Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rest in natural great peace

When I meditate, I am always inspired by this poem by Nyoshul Khenpo:

Rest in natural great peace
This exhausted mind
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought,
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.

Rest in natural great peace.

Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.

–Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (HarperSanFrancisco)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Remedy for FearOne

One of the methods for working on our deepest fears is to consider that they have been produced by our past actions. Then, depending on whether the object of your fear is emotional suffering or physical pain, examine it well and ask yourself whether there is any remedy for it. If there is, why be afraid? If there is nothing you can do, then there is even less point in worrying about it. There is also another approach, which entails looking for the person who is afraid. Look at the nature of yourself. Where is it?

–His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV, from The Dalai Lama's Little Book on Inner Peace (Element)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not Knowing

Zen Master Jizo said that “not knowing is the most intimate thing.” Not knowing means to be open to all eventualities, to not prejudge a person or situation. If your mind is full of preconceived notions, there is no room for an unbiased view. It is like when your hands are full of objects—you cannot pick up anything new. A closed mind causes separation and suspicion. Like an umbrella, a mind is only useful when it is open.

From "Zen in the Workplace: Approaches to Mindful Management," Tricycle, Summer 1996

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You Have What You Need

One definition of an enlightened person is one who always has everything they need. At every moment what they need is there; they're not seeking anything. If you really are seriously practicing to be free and to simultaneously realize enlightenment, you never seek out of the immediate situation, no matter how bad it is. You transform the immediate situation into what you need.

Richard Baker Roshi. From 'The Roundtable: Help or Hindrance' (Tricycle Fall 1996)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tangled Together

The roots of all living things are tied together. Deep in the ground of being, they tangle and embrace. This understanding is expressed in the term nonduality. If we look deeply, we find that we do not have a separate self-identity, a self that does not include sun and wind, earth and water, creatures and plants, and one another.

Joan Halifax Roshi, Essential Zen (Harper Collins)

Things As They Are

"Dharma, the truth of things-as-they-are, acts upon us to help us awaken to liberation. Dharma isn't a person; it isn't a being to be supplicated to. It's just the way things work, the reality of the universe unfolding as a process in time. The Buddha discovered and taught about a portion of this universe, and science can reveal a portion too, as can any contemplation or activity that accords with the way things actually are.... This is deep trust in the Dharma.

Jeff Wilson, Buddhism of the Heart (Wisdom Publications)"