Is my mind more open?

Come back to square one, just the minimum bare bones. Relaxing with the present moment, relaxing with hopelessness, relaxing with death, not resisting the fact that things end, that things pass, that things have no lasting substance, that everything is changing all the time—that is the basic message...Every day of your life, every morning of... Continue Reading →

If not me then who?

When you are trying to help someone, you have to have humor, self-existing humor, and you have to hold the moth in your hand, but not let it go into the flame. That’s what helping others means. Ladies and gentlemen, we have so much responsibility. A long time ago, people helped one another in this... Continue Reading →

Where do Buddhas come from?

The sutras ask, where do the Buddhas come from? And the answer in the sutras is, they come from ego. What does this mean? This means that realization comes from our ability to expand our sense of self-care and longing for happiness to include others. This is the business of a bodhisattva- Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Courage is openness

Someone asked me recently if I am afraid to die. Truthfully, I am more afraid of not living my life fully — of living a life dedicated to cherishing and protecting myself. This fear-driven approach to life is like covering your couch in plastic so it won’t get worn. It robs you of the ability... Continue Reading →

Not bound

The notion of enlightenment means, “not bound”. Not bound to what? Not bound to one’s own mind in ordinary ways; not bound in confusion to all the suffering that one’s mind has produced and is experiencing. So the notion of enlightenment is not something outside of one’s own mind.We cannot imagine achieving enlightenment, let alone... Continue Reading →

Conviction in bodhicitta

In the practice of bodhicitta, there are no enemies, only loved ones.It’s the responsibility of the practitioner to specifically include every individual person in their bodhicitta practice, even if at the same time they oppose their actions. The reason people like Gandhi don’t succumb to their emotions is because of the principles they have deeply... Continue Reading →

Discovering bodhichitta

In the process of discovering bodhichitta, the journey goes down, not up. It’s as if the mountain pointed toward the center of the earth instead of reaching into the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward the turbulence and doubt. We jump into it. We slide into it. We tiptoe... Continue Reading →

Urge to control everything

Life can become so complicated and filled by preferences and plans that we miss the actual experience of things as they are. We can go for a hike on a beautiful trail in the mountains and spend three-quarters of our time thinking about what we’re going to do when we get back. We are so... Continue Reading →

Opening to love

Ultimately it is upon your vulnerability that you depend the poet Rilke writes. We are born and cared for by others, and we’ll die in the same way. For the time that we are here, we are dependent on the web of life. We eat from the farmers’ verdant fields, we trust other drivers to... Continue Reading →

Are we there yet?

You don’t particularly expect happiness out of the path. However, you do expect sophistication and a sense of relief or confidence that something is actually happening. You don’t have to know where you are on the path but you need to know that you are moving and you are going to get to your destination.... Continue Reading →

Love is your gateway

The human heart longs to love and be loved, yet we are all too often afraid. We’ve been hurt, betrayed, abandoned, misunderstood, targeted, left out, and our love story has become a ghost story. The ghosts of loss and pain haunt us, warning us to hedge our bets and put up a shield to protect... Continue Reading →

Perception phenomena

Normally, we limit the meaning of perceptions. Food reminds us of eating; dirt reminds us to clean the house; snow reminds us that we have to clean off the car to get to work; a face reminds us of our love or hate. In other words, we fit what we see into a comfortable or... Continue Reading →

Adverse circumstances

In prison Khenpo Münsel Rinpoche taught me this: "The extent of your realization will be known when you encounter difficult circumstances. You will not know the extent of your realization when things go well."When you find yourself in a troublesome situation, when you are in great pain, when an intense emotion arises, only then will... Continue Reading →

Discursive thinking

Discursive thinking is basically a set of memories that we are now recycling as “us.” That’s why it’s such a problem. It’s coming from the past. We’ve picked it up from here, there, and everywhere. The only thing that is truly ours is the life that’s in our body that wants to unfold. Everything that... Continue Reading →

Spark of goodness

There's always the primordial dot: that spark of goodness that exists even before you think we are worthy of thatTake a look. There is something else, something more than all that. We are willing: willing to wait, willing to smile, willing to be decent. We shouldn’t discount that potential, that powerful seed of gentleness. Generally... Continue Reading →

Basic sanity

Meditation, especially at the beginning, exaggerates the leaks that are taking place. You keep pouring all kinds of goodies, all kinds of interesting experiences, into your vessel, but it never fills up. Finally, through the practice of meditation, you realize that there is a leak. It’s not all that magical. The leakage is distrust. You... Continue Reading →

Exposing ego’s game

In meditation practice, finally, we are exposed. We hoped that we wouldn’t have to go through the embarrassment of exposing ourselves; we hoped to bypass that particular area and become enlightened. You might talk about how bad you used to be. It’s okay to talk about that because it’s in the past; you are already... Continue Reading →

Stealing a bell

There is a story about a man who was stealing a bell, and he covered his own ears so that no one would hear it ringing. We plan ways to hide our own pain, thinking that nobody will know. Realizing the fundamental suffering, the private parts that we stupidly try to hide—being so intelligent and... Continue Reading →

Befriending ourselves

Loving kindness towards ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. It means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become... Continue Reading →

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