ombuddha

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that
I am here and you are out there.
Yasutani Roshi.

Buddhist thinking relies more on investigation than on faith. Therefore, scientific findings are very helpful to Buddhist thinking. In my experience, Buddhist views may also give scientists a new way to look at their own field, as well as new interest and enthusiasm.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Photo by Nicola Corneo.

Buddhist thinking relies more on investigation than on faith. Therefore, scientific findings are very helpful to Buddhist thinking. In my experience, Buddhist views may also give scientists a new way to look at their own field, as well as new interest and enthusiasm.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Photo by Nicola Corneo.

If a hundred people sleep and dream, each of them will experience a different world in his dream. Everyone’s dream might be said to be true, but it would be meaningless to ascertain that only one person’s dream was the true world and all others were fallacies. There is truth for each perceiver according to the karmic patterns conditioning his perceptions.
Kalu Rinpoche.
Photo by Paul Emmanuel.

If a hundred people sleep and dream, each of them will experience a different world in his dream. Everyone’s dream might be said to be true, but it would be meaningless to ascertain that only one person’s dream was the true world and all others were fallacies. There is truth for each perceiver according to the karmic patterns conditioning his perceptions.

Kalu Rinpoche.

Photo by Paul Emmanuel.

Dying without fear takes a great deal of trust, a trust that can help us live with more faith, if we can understand our need to control. Death teaches us the power of letting be, of noninterference and surrender. The process of dying is completely natural. The laws of nature govern death as they do our lives. It is difficult to understand the power of not doing, of leaving these natural laws alone, when we have always attempted to act our own course. Death can teach us when to leave things alone and when to act.
Rodney Smith.
Photo by Adryel Talamantes.

Dying without fear takes a great deal of trust, a trust that can help us live with more faith, if we can understand our need to control. Death teaches us the power of letting be, of noninterference and surrender. The process of dying is completely natural. The laws of nature govern death as they do our lives. It is difficult to understand the power of not doing, of leaving these natural laws alone, when we have always attempted to act our own course. Death can teach us when to leave things alone and when to act.

Rodney Smith.

Photo by Adryel Talamantes.

We should surrender our intention to selfishly seek merit and recognition for our merit, and instead simply plant merit and cultivate wisdom.
Jae Woong Kim.
Photo by Mike Broderick.

We should surrender our intention to selfishly seek merit and recognition for our merit, and instead simply plant merit and cultivate wisdom.

Jae Woong Kim.

Photo by Mike Broderick.

It is often thought that the Buddha’s doctrine teaches us that suffering will disappear if one has meditated long enough, or if one sees everything differently. It is not that at all. Suffering isn’t going away; the one who suffers is going to go away.
Ayya Khema.
Photo by Friedrich Grössing.

It is often thought that the Buddha’s doctrine teaches us that suffering will disappear if one has meditated long enough, or if one sees everything differently. It is not that at all. Suffering isn’t going away; the one who suffers is going to go away.

Ayya Khema.

Photo by Friedrich Grössing.

The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral, Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness, Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge. How pitiful are they who cling strongly to concrete reality: Turn your attention within, my heart friends.
Nyoshul Khen Ripoche.
Photo by Timothy Teruo Watters.

The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral, Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness, Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge. How pitiful are they who cling strongly to concrete reality: Turn your attention within, my heart friends.

Nyoshul Khen Ripoche.

Photo by Timothy Teruo Watters.

A person who is liberated, who has freed his or her mind of all mental afflictions, still experiences physical suffering. The difference between us and an arhat, a person who has freed the mind from mental affliction, is that an arhat doesn’t identify with pain. Arhats experience physical pain vividly but don’t grasp onto it; they can take action to avoid or alleviate pain, but whether they do so or not, the physical pain doesn’t come inside. What an arhat does not experience is mental suffering. A buddha, one who is perfectly spiritually awakened, has gone a further step. A buddha has no mental suffering of his or her own, but is vividly and non-dually aware of the suffering of others. Superficially, the arhat who is free from mental suffering can seem to us who lack this realization as numb and detached, in a state of existential anesthesia. A buddha, one who is fully awakened, presents the paradox of being free from suffering and also non-dually present with other people’s joys and sorrows, hopes and fears. A buddha taps into immutable bliss, the ultimate ground state of awareness beyond the dichotomy of stimulus-driven pain and pleasure. The mind of a buddha has been purified of all obscuration and from its own nature there naturally arises immutable bliss, like a spring welling up from the earth. With the unveiling of the buddha-nature of unconditioned bliss, there is also a complete erosion of an absolute demarcation between self and other. The barrier is gone. This is why buddhas are vividly and non-dually aware of the suffering of others, their hopes and fears, the whole situation, and at the same time are not disengaged from the purity and bliss of their own awareness. The mind of a buddha doesn’t block out anything and nothing is inhibited, and this is why the awareness of an awakened being is frequently described as “unimaginable.”
B. Alan Wallace.
Photo by Samar Rahman.

