Golden words by H.H. Dilgo Kyentse
There are just some people in the world who have great compassion and live their lives according to this compassion. They harm no one, they abide in love, they think of benefitting others, their speech/mind/body is directed to benefitting others and their presence inspires us to be more and better.
It does not matter whether you are Northern Buddhist, Southern Buddhist, Western Buddhist, Zen, Vietnamese Buddhist, Burmese Buddhist, Japanese Buddhist, Korean Buddhist, Cambodian Buddhist, Laotian Buddhist, Theravada, Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug or Sakya. Why waste time debating which is the best when the whole purpose is to practise now and tame the mind. If our mind is tamed, then whatever tradition we belong to, that is the ‘best’ tradition for us while we respect the others. Train our mind and move on, not train the world.
You shouldn’t go for teachings that move mountains, your inner kundalinis, your channels, or gain enlightenment in one lifetime immediately. Though these teachings are esoteric and powerful, are you ready for them? Being ready takes decades of practice. So you have to be sure. I know of people ‘doing’ higher tantric practices for the last 15 years and gave up and just went back to hedonism. They weren’t ready it turns out. Instead of applying the fundamentals, they ran for the sky and just fell back down to earth. This is not the fault of the Dharma but our impatience, ignorance and sometimes arrogance. We should go for teachings that we can achieve and apply immediately. When we get some results we will feel encouraged to continue and then aspire to take on more. More by that time would be effortless. We should at this time go for ‘simple’ practices like Shakyamuni’s praise/mantra, Guru Rinpoche’s prayer/mantra, Tsongkapa’s Guru Yoga/mantra, Tara’s praises/mantra, Manjushri’s prayer/mantra combined with mind teaching trainings (lojong, 8 verses, Wheel of Sharp Weapons). Not all of those, but one of those according to our lineage or what our teacher has assigned. We should read the Lam Rim or Sakya Lam Dre depending on what lineage we belong to. Our daily meditations and actual sitting practice should be short and sweet. But our reading, contemplation and learning should be always throughout the day.
When our mind has a clearer understanding and taste of renounciation, bodhi mind (bodhicitta) and also some understanding of emptiness of all phenomena, then we can perhaps go for higher esoteric teachings and strong commitment practices/initiations – but not now. If we already have higher teachings, it’s all the more important to practice them along with the fundamentals immediately. But developing compassion, Guru devotion, wisdom, right livelihood, ethics, freedom from 8 worldly dharmas and be kind no matter what situation we are in are very profound practices as it is. Go for teachings we can assimilate and apply into our lives now and we can be consistent with. This should not be used as an excuse to never enter higher advanced teachings due to laziness either.
It is very important from the onset to associate with friends that encourage good qualities and avoid harmful qualities. In the beginning we are very vulnerable like a newly hatched baby chick and we need protection. As we progress, we can associate with anyone because instead of them dragging us down into wasteful activities, we pull them up to be more spiritual. How are we when we spend more time with our teacher and dharma friends? When we drift from our teacher and dharma friends, how do we think? Act? How does our attitude become? We may think we are enjoying some sort of ‘freedom’ but it is the freedom that leads to ‘prison’ within our minds eventually. So we can compare the differences when we are near spiritual friends and when we temporarily drift. Be honest and open.
If we come across people (no matter who they are) who criticize our practice, our teacher, our lineage, our faith, be patient and realize they need help, are ignorant, have ulterior motives or they may have good intentions but you are fine the way you are. They may have more knowledge than you, but it does not mean they have applied it or it applies to you. If you see someone bloodied and in an accident, you don’t ask what happened, or get frightened, you just find them help and deal with everything else later. Even if famous or well known people criticize your practice/lineage/lama, you have to take a step back and not be fazed by their fame but think to yourself:
- Has your lama benifitted you, loved you and gave you precious dharma? Being loyal to your lama is necessary.
- Has your practice helped you? Have you seen some changes in your mind? Even a little is a good sign.
- Has your lama encouraged you to be kind, hold your vows and develop higher states of consciousness? If so, your teacher is sincere.
- Has your lineage/Yidam/Deity blessed you with help, hope and blessings? Then continue and be firm.
- Has the teachings been given to you from pure motivation? Then appreciate it from the core by practising.
If so, then the teachings given to you are fine and continue. Never let others open doubt in you simply because you didn’t check or you are insecure. All teachings are good. If others continue to disparage your teacher/practice/lineage then forgive them. If others’ practices are different, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Even if it is ‘bad’ we shouldn’t ostracize them and keep them away or point fingers at them and cast them out. We should be kind to them, keep them close and give them MORE KNOWLEDGE so they can eventually reform. Saying their practice is bad or wrong and ignoring them is against all that we strive for in developing compassion, renunciation, bodhi mind, love and the bodhisattva ideal or bodhisattva’s way of life. If someone is practising something ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, we should be even more patient with them and give them knowledge slowly to amend their ways and not just throw them out and alienate them. Would we ignore a child who always play with matches, or teach them to stop? After all, our ‘enemies’ are our best teachers. Those who counter our beliefs give us a chance to look deeper and learn more so our faith is based on knowledge, understanding and study. Not fear and ignorance.
