Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Don't be half in, half out

"It is said, 'The sign of wisdom is self-control, and the sign of mature spiritual experience is the absence of conflicting emotions.' This means that to the same degree that you become wise and learned, you also become serene, peaceful and subdued - not reckless and busting with pride and arrogance. Year after year, however much your practice progresses, you will be unconcerned about comfort and discomfort, and will have no pride at all. You will always be at peace, untroubled by outer events, with a humble mind, beyond hopes and doubts, and indifferent to the eight worldly concerns - gain and loss, joy and suffering, praise and blame, fame and obscurity. 

There is a saying that goes: 'In spiritual practice, difficulty comes at the beginning, in worldly affairs it comes at the end.' This means that, when renouncing ordinary activities and devoting yourself entirely to the practice, you may encounter some outer and inner obstacles; but the more you persevere, the happier you will become. Conversely, worldly activities bring some ephemeral and superficial satisfaction at first; but eventually they result in bitter disappointment. 

Discarding all other thoughts, be concerned only with the inner transformation caused by your practice. Don't be preoccupied by wealth, fame, and power, but cultivate humility - not only for a few months but for your entire life. 

Check constantly whether you are succeeding in using the teaching to tame your conflicting emotions. If any practice has the opposite result - increasing your negative emotions and your selfishness - it is not suited to you, and you had better give it up. Once you have started to practice, don't follow just anyone's advice. Be like a wild animal escaping from a trap, who runs as far away as he can. You must get completely free of samsara, not to half in and half out. 

When you find yourself in the midst of a large gathering, never lose your mindfulness. Preserve the state of uncontrived simplicity and remember the teacher's instructions. 

Be like a mother who has been separated from her newborn baby. A mother is extremely kind and attentive to her baby, and if someone takes the child away from her even for a very short time, she can't stop thinking about him. In the same way, you should never let go of your mindfulness and vigilance. 

Even if death were to strike you today like lightning, be ready to die without sadness or regret, without any residual clinging for what is left behind. Remaining in the recognition of the view, leave this life like an eagle soaring up into the blue sky. When an eagle takes flight into the immensity of the sky, he never thinks, 'My wings won't be able to carry me; I won't be able to fly that far.' Likewise, when dying, remember your teacher and his instructions, and adhere to them with utter confidence." 

 ~ His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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