Quotes by Tsoknyi Rinpoche
Illusion immediately becomes more workable when we acknowledge it as simply an illusion. The Western habit is to work against the grain and to try and organize the illusory into something solid and structured.
In the stressful attempt to nail down the illusory nature of things, our chance to be at ease, spacious, awake, and free, which already exists within ourselves, gets lost.
There are many ways of grasping at the meditative state. Some of you might be so blissful that you feel, ‘Wow, it is so great to feel this. Even if I were to be pricked with a needle right now, it will probably also be a pleasant sensation. It won’t hurt at all.’ According to Dzogchen, it’s perfectly all right to feel blissful. You don’t have to avoid it, but neither should you hold on to it by clinging to or yearning for the feeling of bliss. Instead, recognize that which experiences, and simply allow the bliss to be a reflection in this mirror. Do not fixate upon it at all.
Please understand that the compassion and devotion that arise from experiencing the awakened state are not what we conventionally know as compassion and devotion.
It is together with true intelligence, the real knowledge of how to be free – that is why they can become true compassion and true devotion.
True compassion is undirected and holds no conceptual focus. That kind of genuine, true compassion is only possible after realizing emptiness.
Empty essence means very, very open
And very spacious, like a totally open sky.
Space has no center or edge.
Nothing is prevented, it is completely unimpeded.
Empty essence, like space, is not made out of anything whatsoever.
At the same time there is a sense of knowing,
An awake quality, a cognizant nature,
Not separate from the openness of this space.
Like the sun shining in daytime,
The daylight and space are not separate.
It’s all sunlit space.
Nothing is confined, nothing is blocked out.
All the doors and windows are wide open.
Like a total welcome – of all possibilities –
Which doesn’t get caught up in whatever happens.
It is wide open,
The unity of empty essence and cognizant nature.
This is the third quality, that of unconfined capacity.
As we go through life, we accumulate layers of ideas about who we are and what we’re capable of achieving. As these layers accumulate, we tend to become increasingly rigid in our identification with certain views about ourselves and the world around us. Gradually, we lose our connection to the basic openness, clarity, and love that is the essence of our being. Our awareness is overwhelmed by hundreds of different thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Some we latch onto because they’re attractive fantasies or scary preoccupations; some we try to shove away because they’re too upsetting or because they distract us from whatever we’re trying to accomplish at the moment.
Instead of focusing on some of them and pushing away others, though, just look at them as feathers flying in the wind. The wind is your awareness, your inborn openness and clarity. Feathers — the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that pass through our awareness — are harmless. Some may be more attractive than others, some less attractive; but essentially they’re just feathers. Look at them as fuzzy, curly things floating through the air.
As you do so, you begin to identify with the awareness that is watching the feathers and allow yourself to be okay with whatever feathers happen to be flying at the time. You’re accepting them without latching on to them or trying to shove them away. This simple act of acceptance — which may only last a few seconds — offers a taste of that open space of essence love, an acceptance of the warmth that is your basic nature, the heart of your own being.
Be kind to yourself as you proceed along this journey. This kindness, in itself, is a means of awakening the spark of love within you and helping others to discover that spark within themselves.