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EMPTINESS AND THE RELATIVE WORLD

In the relative world, things continue to manifest to us, even though there is absolute emptiness. This means that suffering and all things happen on a relative level. Yet, when we really search, we can never find the suffering, only the emptiness of suffering.

~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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' Emptiness '

IT DOES SEEM AS THOUGH SOMETHING HAPPENS

There are two types of reality. One is the truth as it seems to be for most people, while the other Truth is how it really is. The first type, how things seem to be for many people, is called the shared karmic phenomena of the same species. This means things look as they do for those who have the karma to be born as a particular class of sentient being. Concerning how it really is, though, everything is no more than a seeming presence , an apparent mental event. Look closely, and ultimately there is no arising and nothing really taking place. Nevertheless, superficially or relatively, it does seem as though something happens.

~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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' Emptiness '

THE GROUND IS EMPTINESS

The nature of the ground is that all things, however they may appear, are without inherent existence. They are not established in being what they appear; they are empty. While they may appear to have an external existence of their own, this is merely the implication of a confused cognition. What is meant by emptiness of the ground, or emptiness as the ground as it is stated in the 'Prajnaparamita Sutra', is that everything from from up to cognition is without inherent existence: it is empty. This means that everything lacks inherent existence, starting from what is experienced by ordinary individuals up to the omniscience and qualities of a Buddha.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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' Emptiness '

MISPERCEIVING THE ORDINARY WORLD AS SOLID

If we look at the nature of worldly views and activities, we find that they are caused by a lack of proper investigation. We operate under the illusion that the relative truth is something solid and truly existent, but this is the definition of delusion. If we look carefully, we find that the world is like a rainbow: vivid and colorful, but without any solid existence.

When a magician creates the illusion of horses, oxen, chariots, and so forth, although they [appear and] can move, they are actually nonexistent. In the same way, a person who has realized the emptiness of all phenomena recognizes the activities of the world as an illusion. Nowadays, this is a very difficult thing to do - delusion is heaped on delusion and it spreads like monkeys imitating each other. We are so deceived that it is hard to find a way out. Having lost sight of the true nature of things, it is easy to waste one's life.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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' Emptiness '

THE BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS OF EMPTINESS

The Buddha, the completely omniscient one, said that all phenomena are empty and devoid of self-entity. Normally, however, we perceive everything to be concrete and possessing individual identity.

~ Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

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Peace is found through surrender to good through devotion. People who are loving, who practice stillness, who delight in meditation and good actions, are really peaceful. Peace is the altar of God, the condition in which happiness exists.

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Democracy is not a spectator sport. We have to participate.

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' Compassion '

HOW DO WE MEDITATE ON LOVING-KINDNESS ?

One should begin by meditating on loving-kindness for one's relatives, because it is easier to produce loving-kindness toward them. In the middle one should meditate on loving-kindness for one's enemies, because it is more difficult to generate it toward them. Finally, one should meditate on loving-kindness for all sentient beings.

~ Ngorchen Konchong Lhundrup

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' Compassion '

ALL RELATIONSHIPS ARE EPHEMERAL

Since spiritual companions, couples, and so forth might be split up unexpectedly at any moment, we had better avoid anger and quarrels, harsh words and fighting. We never know how long we might be together, so we should make up our minds to be caring and affectionate for the short while that we have left... Remind yourself over and over again to treat everyone with love and compassion.

~ Patrul Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

HOW TO CARE FOR OTHERS MORE THAN YOURSELF

In order to get used to caring for
others more than yourself,
You should visualize the exchange of
yourself and others:
As you breathe in and out,
Take their suffering upon yourself
and send them your happiness.