A person who is liberated, who has freed his or her mind of all mental afflictions, still experiences physical suffering. The difference between us and an arhat, a person who has freed the mind from mental affliction, is that an arhat doesn’t identify with pain. Arhats experience physical pain vividly but don’t grasp onto it; they can take action to avoid or alleviate pain, but whether they do so or not, the physical pain doesn’t come inside. What an arhat does not experience is mental suffering. A buddha, one who is perfectly spiritually awakened, has gone a further step. A buddha has no mental suffering of his or her own, but is vividly and non-dually aware of the suffering of others. Superficially, the arhat who is free from mental suffering can seem to us who lack this realization as numb and detached, in a state of existential anesthesia. A buddha, one who is fully awakened, presents the paradox of being free from suffering and also non-dually present with other people’s joys and sorrows, hopes and fears. A buddha taps into immutable bliss, the ultimate ground state of awareness beyond the dichotomy of stimulus-driven pain and pleasure. The mind of a buddha has been purified of all obscuration and from its own nature there naturally arises immutable bliss, like a spring welling up from the earth. With the unveiling of the buddha-nature of unconditioned bliss, there is also a complete erosion of an absolute demarcation between self and other. The barrier is gone. This is why buddhas are vividly and non-dually aware of the suffering of others, their hopes and fears, the whole situation, and at the same time are not disengaged from the purity and bliss of their own awareness. The mind of a buddha doesn’t block out anything and nothing is inhibited, and this is why the awareness of an awakened being is frequently described as “unimaginable.”

B. Alan Wallace.

Photo by Samar Rahman.

The mind in which anger arises is also the mind that holds it, hides it, fans it, justifies it, or suppresses it. That’s why this first step is crucial—before we can understand, befriend, tame, and transform our anger, we have to recognize it clearly and acknowledge it frankly. This is no small task. Self-awareness is a precondition for understanding and healing our anger. If we become aware of the workings of our mind we can discover the means by which we create our anger and the key to healing it. If we become aware that we are harboring irrational beliefs, ideas with false premises, mistaken assumptions or flawed logic, we can examine them and correct them. If we discover that we cherish ideas which are not in harmony with the realities of life and nature we can learn to relax into existence. If we find that we harbor desires, hopes, and expectations which cannot be achieved we have the option of letting them go.
Ron Leifer.
Photo by Terry Majamaki.

The mind in which anger arises is also the mind that holds it, hides it, fans it, justifies it, or suppresses it. That’s why this first step is crucial—before we can understand, befriend, tame, and transform our anger, we have to recognize it clearly and acknowledge it frankly. This is no small task. Self-awareness is a precondition for understanding and healing our anger. If we become aware of the workings of our mind we can discover the means by which we create our anger and the key to healing it. If we become aware that we are harboring irrational beliefs, ideas with false premises, mistaken assumptions or flawed logic, we can examine them and correct them. If we discover that we cherish ideas which are not in harmony with the realities of life and nature we can learn to relax into existence. If we find that we harbor desires, hopes, and expectations which cannot be achieved we have the option of letting them go.

Ron Leifer.

Photo by Terry Majamaki.

Guidance for daily practice: In the morning your should reflect on the difficulty to obtain a precious human birth; in the evening you should reflect on death and impermanence, and throughout the day you should reflect on karma, cause and effect, and act according to the 37 Bodhisattva Practices. Meditate in shorter but more frequent sessions to ensure the good quality of your meditation. It is best to just observe the nature of mind, the ordinary bare mind, and preserve it. When thoughts appear neither reject nor accept them. Do not try to stop thoughts, allow them to arise, but recognize their arising and do not pursue them. The goal is not to have no thoughts but for thoughts to arise and yet be rendered powerless. You must habituate this. Then later when negative thoughts and emotions arise you will not fall under their power. The energy of these thoughts may arise but will not affect you in one or the other way. Sometimes in meditation, there will be a time when there are actually no thoughts. In that instant you will know that this is the true nature of your mind - the mind that abides like space, vivid and empty, open, not grasping at anything. This alert awareness must be upheld throughout all activities. So do not try to stop thoughts, just relax into the nature of awareness. Whenever you meditate, our minds will be together. If you understand this you will not feel tired of meditation.
Garchen Rinpoche.
Photo by Raul Endymion.

Guidance for daily practice: In the morning your should reflect on the difficulty to obtain a precious human birth; in the evening you should reflect on death and impermanence, and throughout the day you should reflect on karma, cause and effect, and act according to the 37 Bodhisattva Practices. Meditate in shorter but more frequent sessions to ensure the good quality of your meditation. It is best to just observe the nature of mind, the ordinary bare mind, and preserve it. When thoughts appear neither reject nor accept them. Do not try to stop thoughts, allow them to arise, but recognize their arising and do not pursue them. The goal is not to have no thoughts but for thoughts to arise and yet be rendered powerless. You must habituate this. Then later when negative thoughts and emotions arise you will not fall under their power. The energy of these thoughts may arise but will not affect you in one or the other way. Sometimes in meditation, there will be a time when there are actually no thoughts. In that instant you will know that this is the true nature of your mind - the mind that abides like space, vivid and empty, open, not grasping at anything. This alert awareness must be upheld throughout all activities. So do not try to stop thoughts, just relax into the nature of awareness. Whenever you meditate, our minds will be together. If you understand this you will not feel tired of meditation.

Garchen Rinpoche.

Photo by Raul Endymion.

Do not have opinions in other people’s actions. When we see defects in others, people in general but particularly those who have entered the Dharma, who are the banner of the monastic robes, are the support for the offerings of gods and men alike, we should understand that it is the impurity of our perception which is at fault. When we look into a mirror, we see a dirty face because our own face is dirty. In the same way, the effects of others are nothing but our impure way of seeing them. By thinking this way, we should try to rid ourselves of this perception of the faults of other, and cultivate the attitude whereby the whole of existence, all appearances, are experienced as pure.
Dilgo Khyentse.
Photo by Aldo Sean.

Do not have opinions in other people’s actions. When we see defects in others, people in general but particularly those who have entered the Dharma, who are the banner of the monastic robes, are the support for the offerings of gods and men alike, we should understand that it is the impurity of our perception which is at fault. When we look into a mirror, we see a dirty face because our own face is dirty. In the same way, the effects of others are nothing but our impure way of seeing them. By thinking this way, we should try to rid ourselves of this perception of the faults of other, and cultivate the attitude whereby the whole of existence, all appearances, are experienced as pure.

Dilgo Khyentse.

Photo by Aldo Sean.

Encountering sufferings will definitely contribute to the elevation of your spiritual practice, provided you are able to transform the calamity and misfortune into the path.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Photo by Thomas Fehlfokus.

Encountering sufferings will definitely contribute to the elevation of your spiritual practice, provided you are able to transform the calamity and misfortune into the path.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Photo by Thomas Fehlfokus.

[…] particularly in Buddhism while we practice we must use the brain as well as the heart. On the ethical side, we must practice the quality of a good and warm heart; also, since Buddhism is very much involved in reasoning and logic—the wisdom side—intelligence is important. Thus, a combination of mind and heart is needed. Without knowledge, without fully utilized intelligence, you cannot reach the depths of the Buddhist doctrine; it is difficult to achieve concrete or fully qualified wisdom. There may be exceptions, but this is the general rule. It is necessary to have a combination of hearing, thinking, and meditating. The Kadampa teacher Dromton (‘brom ston pa, 1004-1064) said, “When I engage in hearing, I also make effort at thinking and meditating. When I engage in thinking, I also search out more hearing and engage in meditation. And when I meditate, I don’t give up hearing and don’t give up thinking.” He said, “I am a balanced Kadampa,” meaning that he maintained a balance of hearing, thinking, and meditating.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Photo by Ursula.

