The Heart Sutra

The process of overcoming our defilements goes in conjunction with gaining higher levels of realization. In fact, when we speak of gaining higher levels of realization in Buddhism we are speaking primarily of the processes through which our wisdom and insight deepen. It is actually the wisdom aspect that enables the practitioner to move from one level to the next on the path.

The attainment of the levels of the path is explained in condensed form in the Heart Sutra, where we find the mantra tadyatha om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svahaTadyatha means It is thus; gate gate means go, goparagate means go beyond and transcendparasamgate means go utterly beyond, go thoroughly beyond; and bodhi svaha means firmly rooted in enlightenment. ~ “Lighting the Way,” by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, Pages 25-26.

In their quest for happiness

The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. They never have the chance to experience a greater joy that comes with peace and tranquility. ~ Sayadaw U Pandita, “A Perfect Balance.”

 

It is better to practice

 

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Dromtönpa once saw a monk doing circumambulations and intuitively knew he was doing them for a worldly motive. He remarked, “It’s good to do circumambulations, but it would be better to practice.” Later he saw the same monk making prostrations. “Prostrations are good,” he said, “but it would be better to practice.” After some time, the monk began to do meditation and Dromtönpa again remarked that doing retreats was laudable, but it would be even better to practice. Finally the monk, who by this time was thoroughly perplexed, inquired what he meant by the word practice. Dromtönpa answered that it meant letting go of our preoccupation with this life and developing true love and compassion. ~ Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, edited and translated by Ruth Sonam, pages 30-31

 

 

Things do exist

The doctrines of emptiness and selflessness do not imply the non-existence of things. Things do exist. When we say that all phenomena are void of self-existence, it does not mean that we are advocating non-existence, that we are repudiating that things exist. Then what is it we are negating? We are negating, or denying, that anything exists from its own side without depending on other things. Hence, it is because things depend for their existence upon other causes and conditions that they are said to lack independent self-existence ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama,  Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists pages 31-32.