Reality is your teacher
Résumé: The goal is to directly realise the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now and to act more and more in accord with it, thus making less and less mistakes, creating less and less causes for more suffering for self & others.
“Reality” is our ultimate teacher / guru / lama. In that sense, everything is a compassionate manifestation of the Buddha / Buddhaverse teaching us, giving us feedback. And all of our experiences are lessons from Reality. Our job is to be mindful here & now, accepting and learning from all lessons. And this true nature of Reality is pointed by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres -- subject / mind, relation / action, objects / phenomena / world --. So what we have to be mindful of is the relation between those three spheres by being directly mindful of our own mind (subject) here & now and its co-dependence with the apparent world (objects) and apparent perception / cognition (actions). This co-dependence of the three spheres <==> and their emptiness of inherent existence (one aspect implying the other (<==>), is Reality, the Ground, that we have to become fully aware of. The lessons are thus non-conceptual, non-dualistic, direct, in the here & now only.
Reality is your teacher ~ 17th Karmapa
No one owns a copyright on the Buddha’s teachings. They belong to the world, and in that sense they are not something I can offer to you. The teachings and teachers are ubiquitous.
REALITY IS YOUR TEACHER.
Everything that appears can become your teacher.
The four seasons can teach you.
Anything can be a teacher of Buddhist teachings.
– 17th Karmapa
from the book "The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out"
Don’t worry about making mistakes.
By understanding what went wrong, you have turned them into wisdom.
~ Chamtrul Rinpoche
Finding the lama in your heart ~ Dudjom Rinpoche
Since pure awareness of nowness is the real buddha,
In openness and contentment I found the lama in my heart.
When we realize this unending natural mind is the very nature of the lama,
Then there is no need for attached, grasping, or weeping prayers or artificial complaints,
By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, and natural state,
We obtain the blessing of aimless self-liberation of whatever arises.
– Dudjom Rinpoche
quoted in the book "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying"
Teachers on the path ~ Shabkar
In the beginning I took the teacher as the teacher,
In the middle I took the scriptures as the teacher,
In the end I took my own mind as the teacher.
from the book The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin
Seeing the true nature of reality
Ultimate reality in Buddhism
Wisdom mind ~ Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
I bow to my own wisdom mind
which is my best wisdom teacher,
the source of all visible and invisible qualities.
Sentient beings are always in time and place.
If sentient beings are in time,
my wisdom teacher dances magically in time.
If sentient beings are in place,
my wisdom teacher dances magically in place.
If really examined, you never remain anywhere.
You are only display.
To whatever never remains,
to you my best wisdom teacher, I bow.
-- Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
from the book Magic Dance: The Display of the Self-Nature of the Five Wisdom Dakinis
The lack of comprehension of reality ~ Matthieu Ricard
As the contemporary Tibetan master Chögyam Trungpa explains, ‘When we talk of ignorance, it has nothing to do with stupidity. In a way, ignorance is very intelligent, but it is an intelligence that works exclusively in one direction. That is, we react elusively to our own projections instead of simply seeing what is there.’
This fundamental ignorance is linked to the lack of comprehension of reality, that is, the true nature of things, free from mental fabrications we superimpose upon it. These fabrications hollow out a gap between the way things appear to us and the way they are: we take as permanent what is ephemeral and as happiness what is usually a source of suffering – thirst for wealth, power, fame and fleeting pleasures.
We perceive the external world as totally autonomous entities to which we attribute characteristics that seem to us to belong to them by their nature. Things appear to us as intrinsically ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’ and we rigidly divide people into ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘friends or ‘enemies’, as if these were characteristics inherent to people. The ‘self’, of the ego that perceives them, seems to us equally real and concrete. This mistake gives rise to powerful reflexes of attachment and aversion, and as long as our mind remains obscured by this lack of discernment, it will fall under the sway of hatred, attachment, greed, jealousy, or pride and suffering will always be ready to appear.
-- Matthieu Ricard
from the book Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World
Our own direct experience of reality ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
When our beliefs are based on our own direct experience of reality and not on notions offered by others, no one can remove these beliefs from us.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
from the book Living Buddha, Living Christ
Still water reflecting reality ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Breathing in, I see myself as still water.
Breathing out, I reflect things as they are.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
from the book Under the Rose Apple Tree
In the voidness of reality ~ Milarepa
This fundamental consciousness
In itself is nothing at all.
In the voidness of reality
Lack of realizer and realized is realized,
Lack of seer and seen is seen,
Lack of knower and known is known,
Lack of perceiver and perceived is perceived.
Remaining in the nakedness of ultimate reality ~ Dudjom Rinpoche
Take your stand on the ultimate practice of the heart essence — samsara and nirvana are the display of awareness. Without distraction, without meditation, in a state of natural relaxation, constantly remain in the pure, all-penetrating nakedness of ultimate reality.
-- Dudjom Rinpoche
from the book Counsels from My Heart
Perceiving reality with an unfixated mind ~ Pema Chödron
Enlightenment — full enlightenment — is perceiving reality with an open, unfixated mind, even in the most difficult circumstances. It’s nothing more than that, actually.
-- Pema Chödron
from the book How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind
All illuminating wisdom of reality ~ Milarepa
When one comes to the essence of being,
The shining wisdom of reality
Illumines all like the cloudless sky.
from the book The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Vol. 2
A Serene Encounter With Reality ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
from the book The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
Analyzing the meaning of reality ~ Lama Tsongkhapa
By pacifying distractions to wrong objects
And correctly analyzing the meaning of reality,
Please bless me to generate quickly within my mind-stream
The unified path of calm abiding and special insight.
