tumblr_nbajkeK0OK1rhb9f5o1_500Objects of knowledge posited by the mind as existent and nonexistent;

valid forms of knowledge dependent on objects true and false

―having seen that the source of falsity in one is entrusted to the other,

I am uncomfortable about positing the validity of convention.


The presentation of the unexamined, unanalyzed world;

the systems of tenets that examine and analyze

―having seen that the foundation of one rests on the other,

I am uncomfortable about positing the validity of convention.


Illusions that are mere appearances to the mind;

the mode of being determined to be real

―having seen that if one is true, the other is false,

I am uncomfortable about positing the validity of convention.

―Gendun Choepel

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long_road_aheadWithout sleep,

the night is long.

Without rest,

the journey is long.

Without knowing the Dharma,

existence is long.

―Gendun Choepel

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The Moral Reference

moral-edAppeals to practice the Dharma based on the personal benefits of meditation, emotional balance, patience, behavioral restraint, and loving kindness are misleading, because individual welfare ―while certainly desirable― is not the necessary and sufficient moral reference for spiritual cultivation.

If the individual benefits from doing what is right, so much the better, but self-interest should not and cannot be the basis of our conduct. Self-serving conduct is not moral, even when it produces temporary benefits, because it enshrines and validates the views of a separate self and supremacy as the legitimate underpinnings of our actions.

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Always Here, Always Now

bodhisattvaseyesThere’s no other time than now, so how could we be elsewhere? We’ve always been “here and now” ―there’s nowhere else!

Whether we think we are living in the past or in the future, we’ve always been squarely in the present moment. When we “stroll down memory lane” or “boldly go where no one has gone before”, we’re still exactly wherever we are, in the same time and place. Our memories of the past and plans for the future are nothing but present mental fabrications.

Wherever we are, that is “here”. Wherever we were before, that was “here” then. Wherever we go later, that will also be “here” then.

We can never return to yesterday, nor can we advance to tomorrow. Yesterday was now, only then. Tomorrow will be now, only then. It’s always now.

There are no geographical or temporal alternatives. It’s HOW we live “here and now” that matters: avoiding harm, doing good, purifying the mind.

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Just Appearances

gcportrait50bAll of our decisions about what is and is not are just made in accordance with how it appears to our mind; they have no other basis whatsoever.

Therefore, when we ask, “Does it exist or not?” and the other person answers, “It exists,” in fact, we are asking, “Does this appear to your mind to exist or not exist?” and the answer is simply, “It appears to my mind to exist.”

In the same way, everything that one asks about —better or worse, good or bad, beautiful or ugly— is in fact merely asked about for the sake of understanding how the other person thinks. That the other person makes a decision and answers is in fact just a decision made in accordance with how it appears to his or her own mind; there is no other reason whatsoever.

Therefore, as long as the ideas of two people are in disagreement with each other, they will argue. When they agree, the very thing that they agree upon will be placed in the class of what is, what exists, what can be known, and what is valid, and so on. Thus, the more people there are who agree, the more the point they agree upon becomes of great significance and importance. Contrary views are taken to be wrong views, mistaken perceptions, and so on.

―Gendun Choepel

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Reality and Appearance

957adc5f6d64d9851cac09667002ee01Buddha Nature is pure and yet is apparently associated with afflictions.

It is not afflicted and yet is apparently purified.

Its qualities are totally indivisible, and yet unapparent.

Its activity is spontaneous and non-conceptual.

Constituting what must be realized,

realization, its attributes, and the means to attainment,

Buddha Nature is the cause to be purified

and the latter three are the conditions of its manifestation.

―Maitreya, Uttaratantra

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Already Present

gold-panningThe prospector looks for gold in rocks and not in wood chips.

Likewise, the quest for perfect enlightenment only makes sense

because Buddha Nature is already present in every being.

Without that nature, all efforts would be futile.

―Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye


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