Tibetan Buddhism Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Tibetan Buddhism. Here they are! All 100 of them:

We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home. Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Real devotion is an unbroken receptivity to the truth. Real devotion is rooted in an awed and reverent gratitude, but one that is lucid, grounded, and intelligent.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness. Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home -- at ease.
Surya Das (Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light. The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite." But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while? That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we´re honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
No sane person fears nothingness.
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
The small flower is as total as the sun.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Daily life provides countless occasions for adapting to change and impermanence. Yet we squander these precious opportunities, assuming that we have all the time in the world.
Yongey Mingyur (Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism)
I live in my own way, I don’t consider you. I don’t consider anybody at all—because if you start considering others you can’t live your life authentically. Consider and you will become phony.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Always rely on just a happy frame of mind. Let it become one of the fundamental rules of your life. Even if you come across a negative, find something positive in it. You will always be able to find something. And the day you become skillful at finding the positive in the negative, you will dance with joy.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Why should one be a Christian? It is ugly. Be a christ if you can be, but don’t be a Christian. Be a buddha if you have any respect for yourself, but don’t be a Buddhist. The Buddhist believes. Buddha knows.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
There is no greater luxury than meditation. Meditation is the last luxury, because it is the ultimate love affair.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
There is no miserable place waiting for you, no hell realm, sitting and waiting like Alaska—waiting to turn you into ice cream. But whatever you call it—hell or the suffering realms—it is something that you enter by creating a world of neurotic fantasy and believing it to be real. It sounds simple, but that's exactly what happens.
Thubten Yeshe (Becoming Vajrasattva)
We just have to remind ourselves that the source of any happiness is mind itself.
Ole Nydahl (BUDA Y EL AMOR, EL)
We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings have been mentally unstable because they have been slaves of delusion, they lack the eye of wisdom to see the path leading to nirvana and enlightenment, and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Way to Freedom: Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism)
As a man is taught, so he believes. Thoughts being things, they may be planted like seeds in the mind of the child and completely dominate his mental content. Given the favourable soil of the will to believe, whether the seed-thoughts be sound or unsound, whether they be of pure superstition or of realizable truth, they take root and flourish, and make the man what he is mentally.
W.Y. Evans-Wentz
There is no need to choose. Why not live choicelessly? Why not live all that life makes available to you? Don’t be a spiritualist and don’t be a materialist: be both. Don’t be a Zorba and don’t be a Buddha; be both: Zorba the Buddha. Enjoy all that God has showered on you. That’s
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
They asked a wise man: Why don’t we ever hear you backbiting and slandering? He said: I’m still not happy with myself to start with others.
Ahmad Musa Jibril
The entire path is a shift in perception.
Yongey Mingyur (Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism)
Don’t become more knowledgeable, become more innocent. Drop all that you know, forget all that you know. Remain wondering, but don’t transform your wondering into questions, because once the wonder is changed into a question, sooner or later the question will bring knowledge. And knowledge is a false coin.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Achala, worrying and scheming about your next life, before you have even completed this one, is not a good practice." Rinpoche
Daniel Prokop (Taking It With You: Everybody knows you can't take anything with you when you die... almost everybody.)
But, nevertheless, if there is even the slightest recognition, liberation is easy. Should you ask why this is so—it is because once the awesome, terrifying and fearful appearances arise, the awareness does not have the luxury of distraction. The awareness is one-pointedly concentrated.
Karma-glin-pa (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
The light of the sun is the manifestation of the clarity of the sky; and the sky is the basic condition necessary for the manifestation of the sun's light. So, too, in the sky two, three, four, or any number of suns could arise; but the sky always remains indivisibly one sky. Similarly, every individual's state of presence is unique and distinct, but the void nature of the individual is universal, and common to all beings.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
Just calling one's practice "approach and accomplishment" and staying in retreat for years will produce nothing but hardship. Completing hundreds of millions of mantras will not even bring the warmth of the ordinary qualities that mark one's progress on the path! In other words, if the essential points of the path are not taken into account, perseverance will amount to nothing more than chasing a mirage.
Patrul Rinpoche (Deity Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra)
If there is destruction of hope, there is freedom from gods [lha]; if there is destruction of fear, there is freedom from spirits ['dre, demons].
Machik Labdrön (Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition)
The idea of a separate center is the root of the ego.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
People who know how to keep their mouths shut are rare.
Dudjom Rinpoche (Counsels from My Heart)
Zen is for poets, Tibetan is for artists, and Vipassana is for psychologists.
Robert Wright (Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment)
William Butler Yeats’s “Second Coming” seems perfectly to render our present predicament: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” This is an excellent description of the current split between anaemic liberals and impassioned fundamentalists. “The best” are no longer able to fully engage, while “the worst” engage in racist, religious, sexist fanaticism. However, are the terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term? Do they really believe? What they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the U.S.: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers’ way of life. If today’s so-called fundamentalists really believe they have their way to truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns him. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist’s search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued, fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful Other, they are fighting their own temptation. These so-called Christian or Muslim fundamentalists are a disgrace to true fundamentalists. It is here that Yeats’s diagnosis falls short of the present predicament: the passionate intensity of a mob bears witness to a lack of true conviction. Deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction-their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim must be, if he feels threatened by a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper. The fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists’ conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identity from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but rather that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending, politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only make them more furious and feeds their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that secretly they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them. (This clearly goes for the Dalai Lama, who justifies Tibetan Buddhism in Western terms of the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain.) Paradoxically, what the fundamentalists really lack is precisely a dose of that true “racist” conviction of one’s own superiority.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
The Heart-mantra of Dependent Origination (rten-'brel snying-po [རྟེན་འབྲེལ་སྙིང་པོ]), which liberates the enduring continuum of phenomena and induces the appearance of multiplying relics ('phel-gdung [འཕེལ་གདུང་] and rainbow lights, is: [OṂ] YE DHARMĀ HETUPRABHAVĀ HETUN TEṢĀṂ TATHĀGATO HY AVADAT TEṢĀṂ CA YO NIRODHO EVAṂ VĀDI MAHĀŚRAMAṆAḤ [YE SVĀHĀ] ('Whatever events arise from a cause, the Tathagāta [Buddha, "Thus-gone"] has told the cause thereof, and the great virtuous ascetic has taught their cessation as well [so be it]').
Graham Coleman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
Peaceful death is really an essential human right, more essential perhaps even than the right to vote or the right to justice; it is a right on which, all religious traditions tell us, a great deal depends for the well-being and spiritual future of the dying person. There
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying: A Spiritual Classic from One of the Foremost Interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West)
Truth makes little sense and has no real impact if it is merely a collection of abstract ideas. Truth that is living experience, on the other hand, is challenging, threatening, and transforming. The first kind of truth consists of information collected and added, from a safe distance, to our mental inventory. The second kind involves risking our familiar and coherent interpretation of the world -it is an act of surrender, of complete and embodied cognition that is seeing, feeling, intuiting, and comprehending all at once. Living truth leads us ever more deeply into the unknown territory of what our life is.
Reginald A. Ray (Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1))
Imagine walking along a sidewalk with your arms full of groceries, and someone roughly bumps into you so that you fall and your groceries are strewn over the ground. As you rise up from the puddle of broken eggs and tomato juice, you are ready to shout out, 'You idiot! What's wrong with you? Are you blind?' But just before you can catch your breath to speak, you see that the person who bumped into you is actually blind. He, too, is sprawled in the spilled groceries, and your anger vanishes in an instant, to be replaced by sympathetic concern: 'Are you hurt? Can I help you up?' Our situation is like that. When we clearly realize that the source of disharmony and misery in the world is ignorance, we can open the door of wisdom and compassion.
B. Alan Wallace (Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up: A Practical Approach for Modern Life)
Zeena Schreck is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist, author, musician/composer, tantric teacher, mystic, animal rights activist, and counter-culture icon known by her mononymous artist name, ZEENA. Her work stems from her experience within the esoteric, shamanistic and magical traditions of which she's practiced, taught and been initiated. She is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist yogini, teaches at the Buddhistische Gesellschaft Berlin and is the spiritual leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement (SLM).
Zeena Schreck
Enlightenment, or Nirvana, is nothing other than the state beyond all obstacles, in the same way that from the peak of a very high mountain one always sees the sun. Nirvana is not a paradise or some special place of happiness, but is in fact the condition beyond all dualistic concepts, including those of happiness and suffering. When all our obstacles have been overcome, and we find ourselves in a state of total presence, the wisdom of enlightenment manifests spontaneously without limits, just like the infinite rays of the sun. The clouds have dissolved, and the sun is finally free to shine once again.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
You can cheat a person—but in what can you cheat him? You can take some money or something else from him. But the man who knows the beauty of trust will not be distracted by these small things. He will still love you, he will still trust you. And then a miracle happens: if a man really trusts you, it is impossible to cheat him, almost impossible. It
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Without hope, Chöd practitioners are freed from the limits of hope and fear; having cut the ropes of grasping, definitely enlightened, where does one go?
Machik Labdrön (Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition)
if you don’t trust in yourself then no other trust is ever possible.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
All deities and demons, all heavens and hells are internal.
Timothy Leary (The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead)
Magic is not something supernatural, but part of the field dynamics of nature.
John Myrdhin Reynolds (The Practice of Guru Yoga for Padmasambhava in the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism)
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.
Shabkar (The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin)
To live in the moment is innocence, to live without the past is innocence, to live without conclusions is innocence, to function out of the state of not knowing is innocence. And the moment you function out of such tremendous silence which is not burdened by any past, out of such tremendous stillness which knows nothing, the experience that happens is beauty. Whenever you feel beauty—in the rising sun, in the stars, in the flowers, or in the face of a woman or a man—wherever and whenever you feel beauty, watch. And one thing will always be found: you had functioned without mind, you had functioned without any conclusion, you had simply functioned spontaneously. The moment gripped you, and the moment gripped you so deeply that you were cut off from the past. And when you are cut off from the past you are cut off from the future automatically, because past and future are two aspects of the same coin; they are not separate, and they are not separable either. You can toss a coin: sometimes it is heads, sometimes it is tails, but the other part is always there, hiding behind. Past
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
. . . install a tracking system--free of judgment or guilt--that you use just to record how you're doing, on a constant basis. In Tibetan this tracking system is known as tundruk, or "six times a day;" we call it a six-time book. If you follow this system, you'll get results.
Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally, Michael Gordon
Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts. What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future? Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment. Live in harmony with the dharma. Make it the heart of your life and experience. Be the master of your own destiny.
Dilgo Khyentse (The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most)
All the philosophical theories that exist have been created by the mistaken dualistic minds of human beings. In the realm of philosophy, that which today is considered true, may tomorrow be proved to be false. No one can guarantee a philosophy's validity. Because of this, any intellectual way of seeing whatever is always partial and relative. The fact is that there is no truth to seek or to confirm logically; rather what one needs to do is to discover just how much the mind continually limits itself in a condition of dualism. Dualism is the real root of our suffering and of all our conflicts. All our concepts and beliefs, no matter how profound they may seem, are like nets which trap us in dualism. When we discover our limits we have to try to overcome them, untying ourselves from whatever type of religious, political or social conviction may condition us. We have to abandon such concepts as 'enlightenment', 'the nature of the mind', and so on, until we are no longer satisfied by a merely intellectual knowledge, and until we no longer neglect to integrate our knowledge with our actual existence.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
It is only cowards who reduce the tremendously valuable capacity of wondering to questions. The really brave, the courageous person, leaves it as it is. Rather than changing it into a question, he jumps into the mystery. Rather than trying to control it, he allows the mystery to possess him.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Oh, noble child, everything is severing the mind. As for the mind, it is severing pride. There is nothing whatsoever that is not included in pride. If one simply understands that it is merely the production of pride, then, for example, one is like a thief in an empty house: by simply recognizing [the situation], grasping is impossible. Having correctly understood, there is no practice with an intentional objective. Because it crushes any hesitations (mi phod), it is explained as Chöd.
Machik Labdrön (Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition)
To just be--to be--amidst all doings, achievings, and becomings. This is the natural state of mind, or original, most fundamental state of being. This is unadulterated Buddha-nature. This is like finding our balance.
Surya Das (Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World)
It is always beneficial to be near a spiritual teacher. These masters are like gardens or medicinal plants, sanctuaries of wisdom. In the presence of a realized master, you will rapidly attain enlightenment. In the presence of an erudite scholar, you will acquire great knowledge. In the presence of a great meditator, spiritual experience will dawn in your mind. In the presence of a bodhisattva, your compassion will expand, just as an ordinary log placed next to a log of sandalwood becomes saturated, little by little, with its fragrance.
Dilgo Khyentse (The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most)
Atisha says: Awareness inside, compassion on the outside. Compassion is the outer side of awareness, the exterior of awareness. Awareness is your interiority, subjectivity. Compassion is relating with others, sharing with others.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
There is no reason for a sound faith to be irrational. A useful faith should not be blind, but should be well aware of its grounds. A sound faith should be able to use scientific investigation to strengthen itself. it should be open to the spirit not to lock itself up in the letter. A nourishing, useful, healthful faith should be no obstacle to developing a science of death.
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
You do not need to fabricate at all. Once you utterly let be, involvement in thoughts of past, present and future subside. By letting be, you are no longer involved in the thoughts of the three times. When utterly letting be, wakefulness is vividly present.
Tulku Urgyen (As It Is, Vol. 2)
The still revolutionary insight of Buddhism is that life and death are in the mind, and nowhere else. Mind is revealed as the universal basis of experience—the creator of happiness and the creator of suffering, the creator of what we call life and what we call death.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
One Jewish lady was talking to the neighbor, and she said, “The psychoanalyst who is treating my son has said that my son suffers from an Oedipus complex.” And the neighbor lady said, “Oedipus schmoedipus! Doesn’t matter as long as he is a good boy and loves his mother!
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Prostration: placing the body in reverence, to submit, to surrender. In many faiths it is used to relinquish the ego. In Tibetan tantric Buddhism they do one hundred thousand prostrations to overcome pride. In Islam, prostration has been known to overcome many diseases.
V (formerly Eve Ensler) (In the Body of the World)
It is as if I have entered what the Tibetans call the Bardo-literally, between-two-existences- a dreamlike hallucination that precedes reincarnation, not necessarily in human form…In case I should need them, instructions for passage through the Bardo are contained in the Tibetan book of the dead- a guide for the living since it teaches that a man’s last thoughts will determine the quality of his reincarnation.
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
To say 'I want to have sex with this person' is to express a desire which is not intellectually directed in the way that 'I want to eradicate poverty in the world' is an intellectually directed desire. Furthernore, the gratification of sexual desire can only ever give temporary satisfaction. Thus as Nagarjuna, the great Indian scholar said: 'When you have an itch, you scratch. But not to itch at all is better than any amount of scratching.
Dalai Lama XIV (Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama)
The text presented here, the Vajra Essence by Düdjom Lingpa, a nineteenth-century master of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, is known as the Nelug Rangjung in Tibetan, meaning “the natural emergence of the nature of existence.”1 This is an ideal teaching in which to unravel some of the common misunderstandings of Tibetan Buddhism, since it is a sweeping practice that can take one from the basics all the way to enlightenment in a single lifetime. The present volume explains the initial section on shamatha, or meditative quiescence, about nine percent of the entire Vajra Essence root text.
B. Alan Wallace (Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings from Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Essence)
Meditation does offer a sane way to work with our mind. But we do not meditate to get rid of thoughts. This is the number one misunderstanding. Thinking, like breathing, is a natural activity. Trying to impose an artificial blankness is the exact opposite of how we work with the natural clarity of mind.
Yongey Mingyur (Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism)
...[A]ccording to Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition, a being that achieves Buddhahood, although freed from Samsara,the 'wheel of suffering', as the phenomenon of existence is known, will continue to return to work for the benefit of all other sentient beings until such time as each one is similarly liberated.
Dalai Lama XIV (Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama)
Without discursive thought it is just dharma practice. Hope together with aim obscures. One does not cut through pride by meditatively cultivating the desire for happiness. If there is hope, even the hope for buddhas, it is a negative force. If there is apprehension, even apprehension about hells, it is a negative force.
Machik Labdrön (Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition)
The preservation of Buddhism is preserving your own internal heart. If Tibetans became terrorists they might win back Tibet, but Buddhism would be destroyed by that attitude.
Rodger Kamenetz (The Jew in the Lotus)
You are already the awakeness that you seek!
Loch Kelly (Shift Into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Openhearted Awareness)
You yourself can be god. You really are that, in fact. You, yourself, are reality. You, yourself, are buddha. (p. 18)
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally, live intensely. And then heaven is no more a metaphysical concept, it is your own experience.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
The moment you know, you destroy all poetry. The moment you know, and think that you know, you have created a barrier between yourself and that which is. Then everything is distorted. Then you don’t hear with your ears, you translate. Then you don’t see with your eyes, you interpret. Then you don’t experience with your heart, you think that you experience. Then all possibility of meeting with existence in immediacy, in intimacy, is lost. You have fallen apart. This is the original sin. And this is the whole story, the biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Once they have eaten the fruit of knowledge they are driven out of paradise. Not that somebody drove them out, not that God ordered them to get out of paradise, they themselves fell. Knowing they were no more innocent, knowing they were separate from existence, knowing they were egos…knowing created such a barrier, an iron barrier. You ask me, “What is innocence?” Vomit knowledge! The fruit of the tree of knowledge has to be vomited. That’s what meditation is all about. Throw it out of your system: it is poison, pure poison. Live without knowledge, knowing that “I don’t know.” Function out of this state of not knowing and you will know what beauty is. Socrates
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
Don’t think about Buddhist terminology; don’t think about what the books say or anything like that. Just ask yourself simply, “How, at this moment, do I interpret myself?” That’s all.
Thubten Yeshe (The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism: The Three Principal Aspects of the Path and An Introduction to Tantra)
Primordial wisdom [Skt. jñāna; Tib. ཡེ་ཤེས་, yeshé; Wyl. ye shes] has many names, but in truth it refers simply to the inseparability of the ground and fruit, the one and only essence-drop [thig le nyag gcig] of the dharmakaya. If it is assessed from the standpoint of its utterly pure nature, it is the actual dharmakaya, primordial Buddhahood. For, from its own side, it is free from every obscuration. We must understand that we are Buddha from the very beginning. Without this understanding, we will fail to recognize the spontaneously present mandala of the ground, and we will be obliged to assert, in accordance with the vehicle of the paramitas, that Buddhahood has a cause. We will fail to recognize the authentic view of the Secret Mantra.
Jamgön Mipham (White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava)
In India we have two different systems. One we call history; history takes note of the facts. Another we call purana, mythology; it takes note of the truth. We have not written histories about Buddha, Mahavira or Krishna, no. That would have been dragging something immensely beautiful into the muddy unconsciousness of humanity. We have not written histories about these people, we have written myths. What is a myth? A myth is a parable, a parable that only points to the moon but says nothing about it—a finger pointing to the moon, an indication, an arrow, saying nothing.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder. They are dangerous because they give you the feeling that you know, although you know not. They give you this misconception about yourself that now questions have been solved. “I know what The Bible says, I know what the Koran says, I know what the Gita says. I have arrived.” You will become a parrot; you will repeat things but you will not know anything. This is not the way to know—knowledge is not the way to know. Then what is the way to know? Wonder. Let your heart dance with wonder. Be full of wonder: throb with it, breathe it in, breathe it out. Why be in such a hurry for the answer? Can’t you allow a mystery to remain a mystery? I know there is a great temptation not to allow it to remain a mystery, to reduce it to knowledge.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
The Gnostics believed that we can experience resurrection before death. In other words, Gnostics are granted such special knowledge that they can regenerate their bodies and resurrect themselves before dying. Moreover, they have special abilities to control their DNA. The Sufi Dervishes know and teach these practices. Additionally, in Dzogchen (a teaching from the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism) they speak of the "Rainbow Body". The exceptional practitioners of Dzogchen, when they are about to die, concentrate on their Body of Pure Light. His physical body releases itself into a body of non-material light (a Sambhogakaya) with the capacity to exist and to remain where and when indicated by one's compassion. In Gnosticism, this is called the radiant body, resurrection body, or immortal body (the soma athanaton). This body has also been called 'The Philosopher's Stone.
Laurence Galian (Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!)
Past and future are two aspects of the same coin. The name of the coin is mind. When the whole coin is dropped, that dropping is innocence. Then you don’t know who you are, then you don’t know what is; there is no knowledge. But you are, existence is, and the meeting of these two is-nesses—the small is-ness of you, meeting with the infinite is-ness of existence—that meeting, that merger, is the experience of beauty. Innocence is the door; through innocence you enter into beauty. The more innocent you become, the more existence becomes beautiful. The more knowledgeable you are, the more and more existence is ugly, because you start functioning from conclusions, you start functioning from knowledge. The
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
But beyond the mind, beyond our thoughts, there is something we call the 'nature of the mind', the mind's true condition, which is beyond all limits. If it is beyond the mind, though, how can we approach an understanding of it? Let's take the example of a mirror. When we look into a mirror we see in it the reflected images of any objects that are in front of it; we don't see the nature of the mirror. But what do we mean by this 'nature of the mirror'? We mean its capacity to reflect, definable as its clarity, its purity, and its limpidity, which are indispensable conditions for the manifestation of reflections. This 'nature of the mirror' is not something visible, and the only way we can conceive of it is through the images reflected in the mirror. In the same way, we only know and have concrete experience of that which is relative to our condition of body, voice, and mind. But this itself is the way to understand their true nature.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
The naked body of the female consort illustrates freedom from the obscuration of conceptual symbols. As an illustration of unchanging great bliss endowed with the sixteen joys, she appears in the form of a youthful, sixteen-year-old girl. Her hair hangs loose, showing the unlimited way that wisdom expands impartially out of basic space. She is adorned with five bone ornaments. Of these, the ring at the top of her head symbolizes the wisdom of the basic space of phenomena [dharmadhātu], while her bone necklace represents the wisdom of equality. Her earrings stand for discerning wisdom, her bracelets for mirrorlike wisdom, and her belt for all-accomplishing wisdom. Illustrating the unity of calm abiding and insight, her secret space is joined in union.
Getse Mahapandita (Deity Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra)
But karma is not in fact a material accumulation, and does not depend on externals; rather its power to condition us depends on the obstacles that impede our knowledge. If we compare our karma and the ignorance that creates it to a dark room, knowledge of the primordial state would be like a lamp, which, when lit in the room, at once causes the darkness to disappear, enlightening everything. In the same way, if one has the presence of the primordial state, one can overcome all hindrances in an instant.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
The Bodhisattva is in no rush. For once we have tasted a single drop of the bliss of bringing others into that freedom, with the Spirit of Enlightenment of love and compassion, once we have loosened the grip of the solid, separated, alienated self that is the core of self-centeredness, then we are already happy in a certain way. The Bodhisattva is always joyful, even when suffering. Bodhisattvas are always happy and cheerful under pressure, because they have felt the essence of reality as freedom (p. 223)
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
I’m saying that if you want to be happy, eradicate your attachment; cut your concrete concepts. The way to cut them is not troublesome—just change your attitude; switch your attitude, that’s all. It’s not really a big deal! It’s really skillful, reasonable. The way Buddhism explains this is reasonable. It’s not something in which you have to super-believe. I’m not saying you have to try to be a superwoman or superman. It’s reasonable and logical. Simply changing your attitude eliminates your concrete concepts.
Thubten Yeshe (The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism: The Three Principal Aspects of the Path and An Introduction to Tantra)
There is a deep urge in man to know things which are worthless, to know things which make you feel special—because only you know those things and nobody else does. Man wants to be special, and nothing makes you more special than so-called esoteric knowledge. That is why esoteric knowledge remains important. All kinds of rubbish go on in the name of esoteric knowledge—that the earth is hollow, that inside the earth there are great civilizations. And there are people who still believe in it, and in many more such stories.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom: The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Commentaries on Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training)
They are all people like us, you know.” There you have a sense of belonging that is refined, and above all free and active in any situation. Some spiritual traditions have recognized the importance of this openness. Christianity, for example, talks about seeing in every individual our brother or sister. Tibetan Buddhism invites us to carry out a curious mental exercise: to look at whomever we meet as someone who, in a previous life, of the infinite series of incarnations through which we have passed, has been our mother.
Piero Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life--Tenth Anniversary Edition)
What makes it possible to imagine ourselves as other beings? What does our capacity to exchange ourselves with others tell us about ourselves? If the beliefs we have about the world and ourselves are nothing more than ideas, then who and what are we? These are the very questions that hint at the absolute truth of emptiness, the ultimate reality that allows us to liberate ourselves from fixed and fabricated identities. Many opportunities to discuss this lie ahead, but for now just hold these questions in a creative and playful way.