[…] particularly in Buddhism while we practice we must use the brain as well as the heart. On the ethical side, we must practice the quality of a good and warm heart; also, since Buddhism is very much involved in reasoning and logic—the wisdom side—intelligence is important. Thus, a combination of mind and heart is needed. Without knowledge, without fully utilized intelligence, you cannot reach the depths of the Buddhist doctrine; it is difficult to achieve concrete or fully qualified wisdom. There may be exceptions, but this is the general rule. It is necessary to have a combination of hearing, thinking, and meditating. The Kadampa teacher Dromton (‘brom ston pa, 1004-1064) said, “When I engage in hearing, I also make effort at thinking and meditating. When I engage in thinking, I also search out more hearing and engage in meditation. And when I meditate, I don’t give up hearing and don’t give up thinking.” He said, “I am a balanced Kadampa,” meaning that he maintained a balance of hearing, thinking, and meditating.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Photo by Ursula.

Within the limitations of the human form, we can’t understand the nature of existence from the universal position of an All-Seeing God, with a macrocosmic view. What we can do is observe existence close-up, without judgement.
Ajahn Sumedho.
Photo by SEGA_worrrld.

Within the limitations of the human form, we can’t understand the nature of existence from the universal position of an All-Seeing God, with a macrocosmic view. What we can do is observe existence close-up, without judgement.

Ajahn Sumedho.

Photo by SEGA_worrrld.

Feelings of suffering change into those of happiness. Feelings of happiness change into suffering. Both arise in dependence upon internal and external causes which change. For example, we see food as pleasurable, but if we eat too much, then it causes suffering. When we are young, we see our bodies as a source of pleasure. As we become older, the same body becomes a source of suffering. Just as a wave is always changing, so the nature of suffering is always to change. It may be experienced as pleasure or as suffering, but it arises from the same source. Pleasure arises from suffering. Seeing pleasure as happiness constitutes suffering. …Pain and pleasure are of the same nature. Although they look different at different times, they both arise from the same sea of delusion and karmic action. Pleasure or pain, one or the other, arises and then falls back into the ocean. Thus we can conclude that pleasure and pain within the ocean of samsara are basically suffering, and dissolve into suffering. This becomes evident in the wide variety of sudden changes of experience depicted in films. Love and hatred, happiness and family strife, peace and war, follow each other in rapid succession. The continuous change, although exaggerated in films, is characteristic of life in general.
Ven. Gen Lobsang Gyatso.
Photo by Anita Gilmore.

Feelings of suffering change into those of happiness. Feelings of happiness change into suffering. Both arise in dependence upon internal and external causes which change. For example, we see food as pleasurable, but if we eat too much, then it causes suffering. When we are young, we see our bodies as a source of pleasure. As we become older, the same body becomes a source of suffering. Just as a wave is always changing, so the nature of suffering is always to change. It may be experienced as pleasure or as suffering, but it arises from the same source. Pleasure arises from suffering. Seeing pleasure as happiness constitutes suffering. …Pain and pleasure are of the same nature. Although they look different at different times, they both arise from the same sea of delusion and karmic action. Pleasure or pain, one or the other, arises and then falls back into the ocean. Thus we can conclude that pleasure and pain within the ocean of samsara are basically suffering, and dissolve into suffering. This becomes evident in the wide variety of sudden changes of experience depicted in films. Love and hatred, happiness and family strife, peace and war, follow each other in rapid succession. The continuous change, although exaggerated in films, is characteristic of life in general.

Ven. Gen Lobsang Gyatso.

Photo by Anita Gilmore.

Both mindfulness and discriminative alertness are needed in responding to sensory input of the three types—attractive, unattractive and neutral. Once again, in this tradition mindfulness does not mean simply to witness. It is a more discriminative kind of thing. You are asking yourself, “What is my response?” and then actively responding by applying the antidotes to attachment and hostility. The word mindfulness is a little bit different in different contexts. Here, Mindfulness refers to the mental faculty of being able to maintain continuity of awareness of an object. Vigilance is concerned with the quality of mind, watching to see, for example, if the mind is veering off to other objects.
Gen Lamrimpa (Ven. Jampal Tenzin).
Photo by Thomas Fehlfokus.

Both mindfulness and discriminative alertness are needed in responding to sensory input of the three types—attractive, unattractive and neutral. Once again, in this tradition mindfulness does not mean simply to witness. It is a more discriminative kind of thing. You are asking yourself, “What is my response?” and then actively responding by applying the antidotes to attachment and hostility. The word mindfulness is a little bit different in different contexts. Here, Mindfulness refers to the mental faculty of being able to maintain continuity of awareness of an object. Vigilance is concerned with the quality of mind, watching to see, for example, if the mind is veering off to other objects.

Gen Lamrimpa (Ven. Jampal Tenzin).

Photo by Thomas Fehlfokus.