Buddhism ultimately is not about making ourselves comfortable and well adjusted in samsara. It is about getting off that wheel entirely, by ending what they call the uncontrolled rebirth that arises out of confusion. We have to be careful in caring for each other and adapting to circumstances that we don’t reify the self, and reinforce our suffering.
Studies find that people in more diverse countries, countries with great numbers of immigrants, rely on smiling to build trust and to build cooperation. A simple reason for this is the fact that we don’t all speak the same language. But there is a different, and I think, more meaningful reason for smiling in countries with more immigrants, and that is that smiling is a way to bond socially. A smile is a rather universally understood thing. Surely we can recognize a fake smile, a genuine smile, a wicked smile, a forced or sarcastic smile. But we know a smile when we see it.
Most people never question their day-to-day experiences. They accept whatever is felt and perceived as real. Without examining anything we will never penetrate beyond this illusion to see the actual state of affairs. Instead, we will regard everything that is impermanent as being permanent, what is unreal as being real. What an unfortunate, superficial and mistaken way of perceiving things!
Go for the highest goal, the real deal: full buddhahood in this lifetime. I’m not saying lower goals aren’t needed. The simplest meditation attainments help, of course. However, going for the highest goal opens more possibilities and yields more benefits you are probably not aware of.
True practice involves changing thick habits of body, speech and mind. Sounds simple when you say it. It even sounds romantic and heroic: I will transform my thoughts, words and deeds to become enlightened for the benefit of all sentient beings. A hardcore dharma practitioner soon realizes that this particular resolve is hard.
An interview with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche from 1985, about the nature of Dzogchen and recognizing the naked state of knowing. When asked, his reply was, “What is the use of the tiny light of a firefly when the sun has already risen in the sky?” referring to Trungpa Rinpoche’s presence in the West.
Once a fine sheep, a goat and an ox who were with other animals feeding in the courtyard happened to hear about The Great Vegetarian Debate, and their faith in the Dharma was greatly renewed. “We take refuge in the Triple Gem,” they thought, “in the wise and compassionate Buddha, his meaningful message, and in those living ones who follow his ways.
Then, stream and pond, movement and repose, like a fish darting from lake to stream, waterfall to light, from droplets to mist, to air, let the wind carry you to the first of the hidden lagoons, the falls above, as distant and near as the moon to the sun.
Dearest Ones, We have so many personas, We live in the private world, Of Dharma, The expression of Wisdom, We share, The offering of those that, Know how to share the wisdom