Yongey Mingyur (Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism)
Beginners will first meditate upon equanimity. Once that is established, they will then meditate upon the remaining three [immeasurable qualities of love, compassion, and joy].... First, toward all those who are relatives, attachment is to be abandoned as though they were neutral. Then abandon aversion for enemies as though they were neutral and remain without partiality. In order to be free from delusion even toward the neutral, have the intention to dispel the passions of beings all at once. Meditate like this without clinging. —Resting the Mind in Repose (sems nyid ngal gso)
Longchen Rabjam (Dudjom Lingpa's Chöd: An Ambrosia Ocean of Sublime Explanations)
In Dzokchen, compassion is much more than the virtue of loving kindness. Nor does the word compassion in the Dzokchen context denote its English etymological meaning, “suffering together” or “empathy,” although both these meanings may be inferred. Essentially, compassion indicates an open and receptive mind responding spontaneously to the exigencies of an ever-changing field of vibration to sustain the optimal awareness that serves self-and-others’ ultimate desire for liberation and well-being. The conventional meaning of compassion denotes the latter, active part of this definition, and, due to the accretions of Christian connotation, response is limited to specifically virtuous activity. “Responsiveness” defines the origin and cause of selfless activity that can encompass all manner of response. On this nondual Dzokchen path virtue is the effect, not the cause; the ultimate compassionate response is whatever action maximizes Knowledge—loving kindness is the automatic function of Awareness.
Keith Dowman (The Flight of the Garuda: The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism)
The gnarled pine, I would have said, touch it. This is China. Horticulturalists around the world have come to study it. Yet no one has ever been able to explain why it grows like a corkscrew, just as no one can adequately explain China. But like that tree, there it is, old, resilient, and oddly magnificent. Within that tree are the elements in nature that have inspired Chinese artists for centuries: gesture over geometry, subtlety over symmetry, constant flow over static form. And the temples, walk and touch them. This is China. Don't merely stare at these murals and statues. Fly up to the crossbeams, get down on your hands and knees, and press your head to the floor tiles. Hide behind that pillar and come eye to eye with its flecks of paint. Imagine that you are the interior decorator who is a thousand years in age. Start with a bit of Tibetan Buddhism, plus a dash each of animism and Taoism. A hodgepodge, you say? No, what is in those temples is an amalgam that is pure Chinese, a lovely shabby elegance, a glorious new motley that makes China infinitely intriguing. Nothing is ever completely thrown away and replaced. If one period of influence falls out of favor, it is patched over. The old views still exist, one chipped layer beneath, ready to pop through with the slightest abrasion. That is the Chinese aesthetic and also its spirit. Those are the traces that have affected all who have traveled along China's roads.
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
Dripping charnel  grounds of light - I examine hope &  fear - blue-black body  monster of enlightenment - call me Youthful Lightning Bolt -  tired I slump - desire's already  here - I don't care - my wrathful rosary coiled      snake   on my cushion -  I close my tired   eyes -  sleep has been  troubled but   my mother's  cancer hasn't  spread -      still I  am the Cemetary King
Marc Olmsted (What Use Am I a Hungry Ghost? Poems from 3-year Retreat)
Silence is the Buddha‘s greatest expression. It‘s the Buddha‘s great teaching, what the Hindus call „You are That“ in the Upanishads. „You are the ultimate reality. You are God!“ the Hindus boldly declare. But the Buddha‘s way of affirming that fact is by being silent, because if you are that, after all, if you are what the theists think is God, you already know it yourself. (p. 15)
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
Try not to be so analytical that you lose your creative vision, your soul‘s third eye of innate intuition. Open your heart. Be willing to be foolish, even if it means straying from the mainstream agenda and risking ridicule. I think we all sense that the world is ready for us to think outside the box, because that box of limited, conventional, rational thinking is destroying us. (p. 75)
Miles Neale (Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human)
Just as worn-out clothes can never again be made as new, It's no use seeing a doctor once you're terminally ill; You'll have to go. We humans living on this earth Are like streams and rivers flowing toward the ocean - All living beings are heading for that single destination. Now, like a small bird flying off from a treetop, I, too, will not be here much longer; soon I must move on. – Padampa Sangye
Dilgo Khyentse (The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most)
We have the assurance of the enlightened beings that reality is goodness, that reality is freedom from suffering, that reality is bliss. So we should never fear to open ourselves to reality, to cast aside our preconceptions and biases, and to open more and more to whatever turns out to be real. You can have faith in enlightenment, faith in evolutionary potential, faith in infinity, faith in your infinite self. (p. 222)
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
The forms of the central and surrounding deities... should not be protruding like a clay statue or cast image, yet neither should they be flat like a painting. In contrast, they should be apparent, yet not truly existent, like a rainbow in the sky or the reflection of the moon in a lake. They should appear as though conjured up by a magician. Clear appearance involves fixing the mind one-pointedly on these forms with a sense of vividness, nakedness, lucidity, and clarity.
Jigme Lingpa (Deity Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra)
In what is now known as Bodh Gaya…a Buddhist temple stands beside an ancient pipal, descended from that bodhi tree, or “enlightenment tree,” and I watched the rising of the morning star and came away no wiser than before. But later I wondered if the Tibetan monks were aware that the Bodhi tree was murmuring with gusts of birds, while another large pipal, so close by that it touched the holy tree with many branches, was without life. I make no claim for the event: I simply declare what I saw at Bodh Gaya.
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
The Three Jewels are the foundation of all forms of Buddhism, and the first jewel is the Buddha. The word buddha means „the Awakened One“. And it doesn‘t mean only Shakyamuni Buddha, formerly the prince Siddhartha, who became a perfect Buddha in the sixth century before the Common Era in India, whom we sometimes call the „historical Buddha“. Buddha means all those who have awakened from the sleep of ignorance and blossomed into their full potential. Awakened and blossomed, they are teachers of others. (pp. 30-31).
