Our lack of self frees us from the compulsion to secure ourselves within the world. We do not need to become more real by becoming wealthy, or famous, or powerful, or beautiful. We are able to realize our nonduality with the world because we are freed from such fixations. – David Loy, “Healing Ecology.”
Every moment of experience is contingent on a vast complex of myriad conditions. Nothing exists in and of itself as ‘this’ or ‘that,’ ‘self’ or ‘other.’ Everything is what it is only in relation to what it is not. To recognize this emptiness is not to negate things but to glimpse what enables anything to happen at all. ~ Stephen Batchelor, “Nagarjuna’s Verses from the Center”
Mindfulness can transform all our personal relationships—but only if we are willing to feel the inevitable pain that relationships entail. When we turn away from our distress, we inevitably abandon our loved ones as well as ourselves. But when we mindfully and compassionately incline toward whatever is arising within us, we can be truly present and alive for ourselves and others. ~ Christopher K. Germer, “Getting Along”
When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the ‘wind’ of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. With practice, that space—which is the mind’s natural clarity—begins to expand and settle. ~ Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, “The Aim of Attention”
Once we acknowledge the importance of looking within ourselves, we have to elevate our awareness of how our emotions and patterns of behavior affect us. We begin to see the impact on our lives of our emotions, our inner patterns of behavior, and the inner stories that dictate how we see ourselves and the world around us. Becoming aware of these inner forces is key to changing them. – Lawrence Levy, “Balancing Emotions”
When you pass away, nothing will do you any good except for the pure Dharma. You will not simply disappear when you die. Rather, what happens next will be dictated by your previous actions.
For these reasons, you should exert yourself by whatever means necessary to free yourself from samsara, which is nothing but a vast ocean of suffering! Practice your teacher’s guidance concerning what to do and what to give up to the letter, without falling under the influence of immature friends or bad influences. To the best of your ability, incorporate this genuine teaching on the certainty of death into each and every day.
Keeping all this in mind, arouse faith in the Three Jewels so that you will be able to practice in this manner, thinking to yourself, “Think of me, Three Jewels!” At the same time, be sure to generate an intense sense of renunciation and subdue your mind stream. ~ Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
Entrance to the Great Perfection: A Guide to the Dzogchen Preliminary Practices, edited and translated by Cortland Dahl, pages 82-83.
A well written post….and worth reading it all. I was thinking the other day of how one can never know what is inside someone else unless one peers inside. Outside appearances rarely show the inner you or the inner ‘others’.
Be well and om mani padme hum…have compassion with yourself.