Ask yoursef: Do I want to carry on being a great practitioner of ignorance, anger, and desire? Or do I want to become a great practitioner of wisdom and compassion instead?
You have always had within you both potentials. Do not waste your precious human rebirth by making the wrong decision.
You taught that whatever arises dependently
Is free of ceasing, free of arising;
Free of extinction, free of permanence;
Free of coming, free of going;
Free of being one, free of being many;
You taught perfect peace, the easing of all elaborations.
Perfect Buddha, supreme among speakers,
I pay homage to you.
Whether we’re analyzing material objects, time, our “self,” or our mind, eventually we reach a point where we realize that our analysis breaks down.
At that point our search for something irreducible finally collapses. In that moment, when we give up looking for something absolute, we gain our first taste of emptiness, the infinite, indefinable essence of reality as it is.
When our usual habit of magnifying our feelings and our fascination resulting from that are gone, there will be no negativity and no fuel. We can relax within them.
What we are trying to do, therefore, is to skillfully and subtly deal with our emotions. This is largely equivalent to the ability of exerting discipline.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
Setting out on a spiritual path is a little like planning a trip - to Machu Picchu, for example. Some travellers will approach the project by investing a lot of time in reading travel books or Googling Internet sites about the best route to take and where to stay - a method that works, but only to a certain extent.
Other travellers prefer a much simpler and safer method: to ask someone they know and trust who has already been to Machu Picchu to go with them and show them the way.
Similarly, those wishing to follow the Buddhist path to enlightenment should rely on what are called in the teachings the “four authentics”: the authentic words of the Buddha (his teachings); the authentic clarification of the teachings that can be found in the shastras (commentaries) written by great masters of the past; the further clarification that is the result of authentic personal experience; and for this experience to find expression, an authentic guru.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Uncontrived naturalness is not something that one does, even though it sounds like you do remain in naturalness, and you avoid fabricating. Actually, it is the opposite of doing. One does not do anything. By repeatedly letting be in the state of uncontrived naturalness, it becomes automatic.
Don’t think that there is a long moment between two thoughts that you need to somehow nail down and own. That would not be automatic; it would be fabricated. Rather than improving upon the recognition of your own nature, simply remain completely at ease. It is a matter of self-existing wakefulness getting used to itself. Do not try to keep the state of naturalness. The state will be self-kept as the natural outcome of your growing familiarity with it. Do not fall into distraction. Short moments, repeated many times.
Because of our very strong habit to always do something, the moment of non-doing doesn’t usually last long. In other words, there is no real stability. We quickly create doubts through conceptual thoughts, wondering, “Is this it?” or “Maybe not?” Our recognition almost immediately slips away. That is just how it is, and there is not much that we can do about that initially. That is why we practice recognizing for short moments, repeated many times. If we do not repeat the recognition of mind essence, we never grow used to it. “Short moments” ensures that it is the real, authentic naturalness.
For a beginner, recognition of the authentic state does not last longer than a short moment. “Many times” means that we need to grow more and more familiar with this state... To be relaxed and let go in the moment of recognizing - that is the most important thing. Then, when the recognition slips away, we can simply repeat it again.
In the beginning, approach the natural state by settling the mind; otherwise our strong negative habits of involvement in thinking this and that keeps the attention very busy, and a multitude of thoughts arise. The starting point is therefore letting go, relaxing, and settling completely.
Among the thoughts that arise, remain, and disappear, one tries to keep the quality of relaxing and remaining. That requires effort, and thus is not the effortless natural state. Still it is helpful because when the mind becomes more quiet and settled, it’s easier to recognize what it is that feels quiet, what it is that keeps still. When your mind, your attention, is not so busy, it becomes easier to see that it is not an entity.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche