but it's not moving. Because the fuel is not there, there is no fuel, almost completely empty. All the time Buddhist teachings say, put yourself in other people's position, put yourself in other people's place. Why do they say that? To gain genuine aspiration.

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When you practice meditation, if you get pissed off or discouraged when you find you are distracted, then you don't know why you are meditating.

First, see the conditions of your discontent in life/why you aren't happy, then you will start to see all your negative emotions. When you look deeper, you will see the negative emotions arise from the judgement thoughts of "I, me, my". If you can clearly see that the "I" is the trouble maker, then you can gradually convince yourself to train to reduce the "I", and this is the very purpose of the path of meditation.

...

Dealing With Your Jealous and Competitive Mind

It is very important to appreciate our life and rejoice in other people’s successes. We need to feel fortunate about what we have — with our companions, family, wealth, and work. Whatever you have, you need a very simple way to have happiness in life, and to feel very meritorious and fortunate. In this way, our mind becomes very positive.

You can be a really serious practitioner, a non-practitioner, or a medium kind of practitioner. Whatever kind of practitioner you are, it is very important to have an attitude that makes you happy and grounded. This attitude comes from seeing your life as meaningful and fortunate, from feeling very meritorious and very content, and appreciating what other people do. And also from feeling happy about what you have and feeling happy about what you are. Because when we don’t do this, our mind compares us to others and becomes competitive. Then we judge and it’s never enough. And our desire is never enough. The combination of being competitive and having a lot of desire brings a lot of unhappiness.

So you need to know and see. I need to see — we all need to see — that happiness, joy, and bliss come from having an appreciation of other people’s work and at the same time being content with what we have and what we are. And feeling very meritorious for whatever we are is very important.

Whenever the competitive mind and jealousy come up, then you need to do the work. Now, some people will think that this is very positive thinking: “We need to work with competitive companies and competitive people and we need to work harder to improve.” But my point is that our competitive and comparing mind is switched on from when we wake until when we sleep. We are always challenging others, we always want to improve, we always want something more. When is it going to end?

My point is that we don’t know how to make it end. We only know how to go forward and cling more. It’s never enough competing or fighting. Don’t you feel tired?

You can give yourself 5 to 10 minutes to feel fortunate, feel meritorious, feel very thankful or very content with what you have. And after that, you can rejoice with what other people do, what other people enjoy, when they have success, and when they have a good time. Simply rejoice and feel content, no further than that. This will bring some happiness that you won’t get from spending 8 hours being competitive. Just 5 minutes of feeling fortunate and rejoicing in other people’s actions brings happiness.

So, please decide for yourself what is best.

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As genuine practitioners, we should strive, best we can to avoid these 5 things:

Without knowing the Dharma; learning the views of sectarians.
Without having any trust; chanting the prayers.
Without having the right compassion; doing charity.
Without having the view; doing meditation.
Without having self respect, self care, and love; trying to love and care for others.

These five things, you can see very clearly that we should not do these things.

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The secret, all the time, is what is closest to you without you even knowing. That is why it is called a secret. Many people think Dharma is something far away, something distant. Oh no my friends! Dharma is so close, closer than your own heartbeat, but you never hear it, or you never feel. So it is like a secret with yourself. Within you, is the secret you didn’t realize.

In order to practice Dharma genuinley, you need to make mistakes. When you make mistakes you learn more, you develop more. Without making mistakes, and then seeing the results, without putting in the effort, you cannot improve in Dharma practice. Likewise dharma practice is something you must apply practically in your life. If it's not practical, if you can't apply it, it's not Dharma.

When you see your mistakes, your faults, please start to think that this means you are actually improving. When you see your improving, you need to think what you are revealing is actually your innate nature. When you see the innate nature, you need to, without any grasping, you need to maintain genuinely, you need to let go of all the concepts that you ever have. That is the secret that is within our heart but nobody knows it, and nobody hears it.



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