-- Lama Tsongkhapa
Foundation of All Good Qualities
Not knowing reality ~ Sakya Trizin
If we really wish to be free from suffering and experience happiness, it is important to work on the causes. Without working on the causes, we cannot expect to yield any results. Each and every thing must have its own complete cause; things do not appear from nowhere, from the wrong cause, or from an incomplete cause. So the source of all our suffering is our own negative deeds.
Negative deeds result from not knowing reality, not knowing the true nature of the mind. Instead of seeing the true nature of the mind, we cling to a self for no logical reason. All of us have a natural tendency to cling to a self because we are so used to it. It is a kind of habit we have formed since beginningless time. However, if we carefully examine and investigate, we cannot find the self.
-- Sakya Trizin
from the book Treasures of the Sakya Lineage: Teachings from the Masters
The only constant of relative reality ~ Mingyur Rinpoche
Whatever or whoever made us happy today, this month, or this year is bound to change. Change is the only constant of relative reality.
-- Mingyur Rinpoche
from the book The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
Capable of dealing with reality ~ Chögyam Trungpa
Spirituality is simply a means of arousing one’s spirit, of developing a kind of spiritedness. Through that you begin to have greater contact with reality. You are not afraid of discovering what reality is all about, and you are willing to explore your individual energy. You actually choose to work with the essence of your existence, which could be called genuineness. An interest in spirituality doesn’t mean that you lack something, or that you have developed a black hole in your existence which you are trying to compensate for or cover over with some sort of religious patchwork. It simply means that you are capable of dealing with reality.
-- Chögyam Trungpa
from the book Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
The enlightened mind ~ Longchenpa
The enlightened mind
Is without coming or departing.
It is neither outside nor within.
Transcending thought, it has no partiality.
It is ultimate reality, unlimited and unconfined,
Wherein there is no wide or narrow
And no high or low.
So set aside all anxious search for it.
from the book Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 3
Origin of suffering ~ Ringu Tulku
From the Buddhist point of view our suffering originates from the limitations of our ordinary, unenlightened mind. Firstly, we are unaware of the basic truths of existence. Through ignorance, we have misunderstood our true nature and the nature of reality. Secondly, confused and easily agitated, we are unable to control our mind. We do not understand ourselves or our emotions.
-- Ringu Tulku
from the book Mind Training
The union of appearances and emptiness ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Ultimate reality cannot be apprehended by concepts. We can, however, in an experiential way that transcends the ordinary conceptual mind, achieve a genuine understanding of reality as being the union of appearances and emptiness.
-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
from the book The Great Medicine That Conquers Clinging to the Notion of Reality: Steps in Meditation on the Enlightened Mind
The ultimate authority ~ 14th Dalai Lama
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis. (i.e. not scriptures, not blind faith, not the guru ... The only way to liberate ourself is to transcend all illusions by developing our own wisdom (conceptual & direct).)
– 14th Dalai Lama
from the book "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom"
Seeing the real, you are free ~ Nagarjuna
Seeing what is not real, you are bound;
Seeing the real, you are free.
quoted in the book "The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment Vol 3"
“The important point of spiritual practice is not to try to escape your life, but to face it - exactly and completely.”
-- DAININ KATAGIRI, ROSHI
The Innate Beyond Subject And Object ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Phenomena (objects) are the radiance of the innate absolute (Reality);
Mind's nature (subject) is the wisdom of the innate absolute (Reality).
The ultimate teacher - phenomena (objects) and mind (subject) merged in one taste (Union) -
Dwells naturally within myself. Ah ho! What a joy!
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
quoted in the book "The Tibetan Buddhism Reader"
***From the Diamond Sutra
"Subhuti, do not maintain that the Buddha has this thought: 'I have spoken spiritual truths.' Do not think that way. Why? If someone says the Buddha has spoken spiritual truths, he slanders the Buddha due to his inability to understand what the Buddha teaches.
Subhuti, as to speaking truth, no truth can be spoken.
Therefore it is called 'speaking truth'."
Seeing things as they are ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche
"Our difficulty is we don’t see things as they really are. Dharma helps us to understand how to see things as they actually are.
When we do this, it stops our negative mind, negative projections, and negative emotions (transcending illusions and actions based on them).
Then our life becomes simpler and more peaceful, and it also gives us a great opportunity to take more responsibility, with more compassion, and we can handle problems in a much more positive way. Problems then don’t become real problems. We become more accepting and understanding of what is happening around us, whether it concerns business or relatives. There is no separation; there are not two worlds, of business and private life."
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche
You are not alone (you are surrounded by Reality as it is here & now, the ultimate teacher) ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche
"You are not alone because all the time there are numberless buddhas and bodhisattvas surrounding you, everywhere loving you, guiding you, that is what they do."
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche
from the book "How to be happy"
Finding your teacher ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Wherever you go you will find your teacher,
as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
– Shunryu Suzuki
No more questions ~ Naropa
"One need ask no more when the true nature is [directly] seen."
quoted in the book "Teachers of Wisdom"
A yogi who has true inner experience will gaze upon everything in the spirit of these words of Jetsun Milarepa: “The outer world itself is my book. I have no need for books written in black ink.”
A time will come when everything that appears before you will serve as an illustration or confirmation of the teachings. When the mind is inwardly firm, all outer phenomena appear as your friends and you never feel uneasy or uncomfortable about anything. Everything will serve as an enhancement for your practice.
~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Chögyam Trungpa ~ FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF BUDDHA
Meditation is about experiencing reality, and being as real as possible in your own existence. In order to experience reality, you have to tame your mind....We are not referring to psychic or outlandish experiences, and we don't expect any flying saucers to land on our heads.
The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Vol. 1