Daily Dharma

 

Quotes from Chamtrul Rinpoche and other masters of Buddhism

Sunday

 

Gaining unshakable conviction of rebirth can be extremely difficult for many people, particularly if their country's culture, dominant religion, or system of education has never encouraged them to contemplate such a thing before.
 
There are many ways which can help us to contemplate rebirth. One such way is hearing about the many stories throughout history, and all over the world, where young children have clearly remembered their past lives - and then seeing the overwhelming evidence which supports their claims.
 
For instance, there was recently a case in Tibet where a boy was born in a village, but as soon as he learnt to speak he insisted that he came from a different village, and that his family were there.  He kept on saying the names of this village and family, and how he wanted to return. But his present biological parents had never heard of such names, and they thought that he was going crazy. They told him to stop saying such things, but he just wouldn't stop. So in the end they searched for many miles around, and they eventually found a village of that name. They then took him there, and not only did he instantly recognise the village, but he directed them to his previous family too. Moreover, he was able to correctly answer numerous questions that only this family knew the answers to.
 
As there have been many such cases throughout history, and all over the world, there is absolutely no reason to believe that all sentient beings won't be reborn. Perhaps we can better understand this kind of logic and reasoning by using the following example.
 
If we go to a forest of bamboos, and we cut one in half, we will find that it's hollow. We can do this again and again to some of the other bamboos, and we will find that they are also hollow. Eventually there will come a point where we won't have to continue to cut each one in half to prove that all of the bamboos in the forest are hollow.  Because based on the logic and reasoning that each one that we've already cut in half is hollow, it's obvious that it's a characteristic of bamboos.
 
Similarly, hearing about the many accounts of children who have remembered their past lives, and seeing all the evidence which supports their claims, we gain unshakable conviction of the fact that rebirth must happen to all sentient beings. The only difference is that some sentient beings can remember their past lives, and some can't.

 

Chamtrul Rinpoche

Monday

 

As human beings we are gifted with this wonderful human intelligence. Besides that, all human beings have the capacity to be very determined and to direct that strong sense of determination in whatever direction they like. So long as we remember that we have this marvellous gift of human intelligence and a capacity to develop determination and use it in positive ways, we will preserve our underlying mental health.

 

Realizing we have this great human potential gives us a fundamental strength. This recognition can act as a mechanism that enables us to deal with any difficulty, no matter what situation we are facing, without losing hope or sinking into feelings of low self-esteem.

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tuesday

 

If we can allow some space within our awareness and rest there, we can respect our troubling thoughts and emotions, allow them to come, and let them go. Our lives may be complicated on the outside, but we remain simple, easy, and open on the inside.

 

Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Wednesday

 

Action is being truly observant of your own thoughts, good or bad, looking into the true nature of whatever thoughts may arise, neither tracing the past nor inviting the future, neither allowing any clinging to experiences of joy, nor being overcome by sad situations. In so doing, you try to reach and remain in the state of great equilibrium, where all good and bad, peace and distress, are devoid of true identity.

 

Dudjom Rinpoche

Thursday

 

Karma is not something complicated or philosophical. Karma means watching your body, watching your mouth, and watching your mind. Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible is the practice of karma.

 

Lama Yeshe

Friday

 

Any attempt to capture the direct experience of the nature of mind in words is impossible. The best that can be said is that it is immeasurably peaceful and, once stabilized through repeated experience, virtually unshakable. It's an experience of absolute well-being that radiates through all physical, emotional and mental states - even those that might ordinarily be labeled as unpleasant.

 

Mingyur Rinpoche

 

Saturday

 

We must understand that Buddha nature and its wisdom are inherent in our minds. It is extensively explained by many great scholars and masters, but it is very simple. It is just that awareness that engages in all these activities, worldly or dharmic. It is the one who thinks "I must do this, do that, go here or there," or the scientists building planes and improving the world doing this and that. It is just that awareness engaging in all these activities and doing all these things that we must recognize. 

If we ride the horse of self-grasping and merge the mind with self-grasping, we will only go down further and further into samsara — we will have to continue wandering in samsara. But if we ride the horse of loving-kindness and compassion we will go more and more through the enlightened qualities of the Buddha; the nirmanakaya, then the sambhogakaya, then the dharmakaya — we will go up to complete enlightenment. 

Another example is like a big tree. The lower part, the roots, represents the lower realms and self-grasping, the pain of self-grasping. If there is self-grasping we will always abide at the lower part of the tree. But if we give rise to the altruistic mind then we go up to the higher parts of the tree — the branches, the foliage, the leaves, the flowers and fruits and so on. There is still just one tree, one single ground, but if we abide at the bottom we experience great suffering and great difficulty from the self-grasping mind, but if we go up we bring about the benefit of others and our own happiness. The basis, the ground, is a single one — buddha nature. 
 

Garchen Rinpoche

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