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Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

“Meditation” this term has been abused. We should change this term to “Alive”. Because no matter it is three minutes or five minutes, during the time of meditation, you’re alive, you are consciously alive! At present, basically we are just like a walking corpses. When we drink tea, we are thinking of other things; when we looking at the beautiful trees, we cannot aware those green beauty. Alive is very important, but alive nakedly is even more important.


When we talk about meditation, we're not talking about the meditation nowadays like "sunset meditation" or beethoven's music with birds chirping.

Even if you are very good at not dwelling in the past, even if you are very good at not dwelling in the future, and even if you can really dwell in the present... if you do not know about emptiness and appearance (i.e. no wisdom), then your meditation is as worthless as "sunset meditation". Anyway, there is no real existing "presentness" anyway.

From the Buddhist point of view, only meditation based on wisdom is a means to accumulate merit, as it brings us closer to the truth. These truths are truths that will uproot your suffering.

We tend to get distracted by the ritual of meditation, thinking it's more important than the training of wisdom, because sitting straight etc is more perceivable.

Shamatha is a trick. Vipashyana is business. To perform business, you need the trick. Therefore, both are necessary.

(notes organised from DKR's teaching on How To Accumulate Merit, 25 Aug 2008, San Francisco)


"We usually create boundaries, and some of them are ver y decorated!
Usually, this is not a good sign because people who put so much
emphasis on these things –
you know, I’m doing a retreat, setting a
boundary and so on
– actually, they end up doing less of practice
because they put so much emphasis on outer rituals. Anyway, the
point that I am tr ying to make is that in Buddhism, the real boundar y
is between the past thought and the future thought. That is your
boundar y. Now if you can do that, you can be in a nightclub, dancing
and crazy – all sorts of wheeling, dealing in business or whatever – but
still, there will be Yogis who will not go beyond the boundar y of the
past thought and the future thought – meaning, to be in the present.
Always in the present. Whatever you are thinking right now, being in
this present.
For instance, now. You hear rustling, air conditioner, maybe you’re
thinking of yesterday and tomorrow, whatever it is. Simply knowing
that, being aware of it – but not really thinking about the past
or future, and not judging – never judging! You may be thinking
something so hideous, or something so wholesome – but you must just
simply be aware. That is actually the king of retreats.


I think you can consciously get lost, isn’t it? Yes? I think so, and that’s
much better! If you’re not consciously lost, I don’t think you’re being
creative yet. You’re stuck. But I can understand it. If you have the
fear of stumbling and getting stuck, you can consciously be in the
present. You can be here in any way – there is no past thought and
future thought! You know we were talking about boundaries? How
not to go to the past, or to the future. I was bluffing, actually! Not me,
Buddhism. (Laughter) There’s no past, or future actually – it’s all here!
When we talk, we have to talk like that.
And anyway, you also believe in the past don’t you – as a human
being? That’s good news for you, because the future, the past, when
you’re writing – is all in the present. Then you have more opportunity
because you will not be stuck in any angle. For example, think about
this one from Basho:
In my new robe, this morning – someone else.
So good!
Year by year, the monkey’s mask reveals the monkey.
Really, this testifies that you can do both. Nowadays, it’s all about
means that lead back to the wisdom, and that’s a sad thing.


Yes, yes – that is what I mean. Anyway, there is no past and no future.
It’s always in the present. We are really talking in a ver y deep way of
the Buddhist idea of illusion. It’s amazing isn’t it? There is no past
and there is no future, and yet we’re so caught up by these concepts!
There’s also no present – but that we’ll talk about in another time. We
should first grind this one!
No present – whoa – well, just to give you the names – these teachings
are taught in the Mahamudra, or the Mahasandhi. Yes. Those are
beautiful teachings. Some of them are just so powerful. There’s one
called “Mahamudra by the Ganges” (Tilopa’s pith instructions on the
Mahamudra). It’s amazing. Then there’s the Mahasandhi. When the
Mahasandhi was taught, it was hard to take for many Buddhists, even
– because Buddhists love ‘sensible’ things. The Mahasandhi is beyond
sense, and senselessness! They think you’re crazy when you’re stuck
with being sensible! But that’s for another time.
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