His Holiness Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche has spent his whole life bringing dharma, love and benefits to others without question. His teachings transcend time, space, and projected differences. I wanted to share them here with you to inspire you. I have not received any teachings from him, but neither did I receive any from Tsongkapa or Buddha Shakyamuni directly, so what? I can still read the teachings of these great beings and apply within myself and share with you. Practice with stable mind your lineage/tradition and never criticize others no matter what you hear. To criticize is counterproductive to your spiritual growth and feeds the negative habits. Be firm with your teacher, center, tradition, practices and help others to be firm with theirs too. That is the best way to move forward internally and externally.
“To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. Of course, no one actually wants to suffer, to be sick, to be cold or hungry – but as long as we continue to indulge in wrong doing we will never put an end to suffering. Likewise, we will never achieve happiness, except through positive deeds, words, and thoughts. Positive action is something we have to cultivate ourselves; it can be neither bought nor stolen, and no one ever stumbles on it just by chance.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“You have not obtained this precious human life just by chance. It is the result of having heard the Buddha’s name in a past life, having taking refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions and developed some wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again. If you fail to practise the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not obtain a human life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be very foolish. Do not waste it. Practise every day.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“A good mind is like a rich ground of gleaming gold, lightening up the whole sky with its golden radiance. But if body speech and mind are not tamed, there is very little chance that you will achieve any realization whatsoever. Be aware of your thoughts, words and actions at all times. If they take the wrong direction, your study and practise of the Dharma will be of no use.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Sooner or later, you will have to part from even your dearest friends. But one friend will never leave you, even though you may never be aware of its existence. It is the Buddha-nature, pure awareness. You begin to discover it by listening to the teachings of a spiritual master. The ties will deepen as you cultivate sustained mental calm and profound insight into reality. In the end, you will discover that it has always been near you and will always be with you. This is the truest friendship you can ever cultivate.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Spending your time with true spiritual friends will fill you with love for all beings and help you to see how negative attachment and hatred are. Being with such friends, and following their example, will naturally imbue you with their good qualities, just as all the birds flying around a golden mountain are bathed in its golden radiance.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Mind, like a crystal, is colored by its surroundings. You are bound to reflect the qualities and shortcomings of the good or bad friends whose company you keep. If you associate with the malevolent, the selfish, the rancorous, the intolerant, and the arrogant, their faults will affect you. You would do better to keep your distance.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The Buddha has manifested in our world; he has turned the wheel of the teachings and these teachings have survived until now. You have received them from an authentic teacher and are ready to put them into practise. Rather than frittering your life away in futile pursuits, should you not marvel at your good fortune and concentrate all your efforts on doing just that, without losing so much as an instant? “ ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick; every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. But if, instead, you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arises and dissolves within the space of that awareness, without engendering other thoughts. Be like a lion, who rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The compassion and wisdom of all the Buddhas is beyond partiality, yet it is those possessing faith and confidence who are proper vessels to receive their blessing.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The wind blows through the sky and flies over continents without settling anywhere. It traverses space and leaves no trace. Thus should thoughts pass through our minds, leaving no karmic residues and not altering our realization of fundamental simplicity.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The master is like a great ship for beings to cross the perilous ocean of existence, an unerring captain who guides them to the dry land of liberation, a rain that extinguishes the fire of the passions, a bright sun and moon that dispel the darkness of ignorance, a firm ground that can bear the weight of both good and bad, a wish-fulfilling tree that bestows temporal happiness and ultimate bliss, a treasury of vast and deep instructions, a wish-fulfilling jewel granting all the qualities of realization, a father and a mother giving their love equally to all sentient beings, a great river of compassion, a mountain rising above worldly concerns unshaken by the winds of emotions, and a great cloud filled with rain to soothe the torments of the passions. In brief, he is the equal of all the Buddhas.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Maintain that state of simplicity. If you encounter happiness, success, prosperity, or other favorable conditions, consider them as dreams or illusions, and do not get attached to any of them. If you are stricken by illness, calumny, deprivation, or other physical and mental trials, do not let yourself get discouraged, but rekindle your compassion and generate the wish that through your suffering all beings suffering may be exhausted. Whatever circumstances arise, do not plunge into either elation or misery, but stay free and comfortable, in unshaken serenity.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Recognizing the kindness of the lama, we remember his face, his expression, and his speech with devotion, again and again. An immediate sense of gratitude is present, and we know that through the lama’s presence and his blessings, hearing his voice and receiving his teachings, we will swiftly progress on the path of liberation.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“If you master your mind, it will remain naturally concentrated, peaceful and aware. You will even be able to wander around in a crowd without being distracted and carried away by desire or aversion.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The essence of Guru Yoga is simply to remember the Guru at all times: when you are happy, think of the Guru; when you are sad, think of the Guru; when you meet favorable circumstances, be grateful to the Guru; and when you meet obstacles, pray to the Guru, and rely on him alone. When you are sitting, think of the guru above your head. When you are walking, imagine that he is above your right shoulder, as if you were circumambulating him. When you are eating food, visualize the guru at your throat center and offer him the first portion. Whenever you wear new clothes, first offer them to the guru, and then wear them as if he had given them back to you.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Never forget how swiftly this life will be over, like a flash of summer lightning or the wave of a hand. Now that you have the opportunity to practice dharma, do not waste a single moment on anything else.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The Buddha is not going to project you to Buddhahood, as if throwing a stone. He is not going to purify you, as if washing a dirty cloth, nor is he going to cure you of ignorance, like a doctor administering medicine to a passive patient. Having attained full enlightenment himself, he is showing you the path, and it is up to you to follow it or not. It is up to you now to practise these teachings and experience their results.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“It seems very important for all of us to seek ultimate peace and freedom. If we are constantly being disturbed and losing our inner peace and freedom, what kind of happiness do we have, after all?” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The teachings we need most are those that will actually strengthen and inspire our practice. It is all very well to receive teachings as high as the sky, but the sky is not that easy to grasp. Start with practices which you can truly assimilate – developing determination to be free of ordinary concerns, nurturing love and compassion – and as you gain stability in your practice you will eventually be able to master all the higher teachings.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“We should learn to see everyday life as mandala – the luminous fringes of experience, which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being. The aspects of our mandala are the day-to-day objects of our life experience moving in the dance or play of the universe. By this symbolism the inner teacher reveals the profound and ultimate significance of being.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Worries concerning the melodramas of day-to-day life serve no purpose. To fret in this futile manner is to be like the child who is delighted at having built a sand castle, and distraught when the sea washes it away.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Mind is what creates both samsara and nirvana. Yet there is nothing much to it – it is just thoughts. Once we recognize that thoughts are empty, the mind will no longer have the power to deceive us. But as long as we take our deluded thoughts as real, they will continue to torment us mercilessly, as they have been doing throughout countless past lives. To gain control over the mind, we need to be aware of what to do and what to avoid, and we also need to be alert and vigilant, constantly examining all our thoughts, words and actions.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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 enlightment. In the presence of an erudite scholar, you will aquire 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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“In the midst of clouds of impermanence and illusion, dances the lightning of life. Can you say you won’t die tomorrow? Practice the Dharma.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The stronger our devotion, the greater the blessings. But to have no devotion is like hiding oneself in a house with all the doors and shutters closed. The sunlight will never get in.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“To make a lamp burn brightly, without flickering, one puts it inside a glass lantern to protect it from the wind. Similarly, to develop deep concentration we have to prepare the mind and still our thoughts with devotion and correct attitude.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“In Tibet after 1959, under conditions of intense persecution, tens of thousands of people continued to practise the Dharma secretly, and they have emerged from their ordeal with even greater faith. But in your case nobody is forbidding you to pray or to practise. So recite the Mani Mantra, reflect on the teachings, and fuse them into your being by meditating on them every day, even if it is for no more than a few moments. The Dharma is something that you yourself have to practise, no one else can do it for you.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“One of the meaning of the word Dharma is that which holds. It holds and guides those who give themselves to it with confidence. A person being swept away by the swift current of a river can be gripped by a firm hand and handed on to the bank. In the same way, the teacher’s hook can pull us out of the round of the deaths and rebirths, as long, as we can hold out to him the ring of our faith.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Long ago, in one of Lord Buddha’s precious lives, when he was a Bodhisattva in the form of a snake, some cruel children caught him to death. Had he been wanted, the Bodhisattva could have annihilated them with a single glance; but as his heart was free from the slightest thought of anger, that was not what he did. Instead, he prayed that through the connection they were making with him by killing him, they would in future become his disciples and be led by him to enlightment. This exemplary courage and patience was the result of his complete realization of voidness and compassion.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Once you have the view, although the delusory perceptions of samsara may arise in your mind, you will be like the sky; when a rainbow appears in front of it, it’s not particularly flattered, and when the clouds appear, it’s not particularly disappointed either. There is a deep sense of contentment. You chuckle from inside as you see the facade of samsara and nirvana; the view will keep you constantly amused, with a little inner smile bubbling away all the time.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Obstacles can arise from good as well as bad circumstances, but they should never deter or overpower you. Be like the earth, which supports all living creatures indiscriminately, without distinguishing good from bad. The earth is simply there. Your practice should be strengthened by the difficult situations you encounter, just as a bonfire in a strong wind is not blown out, but blazes even brighter.