Just how the sun shines on to this world without ever discriminating, the compassionate wisdom energy of all of the buddhas pervades everything. No matter where you are, no matter what you do, this energy is always there, it is always with you.
But just as you need to open your eyes to experience the light of the sun, you have to open your mind with unshakable trust, gratitude, and devotion to experience the blessings of the energy of the buddhas. The more that your mind opens, the greater the blessings that will energize your mind and power your practice all of the way to your enlightenment.
When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready.
Have you ever been caught in the heavy-duty scenario of feeling defeated and hurt, and then somehow, for no particular reason, you just drop it? It just goes, and you wonder why you made “much ado about nothing.” What was that all about?
I’d like to encourage us all to lighten up, to practice with a lot of gentleness. This compassion, this clarity, this openness are like something we have forgotten. Sitting here being gentle with ourselves, we’re rediscovering something. It’s like a mother reuniting with her child; having been lost to each other for a long, long time, they reunite. The way to reunite with bodhichitta (awakened heart) is to lighten up in your practice and in your life.
So while reading Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, I had to take a detour. I can’t explain why I am struggling through Rebel Buddha but I think about that later. In the meantime, I decided to read Geshe Sonam Rinchen’s commentary on 8 Verses for Training the Mind. Geshe Ngawang Phende at Drepung Loseling in Atlanta is currently in the middle of a series of teachings on root text.
I love to read Geshe Rinchen’s commentaries. I find them very straight forward and accessible for students of all levels. This teaching in particular is a wonderfully simple explanation of Langritangpa’s 8 Verses. He expounds on each verse leading us though a practice to develop our love and compassion. As Geshe-la explains:
Greater kindheartedness can transform our daily life and make all our activites meaningful. This is something we can all practice whether or not we have extensive knowledge of philosophy.
The value of these 8 verses in incalculable. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama includes them in his daily medititations. Geshe Rinchen tells us in the book to take one verses that appears to be revelant to our current circumstances and ponder it over and over until until we feel its effect. By studying all the verses in this manner and putting them into practice we begin to use every circumstance in our lives a chance to strengthen the Bodhisattva qualities, of insight, kindheartedness, and concern for others and result in greater happiness, peace and contentment on our life.
According to the Buddha, my teacher, life is only available in the here and now. The past is already gone, and the future is yet to come. There is only one moment for me to live in — the present moment. So the first thing I do is go back to the present moment. By doing so, I touch life deeply. My in-breath is life, my out-breath is life. Each step I take is life…
Many of us think that happiness is not possible in the present moment. Most of us believe that there are a few more conditions that need to be met before we can be happy. This is why we are sucked into the future and are not capable of being present in the here and now. This is why we step over many of the wonders of life. If we keep running away into the future, we cannot be in touch with the many wonders of life — we cannot be in the present moment where there is healing, transformation, and joy. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh