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' Mind of the Buddhas '

THE IDEA AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BUDDHA-NATURE

It's not so difficult to comprehend this: to get the theory that this empty cognizance is Buddha-Nature, self-existing wakefulness. But to leave it at that is the same as looking at the buffet and not eating anything. Being told about Buddha-Nature but never really making it our personal experience will not help anything. It's like staying hungry. Once we put the food in our mouth, we discover what the food tastes like. This illustrates the dividing line between idea and experience.

~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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TEMPORARY STAINS

Even though [the Buddha-Nature] is our basic nature, we do not realize it; we do not manifest the Buddha's qualities openly, because we have not purified the temporary stains of ignorance that obscure our realization. This is what causes us suffering. However, since these stains are not inherently a part of mind's nature, they are suitable to be removed, and practicing on the path accomplishes precisely that. When all the stains have been purified, one attains the "Dharmakaya free of fleeting stains."

~ Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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THE NATURE OF MIND

The nature of mind, our Enlightened essence, is the unity of emptiness and cognizance. In this context, 'cognizant' means knowing without fixating on what is perceived. While the essence of this perception is empty, there remains a clarity totally devoid of conceptualization, a cognizance free from holding on to anything. This is the Mahamudra of cognizant emptiness. Simply rest in a natural state that is empty but at the same time vividly awake, cognizant, and free from fixation.

~ Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

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EMPTINESS AND CLARITY ARE INSEPARABLE

Mind has no form, no color, and no substance; this is its empty aspect. Yet mind can know things and perceive an infinite variety of phenomena. This is its clear aspect. The inseparability of these two aspects, emptiness and clarity, is the primordial, continuous nature of mind.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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THE IMPORTANCE OF RECOGNIZING MIND'S NATURE

To recognize that the nature of mind is Buddha-Nature is the beginning f the process of revealing that nature. By revealing that nature, we can dispel all the suffering and all the fears of samsara. [One needs to] recognize that our mind's nature is Buddha-Nature, to have confidence or faith in this, and to have the aspiration and commitment to reveal this.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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BUDDHA NATURE IS THE CLEAR LIGHT

How is the term 'sugatagarbha Buddha-Nature' to be understood ? It refers to clear light luminosity, which constitutes the fundamental ground of being. The essence of this clear light nature of mind is unsoiled by any sort of imperfection. This clear luminous nature itself is the sugatagarbha [and] it pervades all sentient beings; 'pure being' is present in the mind of beings. "Pure being" is clear-light luminosity by nature, and this is precisely what the Buddha-Nature is.

~ Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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BUDDHA-NATURE IS THE SAME IN EVERYONE

Buddha-Nature itself is the same in everyone, with no decrease and no increase, change or alteration between individuals. It is not that one person has an eminent Buddha-Nature while someone else has a low-grade Buddha-Nature. It is not that Samantabhadra Buddha has a really wonderful Buddha-Nature, while a dog or a pig has an inferior Buddha-Nature or maybe none at all. There is actually no difference whatsoever between their essential Buddha-Natures.

~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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THE BUDDHA-NATURE

At the root of the being of each one of us, our mind - and here I don't mean only the thinking mind or consciousness but the totality of our experience - not only is basically pure but also has all the positive qualities: the compassion and wisdom and joy, the clarity, and ability to see things clearly; it's all there. It's just covered up: we can't see it at the moment because of its obscuration by our own misunderstanding and our habitual tendencies, but if we can relax in it and let it be unveiled, then it just appears and all the good qualities emerge.

~ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

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WHAT IS THE BUDDHA-NATURE ?

So what exactly is this Buddha-Nature ? It is the skylike nature of our mind. Utterly open, free, and limitless, it is fundamentally so simple and so natural that it can never be complicated, corrupted, or stained, so pure that it is beyond even the concept of purity and impurity...As it is said: "It is simply your flawless, present awareness, cognizant and empty, naked and awake."

~ Sogyal Rinpoche

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EVERYTHING IS INHERENTLY CONTAINED WITHIN ONE'S OWN MIND

We talk about the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, and all these instructions and methods of practice we can do and benefit from. But in essence, to find Dharma one has to look inward, not outward. One has to constantly exert effort in examining oneself and one's own mind. Of course, there are methods of meditating, there are philosophies, and there are doctrines and logic. Within Buddhism, there is a tremendous treasure of teachings. Nevertheless, if one were to gather them all into one, one would have to say that everything is inherently contained within one's own mind.

~ Ven. Khandro Rinpoche

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THE DEPTH OF THE MIND

As we begin to meditate more, we realize that the human mind is a wonderful thing. We are not trying to transcend the human mind in order to understand something 'more' profound. 'All possible profundity is already within the mind.' Generally speaking, if we look at how much of our mind we are using, we realize we are not using much. If we examine to see how deep and penetrating our experience is, we find that it is very shallow - we could go a lot deeper. The point is that when we talk about experiencing things in more profound way, we have to realize that those possibilities are within our basic human nature 'already'.

