Author 192126

Khyentse Rinpoche
C. 1910

Vajrayana Master, Scholar, Poet, Teacher, and Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

Author Quotes

When an enlightened master who has wisdom and compassion meets a disciple who has faith and diligence, it is as if the sun’s rays where suddenly concentrated through a magnifying glass and focus onto dry grass, causing it to burst into flames, at once. In the same way, the blessings we receive will correspond directly to the intensity of our devotion.

When we begin to win the struggle to free ourselves from the waves of afflictive emotions, the mind will become like a calm and vast lake. This peaceful state, the natural tranquility of mind, will lead to deep samadhi [concentration], which is the pacification of wandering, deluded thoughts.

When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.

When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick; every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. But if, instead, you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arises and dissolves within the space of that awareness, without engendering other thoughts. Be like a lion, who rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.

When you see it as it is, it will dissolve like a cloud in the sky.

Worries concerning the melodramas of day-to-day life serve no purpose. To fret in this futile manner is to be like the child who is delighted at having built a sand castle, and distraught when the sea washes it away.

You have not obtained this precious human life just by chance. It is the result of having heard the Buddha’s name in a past life, having taking refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions and developed some wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again. If you fail to practise the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not obtain a human life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be very foolish. Do not waste it. Practise every day.

You have to discover that the qualities of Buddhahood have always been inherently present within yourself.

Your body, too, is actually on loan to you for the time being … Had you better not use it to practice the Dharma while you can?

We have a long journey to make through the six realms of samsara. We should approach the Dharma like a sailor making his meticulous preparations for a voyage around the world, and prepare ourselves properly for our far longer journey ...

We should learn to see everyday life as mandala – the luminous fringes of experience, which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being. The aspects of our mandala are the day-to-day objects of our life experience moving in the dance or play of the universe. By this symbolism the inner teacher reveals the profound and ultimate significance of being.

Were hatred, pride, jealously, desire and stupidity to decrease, not only conflicts but also epidemics and natural calamities in the world will decrease as well, like smoke disappearing when a fire is extinguished.

There should be no insult or humiliation that is too great to bear. If you were ever to feel it was justifiable to respond vindictively, the exchange of bitter words and recriminations that ensue would be bound to inflame and escalate the anger on both sides. This is how people start to fight and kill each other. Murders and wars all begin with just one angry thought.

Those (practitioners) capable of reacting immediately with the correct antidote will have no problem overcoming obstacles. … When you trace all thoughts and concepts back to their very source, you will recognize that they all have the same true nature – emptiness inseparable from transcendent wisdom.

Throughout the day, put the teachings into practice. In the evening examine what you have done, said, and thought during the day. Whatever was positive, dedicate the merit to all beings and vow to improve on it the next day. Whatever was negative, confess and promise to repair it. In this way, the best practitioners progress from day to day, the middling practitioners from month to month, and the least capable from year to year.

To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. Of course, no one actually wants to suffer, to be sick, to be cold or hungry – but as long as we continue to indulge in wrong doing we will never put an end to suffering. Likewise, we will never achieve happiness, except through positive deeds, words, and thoughts. Positive action is something we have to cultivate ourselves; it can be neither bought nor stolen, and no one ever stumbles on it just by chance.

To make a lamp burn brightly, without flickering, one puts it inside a glass lantern to protect it from the wind. Similarly, to develop deep concentration we have to prepare the mind and still our thoughts with devotion and correct attitude.

Truly, to meditate on the benevolent teacher is a spiritual practice more profound than any other.

Try to maintain perfectly pure thoughts in all circumstances, so that even the most insignificant of your acts will preserve their positive energy until you attain enlightenment. A drop of water that falls into the ocean will last as long as the ocean itself.

A dharma-practitioner should be able to cope with all possible circumstances, neither created by the good nor cast into despair by the bad. In either case, free from expectations and doubt, one should remember the guru. Happiness and sorrow, joy and suffering, though nothing in themselves, can become either a help or a hindrance on the path. What we ourselves make of these experinces is the test of the genuiness of our practise. This is the true essence of the guru yoga and is itself the main practise.

Keep in mind the many beings who are suffering in the same way as you are, and pray that your suffering may absorb theirs and that they may be liberated from all suffering. In this way, illness can teach us compassion.

Once you overcome the hatred within your mind, you will discover that in the world outside, there is no longer any such thing as even a single enemy.

The master is like a great ship for beings to cross the perilous ocean of existence, an unerring captain who guides them to the dry land of liberation, a rain that extinguishes the fire of the passions, a bright sun and moon that dispel the darkness of ignorance, a firm ground that can bear the weight of both good and bad, a wish-fulfilling tree that bestows temporal happiness and ultimate bliss, a treasury of vast and deep instructions, a wish-fulfilling jewel granting all the qualities of realization, a father and a mother giving their love equally to all sentient beings, a great river of compassion, a mountain rising above worldly concerns unshaken by the winds of emotions, and a great cloud filled with rain to soothe the torments of the passions. In brief, he is the equal of all the Buddhas.

If you have no mastery over your mind and are influenced and conditioned by habitual tendencies, even in the quiet of an insolated retreat your thoughts will follow one upon another like ripples on water. Memories of past events will well up vividly in your mind – as will plans, decisions, and speculation about your future. You will spend your whole time running after thoughts and concepts, a lot of mental activity with no benefit at all for your practice.

Like nomads moving camp every season, we change our native land with every rebirth.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Khyentse Rinpoche
Birth Date
C. 1910
Death Date

Vajrayana Master, Scholar, Poet, Teacher, and Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism