RE: Rigpa Glimpse of the Day
- [Preceding story: Before reaching enlightenment, the Buddha was born as Prince Visvantara, who, despite facing many challenges and adversity, brought all of his heart and courage to bear against a single enemy--human suffering.]
In giving we not only find wealth while in cyclic existence but we achieve the zenith of prosperity in supreme enlightenment. Therefore we all have to practice giving. A Bodhisattva's giving is not just overcoming miserliness and being generous to others; a pure wish to give is cultivated, and through developing more and more intimacy with it, such giving is enhanced infinitely.
Therefore it is essential to have the firm mind of enlightenment rooted in great love and compassion and, from the depths of one's heart, to either give one's body, wealth and virtues literally to sentient beings as infinite as space, or to dedicate one's body, wealth and virtues for them while striving in all possible ways to enhance the wish to give infinitely. As mentioned in "Engaging in Bodhisattva Activities" and in "The Precious Garland," we should literally give material help to the poor and needy, give teaching to others, and give protection to them, even the small insects, as much as we can. In the case of things which we are not able to part with, we should cultivate the wish to give them away and develop more and more intimacy with that wish.
--from "Generous Wisdom: Commentaries by H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV on the Jatakamala" translated by Tenzin Dorjee edited by Dexter Roberts
Even Buddha died. His death was a teaching to shock the naive, the indolent, and the complacent, to wake us up to the truth that everything is impermanent and death an inescapable fact of life. As he was approaching death, Buddha said:
Of all footprints
That of the elephant is supreme.
Of all mindfulness meditations
That on death is supreme.
In the ordinary mind, we perceive the stream of thoughts as continuous, but in reality this is not the case. You will discover for yourself that there is a gap between each thought. When the past thought is past, and the future thought has not yet arisen, you will always find a gap in which the Rigpa, the nature of mind, is revealed. So the work of meditation is to allow thoughts to slow down, to make that gap become more and more apparent.
Visualize someone to whom you feel very close, particularly someone who is suffering and in pain. As you breathe in, imagine you take in all their suffering and pain with compassion, and as you breathe out, send your warmth, healing, love, joy, and happiness streaming out to them.
Now, gradually widen the circle of your compassion to embrace first other people to whom you also feel very close, then to those about whom you feel indifferent, then to those whom you dislike or have difficulty with, then even to those whom you feel are actively monstrous and cruel. Allow your compassion to become universal, and to enfold in its embrace all sentient beings, and all beings, in fact, without any exception.
Sometime, somewhere you need to take something to be the truth. But if you cling to it too strongly, then even when the truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you will not open it.
At the time of Buddha, there lived an old beggar woman called Relying on Joy. She used to watch the kings, princes, and people making offerings to Buddha and his disciples, and there was nothing she would have liked more than to be able to do the same. But she could only beg enough oil to fill a single lamp. However, as she placed it before Buddha she made this wish: "I have nothing to offer but this tiny lamp. But through this offering, in the future may I be blessed with the lamp of wisdom. May I free all beings from their darkness. May I purify all their obscurations, and lead them to enlightenment."
That night, the oil in all the other lamps went out. But the beggar woman’s lamp was still burning at dawn, when Buddha’s great disciple Maudgalyayana came to collect the lamps. He saw no reason why one lamp was still alight and tried to snuff it out. But whatever he did, the lamp kept burning.
Buddha had been watching all along, and said: "Maudgalyayana, do you want to put out that lamp? You cannot. You could not even move it, let alone put it out. If you were to pour the water from all the oceans over this lamp, it still wouldn’t go out. The water in all the rivers and lakes of the world could not extinguish it. Why not? Because this lamp was offered with devotion, and with purity of heart and mind. And that motivation has made it of tremendous benefit."
Just as a writer learns the spontaneous freedom of expression only after years of often grueling study, and just as the simple grace of a dancer is achieved only with enormous, patient effort, so when you begin to understand where meditation will lead you, you will approach it as the greatest endeavor of your life, one that demands of you the deepest perseverance, enthusiasm, intelligence, and discipline.
There is only one way of attaining liberation and of obtaining the omniscience of enlightenment: following an authentic spiritual master. He is the guide that will help you to cross the ocean of samsara.
The sun and the moon are reflected in clear, still water instantly. Similarly, the blessings of all the buddhas are always present for those who have complete confidence in them. The sun’s rays fall everywhere uniformly, but only where they are focused through a magnifying glass can they set dry grass on fire. When the all-pervading rays of the Buddha’s compassion are focused through the magnifying glass of your faith and devotion, the flame of blessings blazes up in your being.
Since everything is but an apparition,
Perfect in being what it is,
Having nothing to do with good or bad,
Acceptance or rejection
You might as well burst out laughing!
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If this elephant of mind is bound on all sides by the cord of mindfulness,
All fear disappears and complete happiness comes.
All enemies: all the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, serpents (of our emotions);
And all the keepers of hell; the demons and the horrors,
All of these are bound by the mastery of your mind,
And by the taming of that one mind, all are subdued,
Because from the mind are derived all fears and immeasurable sorrows.