~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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REALIZATION OF EMPTINESS AND ITS SIGNS

When you have truly attained the realization of this emptiness, you will be like the venerable Milarepa or Guru Rinpoche, who were unaffected by the heat of summer or the cold of winter, and who could not be burned by fire or drowned in water. In emptiness, there is neither pain nor suffering.
We, on the other hand, have not understood the empty nature of the mind and so, when bitter by even a small insect, we think, "Ouch! I've been biter. It hurts!" or when someone says something unkind, we get angry. That is the sign that we have not realized the mind's empty nature.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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THE PEAK OF SHUNYATA

"At the peak of the Shunyata experience, a real glimpse of shunyata, your logic wears out." You have no logic, no reference point of logic, and you become completely exposed to nothingness, or fullness. [It is] a sudden glimpse of aloneness.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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EMPTINESS IS THE BODHISATTVA'S WAY

Even if a Bodhisattva, or a person who has realized that everything is an illusion, were to become a householder, he would have no need to be concerned with negative emotions or ego-clinging. He would be like a magician who knows perfectly well the illusions he has created and, therefore, cannot be fooled by them. Understanding the void nature of worldly affairs, he would not be attracted to them or be afraid of them; he would have neither hope for success nor fear of failure. Having confidence in his study, contemplation, and practice of the Dharma, he would simply come closer and closer to complete Liberation.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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THE SHELL OF DREAMS

We have to give up our conceptualized way of thinking and our conceptualized attitudes. We have to learn that lesson: to become tired of the dreams, sick of them. The dreams have no root. They are purely fantasies. But then, after that, when the dreams cease to function, there is something else to relate to. That is the shell of the dreams. The shell, or the shadow, of the dreams becomes tough and strong. Having woken up, we face reality.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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' Emptiness '

EVEN THE FRUITION IS EMPTY !

In the appearance or consideration of ordinary individuals, we tend to think it is wonderful that 'kleshas' and the suffering they produce are empty. This is very encouraging. We have no problem with tat! But we find it very threatening when this notion is extended to include the qualities of the fruition, such as the great pleasure or happiness that results from liberation and omniscience. One finds this threatening if one has failed to understand correctly the teaching or practice of Dharma. If one has understood correctly, then it will not be that threatening.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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PATIENCE WITH RESPECT TO EMPTINESS

On the level of Absolute Truth, all things of samsara and nirvana are empty. This means that a table is empty. It also means that the body of a Buddha with its thirty-two major and eighty minor marks of physical perfection is empty; 'sambhogakaya' is empty; 'nirmanakaya' is empty; impure realms are empty; and the pure realms are empty. None of this has any true existence. For this reason, it s necessary that the Bodhisattvas hearing these teachings have the particular type of patience that is called patience with regard to the profundity of Dharma. If one lacks this quality of tremendous patience, or spaciousness of mind, then one will be terrified by this teachings.

~ The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

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STAGES OF UNDERSTANDING EMPTINESS

At first we must gain the intellectual understanding that everything is illusory and unreal. To begin to do this, we need the two kinds of knowledge gained from hearing and reflection. After obtaining that, we can directly experience the illusory nature of all things through the knowledge resulting from meditation.

~ Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

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WHY CAN'T WE RECOGNIZE EMPTINESS ?

As for the actual significance of emptiness, sentient beings are prevented from recognizing the true nature by two forms of obscuration. These are the 'obscuration of defilements,' such as desire, ignorance, and aggression, and the 'obscuration of cognition,' the artificial discrimination of subject and object and a connection between them. In order to purify ourselves of these two types of obscuration and recognize the two truths, the conventional truth and the Ultimate Truth, we must realize the lack of reality in individuality and the lack of reality in cognizable objects.

~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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AT THE MOMENT OF LOVE

A famous quote says: "In the moment of love, the nature of emptiness dawns nakedly."

~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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TWELVE SIMILES DESCRIBING THE PHENOMENAL WORLD

A magic spell, a dream, a gleam before eyes,
A reflection, lightening, an echo, a rainbow,
Moonlight upon water, cloud-land, dimness
Before the eyes, fog, and apparitions;
These are the twelve similes of the phenomenal.

~ Naropa

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WHAT ARE PHENOMENA EMPTY OF ?

When we speak of a phenomenon as being empty, we are referring to its being empty of its own inherent existence...Further, it is not that the object of the negation [inherent existence] formerly existed and is later eliminated, like the forest that existed yesterday and is burned by fire today, with the result that the area is now empty of the forest. Rather, this is an emptiness of an object of negation [inherent existence], which from the beginningless time has never been known validly to exist.

~ His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

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EMPTINESS MEANS ABSENCE OF INHERENT REALITY

[The Buddha] demonstrated that not only in ordinary sense there is no ego, but no inherent reality can ever be found in anything, no matter where we look. The Buddha taught emptiness as being a function of appearance, that is, the highest quality of appearance - the lack of true existence. The fundamental nature of all appearance is empty. There is no unitary, essential quality, no single identifiable reality, in either the external world that appears to us or the subjective mind. There is no single real nature to anything. There is no self in any appearance, no self in any dharma, no essential nature to anything at all. All dharmas or occurring events do not arise out of an inherent real nature but rather arise from a cause and secondary conditions that permit this cause to yield a particular effect.

~ Thrangu Rinpoche

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THE MINDS OF ALL BEINGS ARE MAGICIANS

The minds of all beings are magicians whose magic is a deceptive trick through which Truth is made untrue and untruth made true for pleasure or for suffering.

~ Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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ULTIMATE AND RELATIVE TRUTH

One may wonder if realizing the Absolute Truth doesn't make everyday life and ordinary things meaningless. It does not, because when one gains realization into the absolute nature of things, everyday life does not become contradictory in that sense. This is called the realization of the two truths. This means that one studies on the absolute level the way things really are, and on the relative level one studies the way things take place according to the strict laws of interdependence.
The relative world has it's relative truth and the absolute truth also has its truth. If it weren't like that, the absolute truth would be called the truth and relative truth would be called lies. But it is called the Absolute Truth and the relative truth, so it is seeing the way things really are whether one looks absolutely or whether one considers the ways things seem to manifest.

~ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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ALL APPEARANCES

All appearances, inner and outer, are the creative display of mind's intrinsic radiance.

~ Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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