brief teachings

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    Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche's Bardo Teachings Paid Member

    In one of his final teachings the Buddha introduced the idea of tathagatagarbha, the buddha essence within every sentient being. The teachings make it very clear that tathagatagarbha pervades all beings equally in quantity as well as quality. This primordial essence is never defiled, but it becomes obscured when an individual engages in negative activity and thus accumulates negative karma that prevents him or her from recognizing tathagatagarbha. Such individuals are called sentient beings, while those who recognize buddha essence are called enlightened beings. That recognition is the only distinction between sentient and enlightened beings, for both have an equal quantity and quality of tathagatagarbha. The real purpose of practicing the dharma is to realize the manifestation of buddha essence that we now only glimpse. More »
  • From "Teachings on Mindfulness" Paid Member

    And how, monks, does a monk abide contemplating the body as body? Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his body erect, having established mindfulness before him. Mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out. Breathing in a long breath, he knows that he breathes in a long breath, and breathing out a long breath, he knows that he breathes out a long breath. Breathing in a short breath, he knows that he breathes in a short breath, and breathing out a short breath, he knows that he breathes out a short breath. More »
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    Bodhidharma's Teachings Paid Member

    If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both. Those who don't understand, don't understand understanding. And those who understand, understand not understanding. People capable of true vision know that the mind is empty. They transcend both understanding and not understanding. The absence of both understanding and not understanding is true understanding. More »
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    Teachings on the Nature of Mind and Practice Paid Member

    The Nature of Mind Like waves, all the activities of this life have rolled endless on, yet they have left us empty-handed. Myriads of thoughts have run through our minds, but all they have done is increase our confusion and dissatisfaction. Normally we operate under the deluded assumption that everything has some sort of true, substantial reality. But when we look more carefully, we find that the phenomenal world is like a rainbow—vivid and colorful, but without any tangible existence. When a rainbow appears we see many beautiful colors—yet a rainbow is not something we can clothe ourselves with, or wear as an ornament; it simply appears through the conjunction of various conditions. Thoughts arise in the mind in just the same way. They have no tangible reality or intrinsic existence at all. There is therefore no logical reason why thoughts should have so much power over us, nor any reason why we should be enslaved by them. More »
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    Teachings on Mindfulness Paid Member

    Again, a monk, when walking, knows that he is walking, when standing, knows that he is standing, when sitting, knows that he is sitting, when lying down, knows that he is lying down. In whatever way his body is disposed, he knows that that is how it is ... Again, a monk, when going forward or back, is clearly a ware of what he is doing, in looking forward or back he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in bending and stretching he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in carrying his inner and outer robe and his bowl he is clearly a ware of what he is doing, in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring he is clearly a ware of what he is doing, in passing excrement or urine he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep and waking up, in speaking or in staying silent, he is clearly aware of what he is doing ... More »
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    Dear Abbey Dharma Winter 2010 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey Dharma, My doctor has suggested that I try a certain psychiatric medicine, but I want to meditate and I am wavering because I wonder if people can “wake up” or even get enlightened using these medicines. —Wavering Dear Wavering, I’ve interviewed many students on meditation retreats whose practice is insightful, and therefore more personally liberating, who take a psychiatric drug that has been prescribed by their physician. Since there are many medicines that fit into the category of “psychiatric drugs,” there isn’t a simple answer to your question. Here are a few ideas that may help you in making your decision: More »