Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal
Rinpoche
1947

Tibetan Buddhist Contemporary Author, Yogan, Tibetan Dzogchen Lama of the Nyingma Tradition. Founder and Spiritual Director of Rigpa

Author Quotes

You may possess the power and might of a world ruler, but unless you gain mastery over your own mind, when the time of death arrives you still haven?t attained the power of freedom. So gain mastery over your mind!

You may pursue worldly fame and gain, but unless you follow the teachings of the Buddha, such activity will only be the cause for throwing you back into further samsara. So adhere to the teachings of the Buddha!

You may try to support your family and friends, but at the time of death all other actions besides the virtuous practices of Dharma activities will have been pointless. So constantly apply yourself to spiritual practices in thought, word, and deed!

You must constantly nourish openness, breadth of vision, willingness, enthusiasm, and reverence, that will change the whole atmosphere of your mind.

You will live or you will die. Both are good.

When you meditate deeply on compassion, a realization dawns in you that the only way for you to be of complete help to other beings is for you to gain enlightenment. From that a strong sense of determination and universal responsibility is born, and the compassionate wish arises in you at that moment to attain.

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.

Whenever doubt arises, see it simply as an obstacle, recognize it as an understanding that is calling out to be clarified or unblocked, and know that it is not a fundamental problem but simply a stage in the process of purification and learning. Allow the process to continue and complete itself, and never lose your trust or resolve. This is the way followed by all the great practitioners of the past, who used to say: ?There is no armor like perseverance.?

While meditating I sit quietly and rest in the nature of mind I don't question or doubt whether I am in the 'correct' state or not. There is no effort, only rich understanding, wakefulness, and unshakable certainty. When I am in the nature of mind, the ordinary mind is no longer there. There is no need to sustain or confirm a sense of being I simply am.

You may have the bravery of a strong fighter, but unless you possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge, you will not turn the tide in the battle with samsara. So possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge!

When the nature of mind is introduced by a master, it is just too simple for us to believe. Our ordinary mind tells us this cannot be, there must be something more to it than this. It must surely be more "glorious", with light blazing in space around us, angels with flowing golden hair swooping down to meet us, and a deep Wizard of Oz voice announcing, "Now you have been introduced to the nature of your mind." There is no such drama.

When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.

When you keep company with an eminent master, his qualities will automatically influence you.

What is born will die, What has been gathered will be dispersed, What has been accumulated will be exhausted, What has been built up will collapse, And what has been high will be brought low.

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.

Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues.

We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don?t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home. Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.

We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world. All that we are will rise with our thoughts.

We and all sentient beings fundamentally have the buddha nature as our innermost essence.

To contemplate impermanence on its own is not enough: You have to work with it in your life. Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging to. That's why you hold on. But there's another possibility: You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it. So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

To resolve the view, ask those who have realization. To practice meditation, listen to those who have experience and understanding.

To train in compassion is to know that all beings are the same and suffer in similar ways, to honor all those who suffer, and to know that you are neither separate from nor superior to anyone.

Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to. You have uncovered in yourself your own wise guide. Because he or she knows you through and through, since he or she is you, your guide can help you, with increasing clarity and humor, negotiate all the difficulties of your thoughts and emotions. The more often you listen to this wise guide, the more easily you will be able to change your negative moods yourself, see through them, and even laugh at them for the absurd dramas and ridiculous illusions that they are. The more you listen, the more guidance you will receive. If you follow the voice of your wise guide, and let the ego fall silent, you come to experience that presence of wisdom and joy and bliss that you really are.

The real glory of meditation lies not in any method but in its continual living experience of presence, in its bliss, clarity, peace, and most important of all, complete absence of grasping. The diminishing of grasping in yourself is a sign that you are becoming freer of yourself. And the more you experience this freedom, the clearer the sign that the ego and the hopes and fears that keep it alive are dissolving and the closer you will come to the infinitely generous 'wisdom of egolessness.' When you live in the wisdom home, you'll no longer find a barrier between 'I' and 'you,' 'this' and 'that,' 'inside' and 'outside' you'll have come, finally, to your true home, the state of non-duality.

The secret is not to think about thoughts, but to allow them to flow through the mind, while keeping your mind free of afterthoughts.

Author Picture
First Name
Sogyal
Last Name
Rinpoche
Birth Date
1947
Bio

Tibetan Buddhist Contemporary Author, Yogan, Tibetan Dzogchen Lama of the Nyingma Tradition. Founder and Spiritual Director of Rigpa