Critical

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You may become conversant with all eighty-four thousand Buddhist teachings, but as one in the condition of human foolishness, you will still be given to error.

All that is critically important is to remember the Buddha’s Name.

Kyobutsu

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A Mistake

mipham4It is not the case that one strives to liberate an existent self. For instance, if you are frightened when mistaking a rope for a snake, you will feel relieved when you see that there is no snake. Similarly, by conceiving of a self where there is no self, you accumulate afflictions and karma and thereby continuously experience suffering in samsara. When realizing the lack of self through authentic insight, karma and afflictions will cease to be and you will be liberated.

What is called “liberation” is merely the cessation of a mistake in your mind-stream or the cessation of your deluded mind. There is no liberation of an existent self.

—Jamgon Mipam

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Release

44429118_1906721186078773_5051715571205275648_nThose who contemplate impermanence, emptiness,

suffering, and lack of self, are not deluded about things.

Because they are not deluded, they have no attachment.

Because they have no attachment, they do not become angry.

Because they do not become angry, they do not react.

Because they do not react, they do not grasp at things.

Because they do not grasp, they do not manifest another existence.

There can be no birth from what does not exist.

Mental suffering is not produced from what has not been born.

Because their five causes are not heaped up, no further result arises.

And this itself is release.

—Nagarjuna, Auto-Commentary on The Heart of Dependent Arising

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Crooked

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There are people who hear the words, “Amideva Buddha despises not even the worst person,” and carelessly interpret them to mean that unethical behavior is nothing to abandon after all.

Those who talk like that are themselves obviously unable to give up their unwholesome ways, and so pass on such intentionally crooked ideas.

—Shoku Shonin

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Powa

2016_NYR_12175_1232_000(a_painting_of_amitabha_in_the_sukhavati_heaven_qianlong_period)If you study powa (Skt. saṃkrānti, the yoga of mindstream transference to the Pure Land), then at the time when death is approaching you will know no despair. If beforehand you have become accustomed to the path of powa, then at the time of death you will be full of cheerful confidence. —Marpa

By the time we are about to enter the bardo, the intermediate state between death and birth, it will be far too late to begin our Dharma practice. But if we have already prepared ourselves, if we feel confident in our practice and know how to go to a Buddha-field, there will be no suffering in death.  —Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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Assured

53692850_2800508689966812_588999797654945792_nA person of faith doesn’t have the insecurities of someone who lacks faith. This quality makes one assured.

An ethical person doesn’t have the insecurities of someone who is unethical. This quality makes one assured.

A learned person doesn’t have the insecurities of a person of little learning. This quality makes one assured.

An energetic person doesn’t have the insecurities of a lazy person. This quality makes one assured.

A wise person doesn’t have the insecurities of someone who is witless. This quality makes one assured.

These are the five qualities that make one assured.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

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Mirrors

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Buddha images are mirrors

in which we see the reflection of our own Buddha Nature. —Tashi Norbu

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