To expect happiness without giving up negative action is like holding your hand in a fire and hoping not to be burned. Of course, no one actually wants to suffer, to be sick, to be cold or hungry — but as long as we continue to indulge in wrong doing we will never put an end to suffering. Likewise, we will never achieve happiness, except through positive deeds, words, and thoughts. Positive action is something we have to cultivate ourselves; it can be neither bought nor stolen, and no one ever stumbles on it just by chance.
— H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991) was a highly accomplished meditation master, scholar, and poet, and a principal holder of the Nyingma lineage. His extraordinary depth of realization enabled him to be, for all who met him, a foundation of loving-kindness, wisdom, and compassion. A dedicated exponent of the nonsectarian Rime movement, Khyentse Rinpoche was respected by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism and taught many eminent teachers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He tirelessly worked to uphold the Dharma through the publication of texts, the building of monasteries and stupas, and by offering instruction to thousands of people throughout the world. His writings in Tibetan fill twenty-five volumes.
If your mind is constantly preoccupied by your money and possessions, you are in reality only preparing the ground for rebirth as a spirit tortured by hunger and thirst. If your thoughts are obsessed with your family and loved ones, you are only strengthening the pangs of separation you will suffer when you die. But to have devotion constantly in your mind will endow you with lasting serenity and satisfaction. Remembering even the name of your spiritual teacher is enough to completely transform your perceptions. Visualizing the guru above the crown of your head, even for an instant, can dissipate the veils of illusion. Devotion is the ring that allows the hook of the teacher’s compassion to pull you out of the mire of samsara.
Enlightenment, inherent though it is in the mind, seems so difficult to unveil. But if you develop fervent devotion and fuse the guru’s enlightened nature with your ordinary mind, enlightenment can be realized. Truly, to meditate on the benevolent teacher is a spiritual practice more profound than any other.
– Dilgo Khyentse, excerpt from “The Hundred Verses of Advice”
Watch Below: A 5-minute introduction to the greatness of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and why he was such a special being.
Book to Hang Out With – The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
In this book, two great Tibetan Buddhist masters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries challenge us to critically examine our materialistic preoccupations and think carefully about how we want to spend the rest of our lives. At the same time, they provide practical guidance in following the Buddhist path, starting from the most basic motivation and culminating in the direct experience of reality beyond the reach of conceptual mind.
The root text is a teaching in verse written in the nineteenth century by Patrul Rinpoche, one of the outstanding teachers of his day. In the accompanying commentary, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991)—lineage holder of the Nyingma school and one of the great expounders of the Dharma in Europe and North America—expands upon the text with his characteristic compassion and uncompromising thoroughness. Patrul Rinpoche’s fresh and piercing verses combined with Khyentse Rinpoche’s down-to-earth comments offer a concise yet complete examination of the Buddhist path.
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