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
Any change in your mind, positive or negative, affects all others. The wish-granting gem tree is a morphic resonance field. The energy of one contains within it the energy of all. Every action affects all other actions. Whenever you turn your mind towards the wish-granting gems, everyone else‘s mind is turned in that way, too. The planet‘s mind turns with your mind. If you let your mind go in some negative, paranoid, self-indulgent, distracted way, the planet‘s mind turns in that way. You‘re totally interconnected with everything.
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
What lies at the root of our unenlightened existence is our fundamental misconception of the ultimate nature of reality. Therefore, by cultivating correct insight into true nature of reality, we begin the process of undoing unenlightened existence and set in motion the process of liberation. Samsara and nirvana are distinguished on the basis of whether we’re in a state of ignorance or wisdom. As the Tibetan masters say, when we’re ignorant, we’re in samsara; when we develop wisdom, we’re liberated. The ultimate antidote for eliminating fundamental ignorance is the wisdom realizing emptiness. It is this emptiness of mind that is the final nirvana.
Dalai Lama XIV (Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana's A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment and Lama Je Tsong Khapa's Lines of Experience)
Some people decided they couldn‘t wait for society to achieve freedom over a long period of time, felt they couldn‘t wait for enlightenment through many, many lifetimes of their own. These people decided they would achieve this perfect freedom and perfect ability to help others achieve freedom in a single lifetime. This was the beginning of the Tantric tradition, which was very esoteric at first. In the Tibetan view, Tantra emerged at the same time as the Mahayana, around one hundred years before the Common Era, but it remained completely esoteric for seven hundred years, without a single book on it being published. In its esoteric tradition, people lived on the fringes, on the margins; they were the magical people, the magicians, the siddas, the adepts. (p. 20)
Robert A.F. Thurman (The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism)
The great difference is that this version relies on the work of W. W. Rockhill. Rockhill was an American diplomat who lived in China in the nineteenth century, a linguistic genius—he must have been the first American to know Tibetan; he also produced a Chinese-English dictionary. And in 1884 he published a life of the Buddha according to the Tibetan canoṇ It draws from material of equivalent antiquity to that of the Pali Canon, from a source called the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya. He went through it in the 1870s and pulled out of it a story that is almost identical to the story that I reconstructed from the Pali materials. Somewhat embarrassingly, I hadn’t actually read Rockhill until quite recently. I didn’t think the Tibetan material would be relevant. But I was wrong. The Tibetan Vinaya, from the Mūlasarvāstivāda school, gives us the same story, with the same characters, and the same relationships. The two versions don’t agree in every detail, but they’re remarkably similar.
Stephen Batchelor (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World)
The basic foundation of the practice of morality is to refrain from ten unwholesome actions: three pertaining to the body, four pertaining to speech, and three pertaining to thought. The three physical non-virtues are: (1) killing: intentionally taking the life of a living being, whether a human being, an animal, or even an insect; (2) stealing: taking possession of another’s property without his or her consent, regardless of its value; and (3) sexual misconduct: committing adultery. The four verbal non-virtues are: (4) lying: deceiving others through spoken word or gesture; (5) divisiveness: creating dissension by causing those in agreement to disagree or those in disagreement to disagree further; (6) harsh speech: verbally abusing others; and (7) senseless speech: talking about foolish things motivated by desire and so forth. The three mental non-virtues are: (8) covetousness: desiring to possess something that belongs to someone else; (9) harmful intent: wishing to injure others, whether in a great or small way; and (10) wrong view: holding that such things as rebirth, the law of cause and effect, or the Three Jewels8 do not exist.
Dalai Lama XIV (The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice)
Initially, we should practice Chöd alone in our rooms at night, quietly, with less fear. It is by gradually developing bodhicitta and wisdom realizing emptiness—not by just becoming braver—that we can confidently realize that whatever appears or happens can be transformed into the path. At that point, we should become more determined in our place of practice, Do not, under any circumstances, endanger your life in the choice of a place. Unless we have great experience, we should never do this practice in any place that is threatened by falling rocks or trees, possible floods, or the threat of a collapsing house. Eventually, when we achieve full confidence in Chöd, there is no need to go to violent places at all. This is because terrifying visions will appear wherever we are. That is important because we need terrifying visions of spirits if we are to practice Chöd sincerely. People have different mental capacities for fear. Some are too brave, some are too afraid. Both of these types of people will find Chöd difficult. We must have some fear for this practice to be successful. A desperate search for the "I" causes fear to develop. The best method for overcoming this fear is bodhicitta and wisdom realizing emptiness. It is because of the need for fear that practice should be done alone. Any group retreat on Chöd lessens the fear involved. Engaging in the practice at night also increases the necessary fear.
