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Once we cease producing a reaction, since thoughts in themselves are self-arising and self-liberating, we will find the source of that liberation.

KYABJE DILGO KHYENTSE RINPOCHE

When we recognize a thought, that recognition alone will not liberate it. It is not that we should not recognize it; it must be recognized.

But then when recognizing it, without grasping at the thought, the basis from which it arises – the unaltered natural state of mind pointed out by our teacher – should also be recognized.

When we look at that recognition, the strength of the thought is broken, and the recognition of the intrinsic nature becomes stronger. Then no reaction can be produced. Once we cease producing a reaction, since thoughts in themselves are self-arising and self-liberating, we will find the source of that liberation.

Being taken in by a thought is like being afraid of a man wearing a lion’s mask. But if we know that the nature of thoughts is emptiness, like realizing that it is only a man wearing a mask, the strength of the thought will be broken and we will naturally relax.

***
“Oral Instructions on ‘Three Words That Strike The Vital Point’ – on Action – Collected Works, Vol III”
pg 651

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The First Seal: All Compounded Things Are Impermanent:

DZONGSAR JAMYANG KHYENTSE RINPOCHE

IMPERMANENT

The First Seal: All Compounded Things Are Impermanent:

Every phenomenon we can think of is compounded, and therefore subject to impermanence. Certain aspects of impermanence, like the changing of the weather, we can accept easily, but there are equally obvious things that we don’t accept.

For instance, our body is visibly impermanent and getting older every day, and yet this is something we don’t want to accept. Certain popular magazines that cater to youth and beauty exploit this attitude. In terms of view, meditation and action, their readers might have a view — thinking in terms of not aging or escaping the aging process somehow. They contemplate this view of permanence, and their consequent action is to go to fitness centers and undergo plastic surgery and all sorts of other hassles.

Enlightened beings would think that this is ridiculous and based on a wrong view. Regarding these different aspects of impermanence, getting old and dying, the changing of the weather, etc., Buddhists have a single statement, namely this first seal: phenomena are impermanent because they are compounded. Anything that is assembled will, sooner or later, come apart.

When we say “compounded,” that includes the dimensions of space and time. Time is compounded and therefore impermanent: without the past and future, there is no such thing as the present. If the present moment were permanent, there would be no future, since the present would always be there. Every act you do — let’s say, plant a flower or sing a song — has a beginning, a middle and an end. If, in the singing of a song, the beginning, middle or end were missing, there would be no such thing as singing a song, would there? That means that singing a song is something compounded.

“So what?” we ask. “Why should we bother about that? What’s the big deal? It has a beginning, middle, and end—so what?” It’s not that Buddhists are really worried about beginnings, middles or ends; that’s not the problem. The problem is that when there is composition and impermanence, as there is with temporal and material things, there is uncertainty and pain.

Some people think that Buddhists are pessimistic, always talking about death, impermanence and aging. But that is not necessarily true. Impermanence is a relief! I don’t have a BMW today and it is thanks to the impermanence of that fact that I might have one tomorrow. Without impermanence, I am stuck with the non-possession of a BMW, and I can never have one. I might feel severely depressed today and, thanks to impermanence, I might feel great tomorrow. Impermanence is not necessarily bad news; it depends on the way you understand it. Even if today your BMW gets scratched by a vandal, or your best friend lets you down, if you have a view of impermanence, you won’t be so worried.

Delusion arises when we don’t acknowledge that all compounded things are impermanent. But when we realize this truth, deep down and not just intellectually, that’s what we call liberation: release from this one-pointed, narrow-minded belief in permanence. Everything, whether you like it or not—even the path, the precious Buddhist path—is compounded. It has a beginning, it has a middle and it has an end.

When you understand that “all compounded things are impermanent,” you are prepared to accept the experience of loss. Since everything is impermanent, this is to be expected.

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Your relationship to outer darkness

“Your relationship to outer darkness—how comfortable you are with literal, physical outer darkness—is an indicator of how comfortable you are with inner darkness, the darkness that covers your heart.” —Andrew Holecek

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I encourage people not to express their anger, not to let it out.

I encourage people not to express their anger, not to let it out. Instead, I have people try to understand why they get angry, what causes it and how it arises. When you realize these things, instead of manifesting externally, your anger digests itself. In the West, some people believe that you get rid of your anger by expressing it, that you finish it by letting it out. Actually, in this case what happens is that you leave an imprint in your mind to get angry again.

Lama Thubten Yeshe

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Practice turning people into trees, appreciating them just the way they are.

‘When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
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The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.’
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Ram Dass
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Free from obvious movements of the mind such as aversion for enemies, unpleasant feelings, or attraction toward pleasant things.

KYABJE DILGO KHYENTSE RINPOCHE

The mind is not something that can be looked at with the eyes or grasped with the hands. The mind has to look at itself. What we need to do is not to analyze this mental darkness discursively; rather we have to first let the mind rest in a state of complete naturalness or simplicity, just as it is, without falling into distraction. A state will be soon attained that is free from obvious movements of the mind such as aversion for enemies, unpleasant feelings, or attraction toward pleasant things. This state is also free from the opaque dullness that one experienced before. It is a state that is lucid, clear, and spacious, like the experience of looking into the vast sky.

**Commentaries on
Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche’s
‘The Lamp That Dispels Darkness’ – Collected Works, Vol III pg 677 – Shambhala

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Radiate boundless love towards the entire world

Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.
– Buddha

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So, what makes you a Buddhist?

So, what makes you a Buddhist? You may not have been born in a Buddhist country or to a Buddhist family, you may not wear robes or shave your head, you may eat meat and idolize Eminem and Paris Hilton. That doesn’t mean you cannot be a Buddhist. In order to be a Buddhist, you must accept that all compounded phenomena are impermanent, all emotions are pain, all things have no inherent existence, and enlightenment is beyond concepts.

It’s not necessary to be constantly and endlessly mindful of these four truths. But they must reside in your mind. You don’t walk around persistently remembering your own name, but when someone asks your name, you remember it instantly. There is no doubt. Anyone who accepts these four seals, even independently of Buddha’s teachings, even never having heard the name Shakyamuni Buddha, can be considered to be on the same path as he.

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

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The wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.

The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.

– Buddha

Sutta Nipata

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The natural state of the mind is neither happiness nor unhappiness.

“The natural state of the mind is neither happiness nor unhappiness. When feeling enters the mind then happiness or unhappiness is born. If we have mindfulness then we know pleasant feeling as pleasant feeling. The mind which knows will not pick it up. Happiness is there but it’s ‘outside’ the mind, not buried within the mind. The mind simply knows it clearly.

If we separate unhappiness from the mind, does that mean there is no suffering, that we don’t experience it? Yes, we experience it, but we know mind as mind, feeling as feeling. We don’t cling to that feeling or carry it around.

The Buddha separated these things through knowledge. Did he have suffering? He knew the state of suffering but he didn’t cling to it, so we say that he cut suffering off. And there was happiness too, but he knew that happiness, if it’s not known, is like a poison. He didn’t hold it to be himself. Happiness was there through knowledge, but it didn’t exist in his mind. Thus we say that he separated happiness and unhappiness from his mind.”

“The Buddha knew that because both happiness and unhappiness are unsatisfactory, they have the same value. When happiness arose he let it go. He had right practice, seeing that both these things have equal values and drawbacks. They come under the Law of Dhamma, that is, they are unstable and unsatisfactory. Once born, they die. When he saw this, right view arose, the right way of practice became clear. No matter what sort of feeling or thinking arose in his mind, he knew it as simply the continuous play of happiness and unhappiness. He didn’t cling to them.”

Ajahn Chah