A Selection of Quotes


 
from The Hundred Verses of Advice. Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Shambhala Publications, Boston & London, 2005.
 
As soon as you have met a spiritual teacher and have received the teacher’s instructions, you are ready to set out on the path of awakening. 
 
No student … can do without the guidance of an authentic spiritual master.
 
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.
 
Love and nonattachment are the basis of true generosity.
 
Generosity should always be exercised impartially toward all – the poor, the sick, the aged, and the traveller from afar – without discrimination between friend and stranger …
 
And those of you who are capable of renouncing a family lifestyle for the monastic life should pray that, once you attain enlightenment, your friends and those close to you will be the first disciples whom you lead on the road to liberation.
 
Like nomads moving camp every season, we change our native land with every rebirth.
 
Quick! Let us practice before old age ravages our physical and intellectual faculties.
 
It is crucial to understand and to gain the conviction that the laws of cause and effect govern the universe and all beings. … There are only two way to erase the trace left by a harmful act: either by going through the experience of suffering that is its natural consequence, or by purifying it with the appropriate antidotes before the appearance of its dire effects.
 
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 ...
 
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.
 
The only position from which you can never fall is the awakened state.
 
Be the master of your destiny.
 
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?
 
To go beyond samsara and nirvana, we will need the two wings of emptiness and compassion. From now on, let us use these two wings to fly fearlessly into the sky of the life to come.
 
If you recognize the emptiness of your thoughts instead of solidifying them, the arising and subsiding of each thought will clarify and strengthen your realization of emptiness.
 
Just devote yourself to recognizing the empty nature of the mind.
 
Simply allow your thoughts and experiences to come and go, without ever grasping at them.
 
The towns and countryside that the traveller sees through a train window do not slow down the train, nor does the train affect them. Neither disturbs the other. This is how you should see the thoughts that pass through your mind when you meditate.
 
Compassion is the effortless radiance of emptiness, free of concepts and beyond description.  That is how a buddha’s activity for beings can be limitless. If you understand this, you will know that even when a cool breeze blows upon a sick person burning with fever, that itself is the blessings and compassion of the buddhas.
 
you will discover that it (the Buddha nature) has always been near you and will always be with you. This is the truest friendship you can ever cultivate.
 
In essence, the mind is insubstantial and omnipresent. … (It) is without beginning or end, in both space and time.
 
It is not corrupted at the beginning of the practice; it is not improved at the end.
 
You have to discover that the qualities of Buddhahood have always been inherently present within yourself.
 
Banishing all hope and all fear, rest in the diamond-like certainty that the primordial simplicity of awareness is itself Buddhahood. That is the way of perfect bliss, in which all the qualities of enlightenment will flourish without effort.
 
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.
 
It is … vital to distinguish what you should adopt from what you should reject, without any error or ambiguity.
 
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.
 
Brandish the sword of transcendent knowledge and annihilate the demon of attachment to “I” and to the reality of phenomena.
 
Just pruning a few branches (of a tree) is not enough. In the same way, unless you uproot the emotions, they will just grow again, more vigorous than ever.
 
Put on the armour of diligence without delay, and do battle with indolence.
 
A spiritual teacher and his teachings are as rare and precious as the blue lotus known as Udumvara, whose buds form when a Buddha appears in the world, opens when he attains enlightenment, and wither when he leaves his body.
 
Real progress on the path comes from the blessings of the guru, and these blessing are sparked by your devotion.
 
Truly, to meditate on the benevolent teacher is a spiritual practice more profound than any other.




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