Clinging to one’s school and condemning others is the certain way to waste one’s learning.

Since all Dharma teachings are good, those who cling to sectarianism degrade Buddhism and sever themselves from liberation.

—Milarepa, The One Hundred Thousand Songs

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The Basics

Everybody wants the highest, but you can’t get the highest until you have the basics in learning how to tame the mind, how to make the mind calmer and clearer, to be able to have a mind which is not the monkey mind, a mind which is running all over the place. […]

We can’t get to the top of the mountain when we haven’t even reached base camp. We have to get all our equipment for climbing.

—Tenzin Palmo

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The Trick

We are like children building a sandcastle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it.

Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sandcastle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.

―Pema Chodron

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Just as in the middle of a desert plain a small thing seen from far away may yet seem vast in size, from just a slight attachment to a self in that which has no self, the vast hallucination of samsara manifests. When these hallucinations are investigated, they are found to be unreal.

When you understand that, just like space, they cannot be removed, just let them be, and do not cling so foolishly to this world’s real existence —this world that, like a trick of sight, appears without existing.


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Four Great Perfections

The Dharmakaya is the nirvana that consists of the four great perfections of True Purity, True Being, True Bliss, and True Permanence. In comparison with these, even the notions of impermanence, emptiness, suffering, and selflessness are mistaken.

—Rangjung Dorje, Commentary on Nagarjuna’s Dharmadhatustava

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Three Buddha Forms

Through the three kayas,* one’s own and others’ welfare plus its basis are taught.

Through basis, intention, and activity, they are held to be equal.

By nature, continuity, and uninterrupted series, they are permanent.

—Maitreya, Mahayanasutralamkara

*Dharmakaya (Form of Truth), Sambhogakaya (Form of Power), and Nirmanakaya (Form of Manifestation)

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Liberation is not a place, another realm, or a destination.

It is an uprooting of the emotional afflictions in my mind,

 so that they never arise in the future

and are purified within the expanse of Suchness.

—Jetsun Taranatha, Essence of Ambrosia

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I now bathe the Tathagata.

His pure wisdom and virtue adorn the assembly.

As I shower His crown and forehead, may the Right View of non-duality arise in my mind.

As the water refreshes His eyes, may I look upon all sentient beings with Right Intention.

As the water kisses His lips, may I only utter Right Speech.

As the water touches His arms, may I embrace Right Conduct.

As I pour this perfumed water over His abdomen, may I produce and consume in Right Livelihood.

As the water enlivens His thighs, may I generate Right Effort.

As the water perfumes His feet, may I sustain Right Mindfulness.

As the water embellishes the lotus on which He rests, may I be established in Right Concentration.

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No Limits

There is no difference between Buddhas and sentient beings other than their scope of mind. […]

The mind of a sentient being is limited. The mind of a Buddha is all-pervasive. So develop a scope of mind that is like the sky, which has no limit to the east, west, north, or south.

Sri Singha

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When you think about samsara, if you feel as if you were aboard a sinking ship, as if you had fallen into a pit of deadly snakes, or as if you were a criminal about to be handed over to the executioner, these are sure signs that you have discarded the belief in the permanence of things. It is the authentic understanding of impermanence dawning in your mind.

—Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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