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The guru is the equal of all the Buddhas. To make any connection with him, whether through seeing him, hearing his voice, remembering him or being touched by his hand, will lead us toward liberation. To have full confidence in him is the sure way to progress toward enlightenment. The warmth of his wisdom and compassion will melt therefore of our being and release the gold of the Buddha-nature within.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche: “A dharma-practitioner should be able to cope with all possible circumstances, neither created by the good nor cast into despair by the bad. In either case, free from expectations and doubt, one should remember the guru. Happiness and sorrow, joy and suffering, though nothing in themselves, can become either a help or a hindrance on the path. What we ourselves make of these experinces is the test of the genuiness of our practise. This is the true essence of the guru yoga and is itself the main practise.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“When an enlightened master who has wisdom and compassion meets a disciple who has faith and diligence, it is as if the sun’s rays where suddenly concentrated through a magnifying glass and focus onto dry grass, causing it to burst into flames, at once. In the same way, the blessings we receive will correspond directly to the intensity of our devotion.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“As long as you, like most people, fail to recognize the true value of human existence you will just fritter your life away in futile activity and distraction. When life comes all too soon to its inevitable end, you will not have achieved anything worthwhile at all. But once you really see the unique opportunity that human life can bring, you will definitely direct all your energy into reaping its true worth by putting the Dharma into practice” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The practice of Dharma should bring you to the point where you can maintain the same constant awareness whether in or out of practice sessions. This is the quintessential point of all spiritual instruction; without it, however many mantras and prayers you recite, however many thousands of prostrations and circumambulations you do, as long as your mind remains distracted none of it will help to get rid of your obscuring emotions. Never forget this most crucial point.”~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Once you have recognize the empty nature of mind, to allow love to rise for someone who is harming you becomes easy. But without that recognition, it is very hard to stop anger from arising instead, is it not? Look into it, and you will see that mind is what does positive actions, and mind is what make circumstances negative.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The more you attempt to reject external phenomena, the more they will spring back to you. Hence, therefore, the importance of recognizing the empty nature of your thoughts and simply allowing them to dissolve.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The wide open expanse of spiritual realization, the true condition of mind, is like the sky, like space, without centre, without edge, without goal. Dissolving into the expanse of emptiness, it has no limits and no boundary. Everything I see, everything I hear, my own mind and the sky, all merge.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“To go beyond samsara and nirvana, we will need
the two wings of emptiness and compassion.
From now on, let us use these two wings
to fly fearlessly into the sky of the life to come.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“The master and the disciple will never be separated;
May your life be long and firm like the earth.
May the circumstances always be joyful and harmonious.
May the auspiciosness of your joy and Dharma practice prevail.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“In truth, if you cannot tame your own mind, what else is there to tame? What is the use of doing many other practices? The aim of the whole Buddhist path, both Basic and the Great Vehicles, is to tame and understand your mind.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“There should be no insult or humiliation that is to great to bear. If you were ever to feel it was justifiable to respond vindictively, the exchange of bitter words and recriminations that ensue would be bound to inflame and escalate the anger on both sides. This is how people start to fight and kill each other. Murders and wars all begin with just one angry thought.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Mastery of the mind is achieved through constant awareness of all your thoughts and actions. Check your mind over and over again, and as soon as negative thoughts arise, remedy them with the appropriate antidotes.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“If you have no mastery over your mind and are influenced and conditioned by habitual tendencies, even in the quiet of an insolated retreat your thoughts will follow one upon another like ripples on water. Memories of past events will well up vividly in your mind – as will plans, decisions, and speculation about your future. You will spend your whole time running after thoughts and concepts, a lot of mental activity with no benefit at all for your practice.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“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.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Were hatred, pride, jealously, desire and stupidity to decrease, not only conflicts but also epidemics and natural calamities in the world will decrease as well, like smoke disappearing when a fire is extinguished.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“When we begin to win the struggle to free ourselves from the waves of afflictive emotions, the mind will become like a calm and vast lake. This peaceful state, the natural tranquility of mind, will lead to deep samadhi [concentration], which is the pacification of wandering, deluded thoughts.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
‘What is the difference between money and enlightenment?’
His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche answers: “Money can be finished but enlightenment will never be finished.”
“There is no emotion that you cannot be rid of, because emotions are simply thoughts, and thoughts are just like the wind moving through the empty sky. There is nothing to them.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Even if we have met a teacher and received instructions, however, we will never be able to receive his blessings if we do not have fervent devotion and complete confidence in him and his teachings. And without his blessings we will not progress along the path. First of all, therefore, we need to generate devotion.” ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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