The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step




art work, om mani padme hum

The knack of refraining

Many of our escapes are involuntary: addiction and dissociating from painful feelings are two examples. Anyone who has worked with a strong addiction—compulsive eating, compulsive sex, abuse of substances, explosive anger, or any other behavior that’s out of control—knows that when the urge comes on it’s irresistible. The seduction is too strong. So we train again and again in less highly charged situations in which the urge is present but not so overwhelming. By training with everyday irritations, we develop the knack of refraining when the going gets rough. It takes patience and an understanding of how we’re hurting ourselves not to continue taking the same old escape route of speaking or acting out.
– Pema Chödron
from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

“My advice to anyone that is feeling cynical”

My advice to anyone that is feeling cynical: stop digesting apocalyptic news. As enticing as it is to find certainty in a doomed future when so much feels uncertain, it is still just one perspective and not truly representative of a very complex world where things are “getting worse and worse and better and better faster and faster.”
Find your tribe. Imagine something beautiful and focus on creating it.
The idea of human extinction or planetary collapse is just an idea. It’s a very intellectual, abstract idea and it hasn’t happened yet. Should our own happiness or present-day resolve even be driven by this abstract thinking of the future? I don’t think so.
Giving up now because of some idea of the future… nonsense! This moment right now is all we have. This moment matters. The suffering or happiness that exists in the present moment matters. The people who are alive today matter. The millions of species that we currently share this Earthly home with – they also matter. Even if our civilization or the planet as we know it is going to get wrecked in the future, there is and always will be great beauty in this universe, and there is more to the story of humanity than doom or salvation on the macro level.
There is beauty at the micro-level every day if we have the eyes to see it (simultaneously with the bad). Just look up at the stars on a cloudless night if you are ever in doubt. Look into the eyes of those you love. Listen to the singing birds. Feel the breeze. Connect with the life of the world as it exists right now.

What is mind?

May be an image of text that says 'What is this mind? Who is hearing these sounds? Do not mistake any state for self-realization, But continue to ask yourself even more intensely, What is it that hears? Who is hearing? Your physical being doesn't hear, Nor does the void, Then what does? Strive to find out. Put aside your rational intellect, Give up all techniques, Just get rid of the notion of self. -Bassui Tokusho- Rinzai Zen Master 1327-1387'

Restless mind

This restless mind is buddha nature. Because it is so intelligent, therefore it is restless. It is so transparent that we can’t put any patch on it to mask over the irritation—if we do, the irritation still comes through. We can’t hold the irritation back or maintain ego-style comfort anymore. In tantric literature, buddha mind is referred to as a lamp in a vase. If a vase is cracked, the imperfections of the vase can be seen because of the light shining through from inside. In Mahayana literature, a popular analogy refers to enlightened mind as the sun and ego’s security as the clouds that prevent the sun from shining through.
– Chögyam Trungpa
from the book “Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

Even though the guru has many qualities, looking from the side of his mistakes obscures all those qualities

Even though the guru has many qualities, looking from the side of his mistakes obscures all those qualities. Seeing some small mistake obscures all the rest of the qualities so that you see only mistakes. This is training your mind in a negative way. On the other hand, looking at the qualities of the guru and generating devotion cause you to achieve all the realizations of the graduated path up to enlightenment.
Relate this to yourself: You have oceans of mistakes, but few good qualities. Looking at yourself only in terms of your few qualities obscures all your mistakes so that you see only your good qualities. This is how your mind has been trained to see yourself. So if you look at the guru in the same way, your mind can be trained to develop guru devotion.
-Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Dharamsala, 1987
from Seeing the Guru as Buddha

The precepts

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Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself

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“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
~ Alan Watts~

A lot of our suffering and pain is caused by thinking in the past or worrying about the future

A lot of our suffering and pain is caused by thinking in the past or worrying about the future. Right now, right here, we might have sore knees, but beyond that you’re not really suffering much. You’re all just sitting here. It’s raining outside, but inside it’s not raining. The weather is not hot, the weather is not cold. Actually, the weather is very pleasant. Nobody’s threatening you. We’re just sitting here. In the present moment, there are no problems.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

With thanks to Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

There is continuity

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After death, our mind doesn’t come to a complete stop – like water drying up or a flame going out. There is continuity. Just as wherever the body goes, the shadow comes along with it – similarly, wherever our mind goes, our karma comes along too. You must have an unshakably firm belief in this.
– Khunu Rinpoche
quoted in the book “Teachings From Tibet: Guidance from Great Lamas”

When you expect something, when you aim at something, right there you dilute your energy

“When you expect something, when you aim at something, right there you dilute your energy; you split your energy, you split your attention and it becomes more than the place of yin and yang. You do not only divide, but you create the problem.”
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