A string of beads has a thread running through all the beads, keeping them together. What we need is a thread too—of sanity and stability. Because when you have a thread, even though each bead is separate, they hang together. When we have the teachings in us, stabilizing us, there’s a thread to keep our life together that prevents us from falling apart. ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, “The Stability of Ease”
Who is our friend? Who is our enemy?
In meditation, imagine that in front of you are three persons—an enemy, a friend, and a neutral person. At that time, in our minds we have (1) a sense of closeness for one of them, thinking, “This is my friend”; (2) a sense of dislike even when imagining the enemy; and (3) a sense of ignoring the neutral person. Now, we have to think about the reasons why we generate these feelings—the reasons being that temporarily one of them helped us whereas the other temporarily harmed us, and the third did neither. However, when we think in terms of the long course of beginningless rebirth, none of us could decide that someone who has helped or harmed us in this life has been doing so for all lifetimes.
When you contemplate this way, eventually you arrive at a point where a strong generation of desire or hatred appears to you to be just senseless. Gradually, such a bias weakens, and you decide that one-sided classification of persons as friends and enemies has been a mistake. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace, page 166
Without understanding how your inner nature evolves, how can you possibly discover eternal happiness? Where is eternal happiness? It’s not in the sky or in the jungle; you won’t find it in the air or under the ground. Everlasting happiness is within you, within your psyche, your consciousness, your mind. That’s why it’s important that you investigate the nature of your own mind. ~ Lama Thubten Yeshe
Use Skillful Means
When you meet miserable conditions, it is extremely important to use skillful means. In other words, there is a meditation to mix with whatever suffering you experience. When you apply the teachings in this way, all sufferings are mixed with virtue. All experiences of suffering become virtue. ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Just sitting means just that. That ‘just’ endlessly goes against the grain of our need to fix, transform, and improve ourselves. The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another.
~ Barry Magid, “Leave Yourself Alone”
- The Paradox of Meditation – by Andrew Cohen (jhaines6.wordpress.com)