|Sogyal Rinpoche is a Tibetan Dzogchen lama of the Nyingma tradition. He has been teaching for over 30 years. He is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa—an international network of over 100 Buddhist centres and groups in 23 countries around the world—and the author of the best-selling book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, which has been printed in 30 languages and 56 countries.|
Sogyal Rinpoche Quotes:
Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.
The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.
Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease, slowly, to be deluded. And being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming at last a true human being.
Just look at your mind for a few minutes. You will see that it is like a flea, constantly hopping to and fro. You will see that thoughts arise without any reason, without any connection. Swept along by the chaos of every moment, we are the victims of the fickleness of our mind.
Whatever you find yourself thinking, let that thought rise and settle, without any constraint. Don’t grasp at it, feed it, or indulge it; don’t cling to it and don’t try to solidify it. Neither follow thoughts nor invite them; be like the ocean looking at its own waves, or the sky gazing down on the clouds that pass through it.
Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?
Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?
We may idealize freedom, but when it comes to our habits, we are completely enslaved.
Just as the ocean has waves or the sun has rays, so the minds’s own radiance is its thoughts and emotions.
Once an old woman came to Buddha and asked him how to meditate. He told her to remain aware of every movement of her hands as she drew the water from the well, knowing that if she did, she would soon find herself in that state of alert and spacious calm that is meditation.
The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence you will need to live, and die, well; Meditation is the road to enlightenment.
What most of us need, almost more than anything, is the courage and humility really to ask for help, from the depths of our hearts: to ask for the compassion of the enlightened beings, to ask for purification and healing, to ask for the power to understand the meaning of our suffering and transform it; at a relative level to ask for the growth in our lives of clarity, peace, and discernment, and to ask for the realization of the absolute nature of mind that comes from merging with the deathless wisdom mind of the master.
What we have to learn, in both meditation and in life, is to be free of attachment to the good experiences, and free of aversion to the negative ones.
Sit, then, as if you were a mountain, with all the unshakeable, steadfast majesty of a mountain. A mountain is completely natural and at ease with itself, however strong the winds that try to bother it, however thick the dark clouds that swirl around its peak. Sitting like a mountain, let your mind rise and fly and soar