“The solution is not to suppress our thoughts and desires, for this would be impossible, it would be like trying to keep a pot of water from boiling by pressing down tightly on the lid. The only sensible approach is to train ourselves to observe our thoughts without following them. This deprives them of their compulsive energy and is therefore like removing the pot of boiling water from the fire.”
In solitary stony fastness
among the mountains,
there is a strange market,
where one can barter
the vortex of life
for boundless bliss.
The natural state is just itself and nothing else, whether thoughts are arising or not. Having no thoughts is not the essential practice of Dzogchen. There is nothing wrong with having thoughts; it is natural for thoughts to arise. They represent the creative potentiality or dynamism of the Nature of Mind. When we are in the Natural State, there are no special thoughts associated with it. The natural state is always there whether thoughts are present or not. The problem is to recognize this Natural State without being distracted by thoughts.
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.
As far as meditation practice is concerned, in meditation, we work on THIS thing, rather than on trying to sort out the problem from the outside. We work on the projector rather than the projection. We turn inward, instead of trying to sort out external problems of A, B, and C. We work on the creator of duality rather than the creation. That is beginning at the beginning.
”If we were to put our minds to one powerful wisdom method and work with it directly, there is a real possibility we would become enlightened.
Our minds, however, are riddled with confusion and doubt. I sometimes think that doubt is an even greater block to human evolution than is desire or attachment. Our society promotes cleverness instead of wisdom, and celebrates the most superficial, harsh, and least useful aspects of our intelligence. We have become so falsely “sophisticated” and neurotic that we take doubt itself for truth, and the doubt that is nothing more than ego’s desperate attempt to defend itself from wisdom is deified as the goal and fruit of true knowledge.
This form of mean-spirited doubt is the shabby emperor of samsara, served by a flock of “experts” who teach us not the open-souled and generous doubt that Buddha assured us was necessary for testing and proving the worth of the teachings, but a destructive form of doubt that leaves us nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for, and nothing to live by.”
—Sogyal Rinpoche, from Rigpa’s 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.
If you have any self-respect,
A heart in your chest,
Brains in your head, and
Some sympathy for yourself,
Regret your past actions and
Improve your whole behavior.
It’s time! It’s very late!