The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


Awareness of thoughts

Every time we become aware of a thought, as opposed to being lost in a thought, we experience that opening of the mind.

– Joseph Goldstein

from the book “Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom”


The void nature of thoughts

What we normally call the mind is the deluded mind, a turbulent vortex of thoughts whipped up by attachment, anger, and ignorance. This mind, unlike enlightened awareness, is always being carried away by one delusion after another. Thoughts of hatred or attachment suddenly arise without warning, triggered by such circumstances as an unexpected meeting with an enemy or a friend, and unless they are immediately overpowered with the proper antidote, they quickly take root and proliferate, reinforcing the habitual predominance of hatred or attachment in the mind and adding more and more karmic patterns.

Yet, however strong these thoughts may seem, they are just thoughts and will eventually dissolve back into emptiness. Once you recognize the intrinsic nature of the mind, these thoughts that seem to appear and disappear all the time can no longer fool you. Just as clouds form, last for a while, and then dissolve back into the empty sky, so deluded thoughts arise, remain for a while, and then vanish into the voidness of mind; in reality nothing at all has happened.

When sunlight falls on a crystal, lights of all colors of the rainbow appear; yet they have no substance that you can grasp. Likewise, all thoughts in their infinite variety – devotion, compassion, harmfulness, desire – are utterly without substance. There is no thought that is something other than voidness; if you recognize the void nature of thoughts at the very moment they arise, they will dissolve. Attachment and hatred will never be able to disturb the mind. Deluded emotions will collapse by themselves. No negative actions will be accumulated, so no suffering will follow.

– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book “The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones”


Take care of your thoughts

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Creating a world of neurotic fantasy

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There is no miserable place waiting for you, no hell realm, sitting and waiting like Alaska – waiting to turn you into ice cream. But whatever you call it – hell or the suffering realms – it is something that you enter by creating a world of neurotic fantasy and believing it to be real. It sounds simple, but that’s exactly what happens.

– Lama Yeshe

July 12, 2018

Related imageWe are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

The thought manifests as the word;

the word manifests as the deed;

the deed develops into habit;

and the habit hardens into character.

Watch the thought and its way with care, and let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings.

—Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

Thoughts, compassion, and poison

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Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective

Not seeing thoughts as simple phenomena

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 When you relate to thoughts obsessively, you are actually feeding them because thoughts need your attention to survive. Once you begin to pay attention to them and categorize them, then they become very powerful. You are feeding them energy because you are not seeing them as simple phenomena. If one tries to quiet them down, that is another way of feeding them.

– Chögyam Trungpa

from the book “The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation”

How to alter the universe

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Rajit Sharma

The practice of shamatha

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Be aware of everything that arises in your mind immediately, as though watching your face in a mirror. Identify your emotions as the enemies that have spoiled your past lives, and will spoil your future lives, too, if you fail to cut them at the root as soon as they appear.

There is no emotion that you cannot be rid of, because emotions are simply thoughts, and thoughts are just like the wind moving through the empty sky. There is nothing to them.

However, in just the same way that someone who attains a high position may find that his worries and difficulties increase, so too, when you set yourself the ambitious goal of getting free from samsara, you may find that your thoughts and habitual tendencies seem even stronger and more numerous than before.
If you fall immediately under their power, your practice will be interrupted. It may stagnate, to the point that you end up as an old hermit only interested in making money. Or you could stray into an intellectual approach, endlessly acquiring more and more knowledge. But if you can manage to overcome your wild emotions by concentrating on sustained calm and profound insight, you are sure to make steady progress on the path.

When your mind is distracted, you can be bitten by a mosquito without your even noticing it. But when your mind is quiet, you will feel a mosquito bite straight away. In the same way, the mind needs to be relaxed and quietened if it is to become aware of its empty nature.

The practice of shamatha is done for this reason, and through such practice even a person with strong emotions will gradually acquire self-control and inner calm. When the mind comes to a stable state of relaxed concentration, your habitual tendencies fade away by themselves, while altruism and compassion naturally develop and expand. Eventually, you will come to a state of ease in the unceasing flow of the absolute nature. Why are all of us beings wandering in samsara?

As Chandrakirti said:
Beings think “I” at first, and cling to self;
They think of “mine” and are attached to things. They thus turn helplessly as buckets on a waterwheel,
And to compassion for such beings I bow down.

~Dilgo Khentsye Rinpoche


The goal of meditation

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Zen Is Amazing