At present, the outer universe—earth, stones, mountains, rocks, and cliffs—seems to the perception of our senses to be permanent and stable, like the house built of reinforced concrete that we think will last for generations. In fact, there is nothing solid to it at all; it is nothing but a city of dreams.
I am now seventy-eight years old, and have seen so many, many things during my lifetime.
So many young people have died, so many people of my own age have died, so many old people have died. So many people that were high up have become low. So many people that were low have risen to be high up. So many countries have changed. There has been so much turmoil and tragedy, so many wars, and plagues, so much terrible destruction all over the world.
And yet all these changes are no more real than a dream. When you look deeply, you realize there is nothing that is permanent and constant, nothing, not even the tiniest hair on your body. And this is not a theory, but something you can actually come to know and realize and see, even, with your very own eyes.
—Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Courtesy of Rigpa: Glimpse of the Day.
We should simply sit. Simply stay in your own place, in your own condition just as it is. Forgetting self conscious feelings, we do not have to think “I am meditating”. Our practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become “peaceful”. If we find that we are disturbing ourselves in any of these ways, we stop meditating and simply rest or relax for a while. Then we resume our meditation. If we have “interesting experiences” either during or after meditation, we should avoid making anything special of them. To spend time thinking about experiences is simply a distraction and an attempt to become unnatural. These experiences are simply signs of practice and should be regarded as transient events. We should not attempt to re-experience them because to do so only serves to distort the natural spontaneity of mind.
In our everyday activities we should be able to retain the understanding we have found in meditation. Otherwise, though we may think that we have reached a high level of meditation, we will stumble over the first obstacle we encounter, and we will be unable to deal with the various circumstances that beset us in daily life. Mediation and post-meditation periods should reinforce and complement each other. If they do not, it is hard to achieve liberation.
En nuestras actividades diarias deberíamos de ser capaces de retener el entendimiento que hayamos encontrado en la meditación. De otra manera, aunque pensemos que hemos alcanzado un alto grado de logro en la meditación, tropezaremos con el primer obstáculo que nos encontremos y no seremos capaces de lidiar con las diferentes circunstancias que se nos presentan cotidianamente. La meditación y los períodos post meditativos deben de reforzarse y complementarse uno al otro. En caso de que esto no suceda, será difícil alcanzar la liberación.
In the heart of the winter, the chill freezes lakes and rivers; water becomes so solid that it can bear men, beasts and carts. As spring approaches, earth and water warm up and thaw. What then remains of the hardness of the ice? Water neither earth can we say they are different, because ice is only solidified water, and water is only melted ice. The same applies to our perception of the world around us. To be attached to the reality of the phenomena, to be tormented by attraction and repulsion, by pleasure and pain, gain and loss, fame and obscurity, praise and blame, creates a solidity in the mind. What we have to do, therefore, is to melt the ice of concepts into the living water of the freedom within.
Before entering the spiritual path, we dwell in the supposedly impure state of samsara, which is governed, in relative terms, by ignorance. When we are engaged on the path, we pass through a state where ignorance and knowledge are mixed, and at the end of the path, at the moment of awakening, nothing remains but pure awareness. But throughout the entire course, though it appears that a transformation has taken place, the nature of the mind itself has never changed; not corrupted at the beginning of the path, it is not improved at the end.
We came into the world without husband, wife, friend, or companion. We may have many friends and acquaintances at the moment, and perhaps many enemies, too, but as soon as death falls upon us we shall leave all of them behind, like a hair pulled out of a slab of butter.