Two Gatherings

While the gathering of merit is conceptual, the gathering of wisdom is not so.

Conjoined, they purify the twofold veil and manifest the twofold absolute and relative Forms.

They are the sphere of meditation and postmeditation.

They are, in common beings, stained, but are unstained in Noble Ones.

By their successive practice, liberation is obtained. —Longchenpa

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Two & Two

Buddhas have purified what is to be relinquished —the two adventitious afflictive and cognitive obscurations—

and have unfolded what is to be realized —the stainless twofold knowledge of Suchness and diversity.

—Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

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Study

Through study, the Dharma is understood.

Through study, the worthless is relinquished.

Through study, the unwholesome is abandoned.

Through study, Nirvana is attained.

Buddha Shakyamuni, Ratnakuta

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Memories & Plans

The young think of the future because they have more. The old think of the past because they have more. But to truly experience life, we must live every moment.

Life did not happen in the past. That is a memory. Life will not happen in the future. That is a plan. The only time in which we can live is now, in this moment, and even though it may seem absurd, we must learn how. — Venerable Ayya Khema

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Necessary

The indivisible Dharmakaya of Buddhahood, whose qualities are inseparable from its nature, intrinsically abides within all sentient beings.

That does not mean that the two accumulations of merit and pristine wisdom that constitute the path are unnecessary, because 1) to attain enlightenment, incidental defilements must be cleared away, and 2) to accomplish benefit for all sentient beings, the relative form kayas —Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya— must be developed.

—Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, Mountain Dharma

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The Unhappy Self

If we want real happiness, the only way it can arise is by letting go of the self who is unhappy. It is not a question of trying to hold on to the self who is happy.

When the unhappy self is relinquished, nothing else remains except the happiness of tranquility and pure awareness.

―Ayya Khema

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Consequences

They who kill are killed,

they who conquer are conquered,

they who revile are reviled.

Thus, as a result of their own actions,

the spoilers will in turn be spoiled.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udana varga

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In That Order

Resting in proper conduct

and equipped with study and reflection,

one then engages in meditation.

—Vasubandhu, Abhidharmakosa

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Virtuous Cycle

Dwelling in proper conduct, concentration is attained.

Attaining concentration, discernment is cultivated.

Through discernment, wisdom is attained.

Pure wisdom is perfect conduct.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Ratnakuta

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A Profound Change

All experience and phenomena are understood to be a dream. This should not be just an intellectual understanding, but a vivid and lucid experience…

Genuine integration of this point produces a profound change in the individual’s response to the world. Grasping and aversion is greatly diminished, and the emotional tangles that once seemed so compelling are experienced as the tug of dream stories, and no more.

—Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

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