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' Meditation '

THE REASON WE PRACTICE MEDITATION

The reason we practice meditation is to attain happiness in both the short term and the long term. We practice in order to obtain the short-term benefit of a state of mental happiness and peace. The short-term benefits of meditation are more than merely peace of mind, because our physical health also depends to a great extent upon our state of mind. The ultimate or long-term benefit of the practice of meditation is becoming free of all suffering, which means no longer experiencing the suffering of birth, aging, sickness, and death. Now, this attainment of freedom is called, in all Buddhist traditions, Buddhahood.

~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRAINED MIND AND AN UNTRAINED MIND

The difference between a trained mind and an untrained mind lies in the ability of pausing, looking at that, and sensing whether it is necessary or not. An untrained mind doesn't think at all; everything just happens. That is simply called habitual patterns.

~ Ven. Khandro Rinpoche

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WE MEDITATE TO DISCOVER THE BASIC NATURE OF MIND

The basic purpose, or the basic development that we are making in meditation practice is to develop more mindfulness and awareness and to gain, or to discover - to rediscover, so to speak - our basic wisdom to transcend our emotions. The reason we say "rediscover" here is that this wisdom to transcend our emotions is already there. It already exists as a part of our mind, as a nature of our mind; its not something new that we are learning from this spiritual journey. Therefore, in this meditaion practice, on this meditation path, we are trying to develop the ultimate realization through developing greater mindfulness and awareness. We are trying to familirize ourselves more closely with the basic nature of our mind so that we can realize the ultimate nature of our mind.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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MEDITATION HAS NO PURPOSE

Meditation has no object, no purpose, no reference point. It is simply individuals willing to take a discipline upon themselves, not to please God or the Buddha or their teacher or themselves. Rather one just sits. One just simply sits without aim, object, purpose, without anything at all. Nothing whatsoever. One just 'sits'. Sitting is just being there like a piece of rock or a disused coffee cup sitting on the table. So meditation is just sitting and being, simply.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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THE SLOWEST WAY IS THE FASTEST

It is very true that in developing meditation, the slowest way is the fastest way. When we cultivate our meditation carefully, without forcing, the results will always be clear: although we may not sense each day's growth, the growth is steady. This path is not like pouring rain, which forces us to shelter, but more like snow gently blanketing the land.

~ Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche

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BE CONCERNED ONLY WITH INNER TRANSFORMATION

Discarding all other thoughts, be concerned only with the inner transformation caused by your practice. Don't be preoccupied by wealth, fame, and power but cultivate humility - not only for a few months but for your entire life.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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THE LONELINESS OF THE MEDITATIVE JOURNEY

The practice of meditation takes us on a journey that is very personal and very lonely. Only the individual meditator knows what he or she is doing, and it is a very lonely journey. However, if one were doing it alone without any reference to the lineage, without any reference to the teacher and the teachings, it would not be lonely, because you would have a sense of being involved in the process of developing the self-made man. So you would feel less lonely. You would feel like you were on the way to becoming a hero. It is particularly because of the commitment that one makes to the teachings and the lineage and the teacher that the meditative journey becomes such a lonely one.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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WE SHOULD RESPECT OUR PRACTICE!

It is vitally important to remember that no matter what stage of meditation we are engaged with, we should, at all times, fully appreciate and respect our practice.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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WHAT IS MEDITATION ?

The practice of meditation is a way of unmasking ourselves, our deceptions of all kinds, and also the practice of Meditation is a way of bringing out the subtleties of intelligence that exist within us. The experience of meditation sometimes plays the role of playmate; sometimes it plays the role of devil's advocate, fundamental depression. Sometimes it acts as an encouragement for birth, sometimes as an encouragement for death. Its moods might be entirely different in different levels and states of being and emotion, as well as in the experience of different individuals.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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OUR MIND IS WORKABLE

Our general feeling is that we simply have the mind that we have. If it is distracted or angry - whatever it may be - we just have to put up with it. There is nothing to be done. It is like waiting out a storm. The notion of meditation goes directly to that point and says that fundamentally we CAN work with this mind.

~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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WITHOUT MEDITATION, WE WON'T BE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS

People, like ourselves, who do not practice [shamatha meditation] are unable to help others in any very effective way at all. Lacking in concentration, we may think we want to help beings when in actual fact we are in no position even to help ourselves as we would like. If we go out and try to serve others in our present state of mind ( when we, like they, are very much under control of desire, hatred, and illusion ), we will only get into all kinds of unfortunate relationships with those whom we intend to help.

~ Deshung Rinpoche

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IF WE DO NOT MEDITATE, THERE IS NOT MUCH BENEFIT

The structures, the various formats and techniques, as well as the inspiration and guidance of teachers, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas, are support that we can always benefit from. As long as we need that support, there is no end to it and it is always there. We meet great teachers and masters. we listen to the teachings, we study and reflect. Everyone tries to meditate in his or her own way. Nevertheless, as long as we rely on purely external support and do not really work at the level of our own mind and our own heart, there is not much benefit.

~ Ven. Khandro Rinpoche

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IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAT WE ACTUALLY PRACTICE

[In the West], Buddhism has experienced tremendous growth. I come from the East, where we have many monasteries, temples, retreats, and meditation centers. However, it is not so much the container but the contents that need to be profound and need to be steeped within the essential teachings. The outer growth and increase in number and size of meditation centers is one aspect, but it is more important that meditators actually practice the profound teachings.

~ Ven. Khandro Rinpoche

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INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ENOUGH

Intellectual knowledge of the Dharma alone is not enough - we have to practice. There are many stories of learned Dharma scholars having to ask for guidance from people who have not studied any of the vast treatises but who have really tasted the few teachings they have received. I remember Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the junior tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, saying in his teachings that when it comes to practice, many intellectuals have to go to beggars on the street to ask for advice. Even though these scholars may have intellectually learned the entire sutra and tantra teachings and may even teach them to many students, they are still empty when it comes to practice.

~ Lama Thubten Yeshe Rinpoche

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THE BUDDHA'S METHOD: MEDITATION

The method that the Buddha discovered is meditation. He discovered that struggling to find answers did not work. It was only when there were gaps in his struggle that insights came to him. He began to realize that there was a sane, awake quality within him that manifested itself only in the absence of struggle. So the practice of meditation involves "letting be."

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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THE PRIMACY OF MEDITATION

According to Buddha, no one can attain basic sanity and basic enlightenment without practicing meditation... There is no doubt, none whatever, that meditation is the only way for us to begin on the spiritual path. That is the only way.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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THE THREE TRAININGS: HEARING, CONTEMPLATING, AND MEDITATING

The whole of Buddhism is structured around this threefold training in listening [ or hearing ], reflecting [ or contemplating ], and meditating...The first is to listen to or study the teachings with an open and receptive mind that does not distort what is being heard or studied. The second stage is to reflect carefully on what has been received in order to clarify its true significance. The third stage is to integrate the newly acquired knowledge or understanding into one's being or character. In a sense this is like putting it into practice... It is practice in the sense of doing or being it as opposed to just thinking about it.
At the listening stage a person should study the Buddha's word in sutras and commentaries, relying on explanations of qualified teachers who can clarify one's doubts.
At the reflecting stage, one discovers further areas that lack clarity, and a teacher's guidance will again be required. After further reflection yet more doubts may arise, so the process has to be repeated until a certitude concerning the meaning and significance of the teaching has arisen.
Through meditation, doubts and hesitations should disappear... As the doubts disappear one experiences directly the true meaning of the teachings, so that eventually one's meditation stabilizes free from hesitation and uncertainty.

~ Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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THE THREE PRAJNAS ( KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE )

The Dharma is complete when one combines hearing, contemplation, and meditation in one's practice.

~ Gampopa

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THE PRECIOUSNESS OF THE THREE JEWELS

I don't take refuge in anything [ other than the Three Jewels ]. People have helped me, have been very kind to me, have been very generous to me, and have actually helped me to come so far in my life. And gratitude and appreciation is there. But it is not the same level of gratitude and appreciation that I find in myself for the Three Jewels. They will never replace the Three Jewels for me, nor will they ever replace my own root teacher and the extraordinary beings that I have come to connect with in my lifetime.

~ Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

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TAKING REFUGE MEANS SURRENDERING HOPE

Taking refuge here means surrendering hope rather than surrendering fear. When we give up promises, potentials, possibilities, then we begin to realize that there is no burden of further imprisonment. We have been completely freed, even from hope, which is a really refreshing experience.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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TAKING REFUGE IS AN expression OF FREEDOM

[ Taking refuge ] is acknowledging that we are groundless, and it is acknowledging that there is really no need for home, or ground. Taking refuge is an expression of freedom, because as refuges we are no longer bounded by the need for security. We are suspended in a no-man's-land in which the only thing to do is to relate with the teachings and with ourselves.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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TAKING REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA: THE INNERMOST MEANING

The innermost sense of refuge is the discovery of our own basic nature of mind, which is the nature of Buddha's wisdom. The nature of Buddhahood itself is luminous, naturally cognizant wisdom. It is usually referred to as the Dharmakaya, or the body of essential qualities. In the context of absolute truth, we go for refuge to the fundamental nature of our own mind, which is indivisible from the jewel of the Buddha. Our fundamental state of mind is totally awake, totally in the state of fully awakened heart. That is what Buddha is.
Rediscovering that heart, making a connection with that heart again, is what we call taking refuge in the Buddha, the wisdom of awakened mind. That wisdom is nothing outside; it is within the very nature of our mind. Making a strong connection with that discovery is what we call taking refuge. It is an extremely close connection. That connection is basic confidence, basic faith. It is the basic trust that we develop through our discovery.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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THE TRUE REFUGE IS WITHIN

The only never-failing constant refuge is not found outside or ourself, outside of our mind; It is found only within our own mind. Regarding the relationship to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha in our mind - if we are quiet clear what that relationship is and how to take refuge in the objects of the Three Jewels that we have cherished so much in our mind, then we can find such a refuge is constantly there... And through constant engagement -- solely, wholeheartedly, without looking for alternatives other than our own mind - we learn how to take refuge in the Three Jewels completely... It means not looking outside for other alternatives before we have found the way within ourselves to take refuge in the Three Jewels.

~ Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

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TAKING REFUGE IN THE THREE JEWELS BRINGS SECURITY AND PERSPECTIVE

When we have learned how to take refuge from the bottom of our heart over the course of our life and practice, through many different ups and downs, we arrive at a point where we feel that taking refuge in the Three Jewels never fails to bring complete security and a total sense of comfort. It is not that we want a false, unreal "reality" or an artificial kind of security and then we find those by taking refuge in the Three Jewels. These false, unfounded "realities" and artificial securities we constantly seek in our human existence have nothing to do with the true sense of complete security we find in taking refuge in the Three Jewels.
What does it mean to take refuge in the Three Jewels and find a sense of complete and never-failing security and comfort? When we have completely taken refuge over the course of our life and practice, through life's ups and downs, we find a way to pull all things in perspective. In that way there is then a way to work with our own emotions and therefore there is a way to overcome the unnecessary fears that eat up our peace of mind most of the time. Having said that, what is required here most is a sense of faith in the Buddha as the guide, Dharma as the path, and Sangha as companion.

~ Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

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THE LONLINESS OF THE PATH CALLS FOR THE THREE JEWELS

Loneliness here is not meant in the sense of feeling alone in an empty room with nothing but a mattress. When we talk about loneliness here, we're talking about the fundamental starvation of ego. There are no tricks you can play; there is no one you can talk to make yourself feel better. There is nothing more you can do about the loneliness t all. So, for that reason, there's need for a teacher [ Buddha ], for Sangha, and for practice [ Dharma ].

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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TEN THINGS THAT ARE UNMISTAKEN

1.It is unmistaken to leave behind the life of a householder to become a homeless renunciant without any attachment whatsoever.

2.It is unmistaken to respect a sublime master and spiritual teacher [ as if he were ] as high as the top of your own head.

3.It is unmistaken to train yourself in the threefold combination of learning, reflection, and meditation.

4.It is unmistaken to keep a high view while maintaining a low profile of conduct.

5.It is unmistaken to be carefree while at the same time keeping a strict resolve.

6.It is unmistaken to be sharp minded while remaining humble.

7.It is unmistaken to be rich in oral instructions while exerting yourself in practise.

8.It is unmistaken to have excellent experience and realization while being free from conceit and pretense.

9.It is unmistaken to be able to live in solitude while also being able to be with others.

10.It is unmistaken to be unbound by selfishness while being skillful in helping others.

~ Gampopa

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