Sogyal Rinpoche is one of the most highly regarded Buddhist monks in the world. Best known for this 1992 book entitled “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”, Sogyal demonstrated his deep knowledge of the philosophy of Buddhism and spiritual connection.
Here are a few profound excerpts.
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? – Sogyal Rinpoche
Embracing the true form of our inner selves leaves us with a deeper sense of satisfaction than anything else could. This is because the inner self already has everything it needs within it.
The Delusion of Separateness
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in. – Sogyal Rinpoche
In Hinduism, they call this “Maya” or the great measurer and divider. It makes it seem as if there’s a multitude of things when really there’s only unity. This is considered to be the single greatest source of pain and suffering, as this illusion keeps us from understanding our true nature.
Spiritual Truth is Common Sense
Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is, in fact, profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease, slowly, to be deluded. And being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming, at last, a true human being. – Sogyal Rinpoche
If we’re really honest with ourselves, we can easily see that we all want a deeper sense of fulfillment in life. Without that, it’s easy for things to become dull and unfulfilling.
Meditation Unknots the Mind
The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life. For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence you will need to live, and die, well. Meditation is the road to enlightenment … Quietly sitting, body still, speech silent, mind at peace, let your thoughts and emotions, whatever arises, come and go, without clinging to anything. – Sogyal Rinpoche
Without diving deep into our innermost nature, we can’t possibly have any idea of how backward our thinking and mindset are. When we find that time to sit quietly and dive deep, suddenly it becomes far easier to create the kind of life we want.
Embrace Impermanence and Humility
This world can seem marvelously convincing until death collapses the illusion and evicts us from our hiding place. – Sogyal Rinpoche
The reality is that we all must leave the world behind someday; no one can escape this truth. So instead of denying it like most of the western world, we should learn to embrace it. When we do, we learn to live more fearlessly.
Slip Out of the Noose of Your Habitual Anxious Self
Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature. – Sogyal Rinpoche
By letting go of anxious habits, we can find a much higher standard of living. That’s much easier said than done, but meditation makes the process much easier. Make a habit of meditation and you’ll find so many habits ‘melting’ away!