Dimensions of experience…

Although this may not be the ordinary Buddhist way, Kum Nye practices clearly reveal dimensions of experience concealed within the ordinary and routine.

Even physical postures and movements can heal and energize at a very deep level, and this energy can manifest as qualities that begin to transform our way of being.

The sharp edges that separate us begin to soften; we become more appreciative of our embodiment and respect the embodiment of others in a new light.

Frustration melts into forbearance, and forbearance into patience.

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
The Joy of Being

Commitment to compassion and wisdom

The resulting situation can be discouraging and even destructive. Even the meaning behind the words of the most basic teachings is not properly understood, making the Dharma seem remote from life experience.
Missing the taste of this inner meaning, individuals do not engage the teachings or make a commitment to study and practice. And without preparation and commitment, not much can be accomplished.
At first there may be clarity and direct efforts, but soon the lack of commitment leads to a loss of focus, and this clarity vanishes. Then time is spent discussing, complaining, and wondering rather than identifying, penetrating, and removing the obstacles to progress.
This ineffective approach to problem-solving adds more layers to the problem, like clouds of smoke that keep piling up on the horizon.
What is needed in this time of trouble is to cultivate a direct connection to the Dharma. Awakening to the reality of our situation – pervasive impermanence and suffering, increasing confusion, and decreasing spiritual light – we can recognize our present responsibility.
The teachings of the Buddha are universal:
They belong to all individuals who wish to awaken. If we care to participate in this golden lineage of light, our task is to keep the teachings alive in the heart and mind of a committed human being.
A true commitment to embodying compassion and wisdom gives life a threefold meaning that holds up under all adversity: benefit for ourself, benefit for others, and benefit for the Dharma.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart

Powerful, positive influences

Here in the West, difficulties in comprehending the Dharma multiply. The teachings are easily misinterpreted when they enter a new land.

Dharma students have no background, while Dharma teachers trained in the tradition may not comprehend Western consciousness or consider carefully enough their own limitations.

Those who know a little of the Dharma may initially be enthusiastic, but unless they go deeply into what the Buddha said, they may find the teachings less and less important in making sense of their own lives.

In the midst of the busy lifestyle of the modern West, how rare it is to have time for studying or teaching; how difficult to provide the beauty and serenity that support Dharma practice.

These powerful positive influences, which have sustained countless generations, are no longer readily available to us.

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart

Preserving what is truly valuable

The Buddha Shakyamuni, the Enlightened One, saw clearly that the samsaric realm of ordinary experience, the world of life and death in which we live, by nature has serious limitations.
Buddhist texts express these limits in the teaching of the Four Endings:
  • All life ends with death.
  • All association ends in separation.
  • All wealth ends in decline.
  • All that is raised up in the end is brought low.
This teaching reminds us that the world of samsara is not oriented toward preserving what is valuable to human beings.
Dissatisfaction pervades our experience: Everything good comes to an end, every story concludes with sorrow, tragedy, or decay. Human attempts to attain their purposes are eventually cut short, and our investment of time and energy is lost.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart

Truth does not fail

Secure in the Dharma and settled on the path of knowledge, we see without any reservations whatsoever that there is no need to fear.
We have discovered a truth that has inspired students of the Dharma for almost three thousand years:
The Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha manifest truth, and truth does not fail.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart

Knowing a deep joy…

The faith of a Dharma practitioner – the sole protection we need – works within the world for the benefit of the world.
Through the Dharma, we know peace of mind that embraces love, compassion, and wisdom.
We come to know a deep joy, akin to that of the great Bodhisattvas who have seen for the first time the true nature of reality.
Our positive qualities radiate out from our inner peace of mind like a halo radiating out from the moon, allowing us to work skillfully for others.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart

The love of truth

Sometimes people imagine that there is a conflict between practicing the Dharma and serving others, but in fact, faith and loyalty to the Dharma overcome all such distinctions.
Commitment toward ourselves merges naturally with commitment to the Dharma and commitment to others.
The trust we place in the Dharma is inseparable from loyalty to our own heart and mind.
It encompasses not just ourselves, but what we know and love.
For the love of the Dharma is also the love of truth – devotion to the higher prospects of an all-encompassing vision.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart