The Dharma is always available
The Dharma is self-arisen unalterable eternal.
It is Reality as it is, our true nature, the ultimate teacher.
It is always available -- with/without a Buddha or guru present around.
I am not your guru | Krishnamurti & Eric Robson
(i.e. Not everybody wants a 'guru' to teach them his/her version of the Dharma, using his/her prefered method as if it was the only one. They prefer to be free, to think by themselves, to directly experience by themselves, using whatever approach they see fit for themselves at this point & time. You cannot realise freedom by assuming that non-freedom is the path._
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"
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. (i.e. Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas)
-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
from the book The Great Medicine That Conquers Clinging to the Notion of Reality: Steps in Meditation on the Enlightened Mind
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"
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
Buddhism is all about truth. Samsara means not knowing the truth and enlightenment means knowing the truth. So, nothing is more important than truth in buddhism.
-- Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche
Truth is perfect and complete in itself. It is not something newly discovered; it has always existed. Truth is not far away; it is ever present. It is not something to be attained since not one of your steps leads away from it.
-- Dogen Zenji
from the book "Buddhism and Zen"
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
Using whatever occurs as the path ~ Jigme Lingpa
If the meditator is able to use whatever occurs in his life as the path, his body becomes a retreat hut.
-- Jigme Lingpa
quoted in the book Mudra: Early Songs and Poems
Individual path ~ Lama Yeshe
One of the hallmarks of buddhism is that you can’t say that everybody should do this, everybody should be like that; it depends on the individual.
-- Lama Yeshe
from the book Becoming Your Own Therapist: An Introduction to the Buddhist Way of Thought
The supreme path for that person ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
All the various types of teachings and spiritual paths are related to the different capacities of understanding that different individuals have. There does not exist, from an absolute point of view, any teaching which is more perfect or effective than another. A teaching’s value lies solely in the inner awakening which an individual can arrive at through it. If a person benefits from a given teaching, for that person that teaching is the supreme path, because it is suited to his or her nature and capacities. There’s no sense in trying to judge it as more or less elevated in relation to other paths to realization.
-- Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
from the book Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State
Ultimately we must abandon the path ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
𝗠𝘆 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 to the buddhist path (and to my guru / lama); others may choose doubting the buddhist path (any path and/or any guru). But as Dharmakirti said, ultimately we must abandon the path. So I hope in the end we will meet where we have nothing to fight over.
-- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha is taking refuge in our own true nature, in the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in the Ground, in the Union of the three kayas. Because everything is an inseparable manifestation of the Buddha-nature / Ground, part of the universal compassionate Sangha trying to help us to realise the Dharma. Because we can learn from anything if we are simply present here & now.
Do not look for the buddha other than your nature.
~ Chamtrul Rinpoche