The Trick

 

“Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.”  ~Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (source)

 

 


 

“It’s all a dream we dreamed, one afternoon long ago…”  ~Robert Hunter

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Keep On Truckin’

“After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress. Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet, but as you keep walking you get wet little by little. If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, ‘Oh, this pace is terrible!’ But actually it is not. When you get wet in a fog it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress.”  ~Shunryu Suzuki (source)

Sojourn

From Poems From the Sanskrit , translated by John Brough ©1977:

Earth, my own mother; father, Air; and Fire,
My friend; and Water, well-beloved cousin;
and Ether, brother mine: to all of you
This is my last farewell. I give you thanks
For all the benefits you have conferred
during my sojourn with you. Now my soul
Has won clear, certain knowledge, and returns
to the great Absolute from whence it came.

~Bhartŗhari

Pendulum

“Our emotions propel us through extremes, from elation to depression, from good experiences to bad, from happiness to sadness: a constant swinging back and forth. Emotionality is the by-product of hope and fear, attachment and aversion. We have hope because we are attached to something we want. We have fear because we are averse to something we don’t want. As we follow our emotions, reacting to our experiences, we create karma: a perpetual motion that inevitably determines our future. We need to stop the extreme swings of the emotional pendulum so that we can find a place of centeredness.” ~Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche  (source)

What do we really trust?

“We talk about blind faith in religion, but actual blind faith exists in our everyday world. What do we really trust? We trust our senses, our perceptions, our culture, our thoughts ― completely, one-pointedly, and blindly. We trust these more than we trust religion.

“The idea of having blind faith in religion is totally a myth. The real blind faith exists in our worldly existence. We trust anything that is within the range of experiences of our mind, whether they are perceptual or conceptual.”  ~Ponlop Rinpoche (source)

Pretty Pictures on the Prison Walls

When I was younger, I would never have understood the two quotes below by Buddhist monk Tenzin Palmo. The idea of life as anything other than ever-expanding freedom would have been completely alien to me.

But now I get it.

 

Most people feel cozy enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara; they just want samsara to be a little bit better. It is quite interesting that “samsara” became the name of a perfume. And it is like that. It seduces us into thinking that it is okay: samsara is not so bad; it smells nice! The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to Dharma centers. There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better. And if it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with Dharma. We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison any more.


Everything which we see and everyone we relate to, we relate to from this tight box of our very limited judgements, prejudices, ideas, conceptions. It’s like we’re in a very small prison cell, dungeon really. And so we begin to start a new kind of direction in our lives … but the important thing is not to end up going from one prison cell into another prison cell. Even if the new prison cell has nice decoration on the wall and burns incense. It’s still a prison cell. And always the question is how to go beyond the prison, how to get out, how to be liberated.