~ Shechen Gyalsap Rinpoche

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COMPASSION IS UTTERLY UNBIASED

The attitude of the Bodhisattva is not being concerned just for oneself but feeling the same concern for everyone. The reason a Bodhisattva has unbiased love and compassion is that when we identify with a certain group and concentrate on it's benefit, there is the danger we might harm others outside the group. Therefore the Mahayana path cultivates a completely unbiased love and compassion, caring equally for every being, including nonhuman beings such as animals. This is because we realize that since beginningless time, each and every being has had the same basic wish to find happiness and to be free from suffering. In that respect, all beings are the same, and therefore we try to help them equally.

~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

THE OPENNESS OF THE BODHISATTVA

Being open means being free to do whatever is called for in a given situation. Because you do not want anything from the situation, you are free to act in the way genuinely appropriate to it. And similarly, if other people want something from you, that may be their problem. You do not have to try to ingratiate yourself with anyone. Openness means being what you are. If you are comfortable being yourself, then an environment of openness and communication arises automatically and naturally. Situations develop automatically. We do not need to fit ourselves into special roles and environments.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

HOW DOES COMPASSION ARISE ?

Within the state of cessation [of the "self"]
... a spontaneous compassion arises for others. When I don't have to worry about myself at all, then the only thing I can do is to think about others' problems and try to help others. When you don't have to think about yourself, then there is no selfishness, so there is complete compassion. Compassion arises naturally when there is wisdom, according to the Buddhist way of thinking.

~ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

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THE VAST ATTITUDE OF THE BODHISATTVA

The vast attitude of the Bodhisattva or the Mahayana teachings is compassion. We consider all our parent sentient beings who are at present drowning in the immense ocean of samsaric existence and make the aspiration "I alone will rescue all these sentient beings and establish them in the precious state of complete Enlightenment."

~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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ALL SENTIENT BEINGS HAVE BEEN OUR MOTHERS, OUR FRIENDS

It is our aim to have genuine loving-kindness toward all sentient beings because we see them suffering. In the Mahayana tradition, it says that through our innumerable lifetimes, at some time or other, every single sentient being has been in the relation to us of our mother, our friends, or someone who has helped us. We look at all sentient beings in this way. We feel a deep yearning to help them because they have helped us. When we contemplate in this way, we find that some kind of compassion begins to take place.

~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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Vasistha continued:
This cosmic illusion (Maya) creates great delusion and is of the nature of disequilibrium.

It is extremely difficult to understand it. What comparison is there between a hallucination which lasts for the brief duration of an hour's dream, and a whole life-time as a tribesman with all the varied experiences?

Again, how can we relate what is seen in that hallucination and what is seen 'in front of our eyes'? Or, what is truly unreal and what has really undergone a factual transformation?

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' Compassion '

THE BODHISATTVA

Those beings that have gone beyond the limits of suffering and of compassion are known as Bodhisattvas in the Mahayana journey. Their basic vision is to achieve liberation for all sentient beings and to develop a heart connection with all beings through this experience of pain and suffering, of agony, that we all go through in this samsaric world. Within that experience of suffering and pain, we find a way to communicate with all levels of sentient beings and liberate them through experiencing this pain. The ones who have generated such a connection, such wisdom, and such experience are known as Bodhisattvas.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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ABSOLUTE COMPASSION AND IDIOT COMPASSION

Absolute compassion is seeing the situation as it is, directly and thoroughly. If you have to be tough, you just do it. Idiot compassion contains a sort of opium - constantly trying to be good and kind. Absolute compassion is more literal, more discriminating, and more definite. You are willing to hurt somebody, even though you do not want to hurt that person; but in order to wake that person up, you might have o hurt him or her, you might have to inflict pain.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

TRUE COMPASSION IS "CRAZY WISDOM"

To the conventional way of thinking, compassion simply means being kind and warm....You would expect the practitioner of this type of compassion to be extremely kind and gentle; he would not harm a flea....
But true compassion is ruthless, from ego's point of view, because it does not consider ego's drive to maintain itself. It is "crazy wisdom." It is totally wise, but it is crazy as well, because it does not relate to ego's literal and simpleminded attempts to secure its own comfort... The sudden energy of ruthless compassion severs us from our comforts and securities. If we were never to experience this kind of shock, we would not be able to grow.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

