When you open up to live as it is

When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to be not afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.

Pema Chodron

One phenomenon arises and another stops, simultaneously.

The King Milinda once asked the Buddhist sage Nagasena: “When someone is reborn, is he the same as the one who just died, or is he different?”

Nagasena replied: “He is neither the same nor different. . . . Tell me, if a man were to light a lamp, could it provide light the whole night long?”

“Yes.”

“Is the flame then which burns in the first watch of the night the same as the one that burns in the second . . . or the last?”

“No.”

“Does that mean there is one lamp in the first watch of the night, another in the second, and another in the third?”

“No, it’s because of that one lamp that the light shines all night.”

“Rebirth is much the same: One phenomenon arises and another stops, simultaneously. So the first act of consciousness in the new existence is neither the same as the last act of consciousness in the previous existence, nor is it different.”

Discriminating, attaching values, defining and pigeon-holing.

What usually happens is that whenever something is seen or heard, we feel that it demands our attention. We fall under the command of the visible form being seen and we feel that we have to get involved in discriminating what it is. So we stay busy attaching values and defining and pigeon-holing it. If a sound occurs, we immediately think, “I have to listen to that sound.” We get caught up again and again, trapped in discriminating whether we like the sensation or don’t like it; whether we must accept it or reject it. That very process is the creation of karma, right there. That is what we are trying to step out of right now through meditation training.

~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche

If you still define yourself as a Buddhist, you are not a buddha yet.

DZONGSAR JAMYANG KHYENTSE RINPOCHE

As Buddha said in the Prajnaparamita Sutra, all phenomena are like a dream and an illusion, even enlightenment is like a dream and an illusion. And if there is anything greater or grander than enlightenment, that, too, is like a dream and an illusion. His disciple, the great Nagarjuna, wrote that the Lord Buddha has not stated that after abandoning samsara there exists nirvana. The nonexistence of samsara is nirvana. A knife becomes sharp as the result of two exhaustions — the exhaustion of the whetstone and the exhaustion of the metal. In the same way, enlightenment is the result of the exhaustion of defilements and the exhaustion of the antidote of the defilements. Ultimately one must abandon the path to enlightenment. If you still define yourself as a Buddhist, you are not a buddha yet.

***What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Time is running, old age is coming, sickness is coming, and death is coming.

CHÖKYI NYIMA RINPOCHE

BE AWARE, BE AWARE.

Time is running, old age is coming, sickness is coming, and death is coming; there is no way to escape this. Paying money will not help and your doctor cannot help you either. Now we need to apply the teaching.
How do we apply the teaching in daily life?
Be aware! Be aware!
When we wake up in the morning, the first thought is very important. What kind of thought should we have?
Think, “From now until I go to bed again, I will remain aware and I will not be so attached to anything.”

Bud on the in-breath; dho on the out-breath.

Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don’t be interested in anything else. It doesn’t matter even if someone is standing on their head with their arse in the air. Don’t pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it.

Don’t take up anything else. There’s no need to think about gaining things. Don’t take up anything at all. Simply know the in- breath and the out-breath. The in-breath and the out-breath. Bud on the in-breath; dho on the out-breath. Just stay with the breath in this way until you are aware of the in-breath and aware of the out-breath, aware of the in-breath and
aware of the out-breath. Be aware in this way until the mind is peaceful, without irritation, without agitation, merely the breath going out and coming in. Let your mind remain in this state. You don’t need a goal yet. This state is the first stage of practice.

(Ajahn Chah)