Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sogyal Rinpoche: To Be a Spiritual Warrior

True spirituality is to be aware that if we are interdependent with everything and everyone else, even our smallest, least significant thought, word and action have real consequences throughout the universe.

Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues.

Modern society seems to be a celebration of all the things that lead away from the Truth, make Truth hard to live for, and discourage people from even believing that it exists.
And to think that all this springs from a civilization that claims to adore life, but actually starves it of any real meaning; that endlessly speaks of making people “happy”, but in fact blocks their way to the source of real joy.

We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don't know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.

Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn't that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?

Generally we waste our lives, distracted from our true selves, in endless activity. Meditation is the way to bring us back to ourselves, where we can really experience and taste our full being.

Real devotion is an unbroken receptivity to the truth. 

The most essential thing in life is to establish an unafraid, heartfelt communication with others.

When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.

To be a spiritual warrior means to develop a special kind of courage, one that is innately intelligent, gentle, and fearless. Spiritual warriors can still be frightened, but even so they are courageous enough to taste suffering, to relate clearly to their fundamental fear, and to draw out without evasion the lessons from difficulties.

It is compassion, then, that is the best protection; it is also, as the great masters of the past have always known, the source of all healing. 

The spiritual journey is one of continuous learning and purification. When you know this, you become humble. 

What the world needs more than anything are Bodhisattvas of peace, lawyers, politicians, teachers working tirelessly for the enlightenment of themselves and others.

Samsara is the mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections. Nirvana is the mind turned inwardly, recognizing its true nature.

Let the sky outside awake a sky inside your mind.

We must never forget that it is through our actions, words, and thoughts that we have a choice.  

That goodness is what survives death, a fundamental goodness that is in each and every one of us. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover that strong goodness, and a training toward realizing it. 

- Sogyal Rinpoche,
Author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

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