LOVE

Love is not really the experience of beauty and romantic joy alone. Love is associated with ugliness and pain and aggression as well as with the beauty of the world; it is not the re-creation of heaven. Love or compassion, the open path, is associated with "what is." In order to develop love - universal love, cosmic love, whatever you would like to call it - one must accept the whole situation of life as it is, both the light and the dark, the good and the bad. One must open oneself to life, communicate with it.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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' Compassion '

GIVING ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS

When one gives one's kindness for the sake of getting something back in return, for the sake of getting a good name, for the sake of causing other people to like oneself, if the motivation is for the self, then this would not really be a Bodhisattva deed. Therefore, one-pointedness points to giving only for the sake of helping others.

~ His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

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' Compassion '

TRUE COMPASSION IS SPONTANEOUS, NOT CONTRIVED

When we talk about compassion, love, and kindness, we are not talking about a kind of "sacred heart" or external grace that we are trying to extend to someone who is suffering. When we talk about compassion here, we are talking about the fundamental state of our heart, which goes beyond the conceptual idea of being compassionate. Therefore, the acts of a Bodhisattva are spontaneous acts of compassion, which are not fabricated. These acts are not based on concepts or preconceived notions of how or what they should be. They are spontaneous, natural, on-the-spot experiences of this heart. For that reason, many sutras give the example of a mother's love, a mother's compassion, to express this experience.
When a mother sees her only child suffering, the spontaneous heart of compassion arises without any preconceptions or preparation. A mother does not have to prepare her compassion; when she sees her child, it is right there. The Bodhisattva heart of compassion is very spontaneous and on the spot. It goes beyond any conceptual reality, any idea of formulating love or compassion.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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When life exposes your hidden flaws, avoid identifying with the reflex to defend or protect them. Instead, open you heart to the possibility of transformation and transcendence by saying 'Yes' inside your being. Fall fully into the embrace of the Lord within.

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' Compassion '

EMPTINESS (SHUNYATA) AND COMPASSION

Whenever there is the absolute 'shunyata' principle, we have to have a basic understanding of absolute compassion at the same time. 'Shunyata' literally means "openness" or "emptiness." 'Shunyata' is basically understanding nonexistence. When you begin realizing nonexistence, then you can afford to be more compassionate, more giving...Understanding 'shunyata' means that we begin to realize that there is no ground to get, that we are ultimately free, nonaggressive, open. We realize that we are actually nonexistent ourselves.

Compassion develops from shunyata, or nonground, because you have nothing to hold on to, nothing to work with, no project, no personal gain, no ulterior motives. Therefore, whatever you do is a clean job, so to speak. So compassion and shunyata work together. It is like sunning yourself at the beach: for one thing you have a beautiful view of the sea and ocean and sky and everything, and there is also sunlight and heat and the ocean coming toward you.


~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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WHAT IS GENUINE COMPASSION ?

Usually the concept of compassion or love is something like closeness or a feeling toward your friend. And also, sometimes, compassion means a feeling of pity - that is wrong. Compassion, or love in which someone looks down on another - that's not genuine compassion. Genuine compassion must be acting on the basis of respect and the realization or recognition that others also, just like myself, have the right to be happy.

~ His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

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THE POWER OF COMPASSION

The pain may be very strong when we are seriously ill; we might be in agony and feel miserable. Give up the thought "I'm suffering! How terrible it is for me!" Instead, think "May I take away all the pain and sickness of all sentient beings, and may their stream of negative karmic ripening be interrupted! May it all be taken upon myself. May I take upon myself all the sickness, difficulties, and obstacles that the great upholders of the Buddha-Dharma experience. May their hindrances ripen upon me so that they all are free from any difficulties whatsoever!" Such an attitude accumulates an immense amount of merit, and purifies immeasurable obscurations.


~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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