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Quotes by Phakchok Rinpoche

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


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."


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


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).


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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