Grasping

The outer world in all its variety and our inner world of thoughts and emotions are not as they seem.

All phenomena appear to exist objectively, but their true mode of existence is like a dream: apparent yet insubstantial.

The experience of emptiness is not found outside of the world of ordinary appearance, as many people mistakenly assume. In truth, we experience emptiness when the mind is free of grasping at appearance.

-Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, “The Theater of Reflection” (Thank you Martie for this great thought for today!)

Awakening from the Illusion

Buddhism is really about awakening from the illusion about ourselves and the world, and realizing reality – who we are and what is real and how things are interconnected through karma and causation and so on. In a Dzogchen text, it says, “From the beginning, we are all Buddhas by nature, we only have to realize that fact.” So in Dzogchen the whole practice of what we call the view, meditation, and action is about awakening to – not just our momentary personality – “self” with a small s – but our true Buddha nature, our original nature.

-Lama Surya Das, “Old Wine, New Bottles” (Tricycle Interview)

Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts and emotions undermine the very causes of peace and happiness. In fact, when we think properly, it is totally illogical to seek happiness if we do nothing to restrain angry, spiteful, and malicious thoughts and emotions.

~ His Holiness The 14th  Dalai Lama

Meditating on Painful Sensations

Feelings like being cold, hot, hungry, full, heavy, or dizzy, or having a headache, a toothache, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, or pain your knees or lower back, are pretty much directly – though not always pleasantly – present to awareness. Because pain and discomfort are such direct sensations, they’re actually very effective objects of meditative focus. Most of us regard pain as a threat to our physical wellbeing. On one hand, when we worry or allow ourselves to become preoccupied by this threat, the pain itself almost always increases. On the other hand, if we consider pain or discomfort as an object of meditation, we can use such sensations to increase our capacity for clarity, simply through watching the mind deal with various solutions.

~ by Yongey Minyur Rinpoche, “The Joy of Living” , page 147