Zongtrul Losang Tsöndru (Chöd in the Ganden Tradition: The Oral Instructions of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche)
Those who practice the Dharma of the Mahayana in accordance with the Buddha's intention are known as bodhisattvas. If you practice the teachings of the Mahayana, you can reach the level of the great bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri, in the best case, or become like the Buddha's two main disciples Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, who were gifted with insight and miraculous powers. Even if you are unable to practice to the full in this life, you will at least be reborn among the principal disciples of the future Buddha, Maitreya. The buddhas being those who have totally conquered the enemies of ignorance and the other emotions, they are often referred to by the synonym 'Victorious Ones,' while bodhisattvas, in many texts including the Tibetan original of the root verses of these teachings, are called 'children of the Victorious Ones'. Who, then, are the children of the buddhas? In the case of Buddha Shakyamuni, the child of his body was his physical son, Prince Rahula. The children of his speech were all those who heard him teach and attained the level of arhart - the great beings such as Shariputra, Maudgalayana, the sixteen arhats and others, who became the holders of his teachings. Above all, the children of the buddha's mind are the great bodhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri, who carry out their noble intention to bring all beings to enlightenment. For, just as a great monarch with a thousand children would choose the one with the most perfect qualities to be his heir, so, too, a buddha regards as his authentic heirs the bodhisattvas who have perfected the union of wisdom and compassion.
Dilgo Khyentse (The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva)
As in other Buddhist Tantric techniques, recommended preliminaries for these practices include developing skill at both calm-abiding (zhi gnas; śamatha) and insight meditation (lhag mthong; vipaśyanā). As in earlier Buddhist teachings, many Chöd dehadāna practices emphasize renunciation, purification, and self-transformation through the accumulation of merit and the exhaustion of demerit. Rather than suggesting that one must wait to accumulate adequate merit before offering the gift of the body, however, Chöd provides the opportunity for immediately efficacious offering of the body through techniques of visualization. Using a technique which echoes the traditional Buddhist teaching of the of the mind-made body (manomayākāya), the practitioner engages in visualizations which allow her to experience the non-duality of agent and object as she offers her body. The process of giving the body as a means of attainment is commonly articulated in Chöd practice texts (sgrub pa; sādhana). These practice texts exhibit the framework of mature Tantra sādhana, including the stages of generating bodhicitta, going for refuge, meditating on the four immeasurables, and making the eight-limbed offering. Generally speaking, the main section of a developed Chöd sādhana has three components. The first two—a transference of consciousness (nam mkha’ sgo ‘byed) practice, and a body maṇḍala (lus dkyil) practice—have distinctly purifying purposes. The Chöd transference of consciousness practice has parallels with other Buddhist practices called "’pho ba." In this part of the visualization practice, the practitioner’s consciousness is "ejected" from one's body through the Brahma aperture at the crown of one's head. At this time, one's consciousness can be visualized as becoming identical with an enlightened consciousness, which is embodied in a figure such as Machik, Vajrayoginī (Rdo rje rnal byor ma) or Vajravārāhī (Rdo rje phag mo). [....] In th[e] first stage of this transformation, the practitioner identifies with an enlightened being, thus overcoming attachment to her own body-mind aggregates and purifying them through this non-attachment. In the second stage, the practitioner can extend this identification: the practitioner identifies the microcosm of her body with macrocosms of the mundane and supramundane worlds. The body maṇḍala (lus dkyil) stage also allows the practitioner to reconceptualize her body as expanding through space and time and becoming indistinguishable from the realm of the supramundane, or the Dharmadhātu (chos kyi dbyings). Through the process of reconstructing her identity, the practitioner is able to see herself as the ultimate source of offerings for all sentient beings.
Michelle J. Sorensen (Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition)
One of the positive side-effects of maintaining a very high degree of awareness of death is that it will prepare the individual to such an extent that, when the individual actually faces death, he or she will be in a better position to maintain his or her presence of mind. Especially in Tantric Buddhism, it is considered that the state of mind which one experiences at the point of death is extremely subtle and, because of the subtlety of the level of that consciousness, it also has a great power and impact upon one’s mental continuum. In Tantric practices we find a lot of emphasis placed on reflections upon the process of death, so that the individual at the time of death not only retains his or her presence of mind, but also is in a position to utilize that subtle state of consciousness effectively towards the realization of the path. From the Tantric perspective, the entire process of existence is explained in terms of the three stages known as ‘death’, the ‘intermediate state’ and ‘rebirth’. All of these three stages of existence are seen as states or manifestations of the consciousness and the energies that accompany or propel the consciousness, so that the intermediate state and rebirth are nothing other than various levels of the subtle consciousness and energy. An example of such fluctuating states can be found in our daily existence, when during the 24-hour day we go through a cycle of deep sleep, the waking period and the dream state. Our daily existence is in fact characterized by these three stages. As death becomes something familiar to you, as you have some knowledge of its processes and can recognize its external and internal indications, you are prepared for it. According to my own experience, I still have no confidence that at the moment of death I will really implement all these practices for which I have prepared. I have no guarantee! Sometimes when I think about death I get some kind of excitement. Instead of fear, I have a feeling of curiosity and this makes it much easier for me to accept death. Of course, my only burden if I die today is, ‘Oh, what will happen to Tibet? What about Tibetan culture? What about the six million Tibetan people’s rights?’ This is my main concern. Otherwise, I feel almost no fear of death. In my daily practice of prayer I visualize eight different deity yogas and eight different deaths. Perhaps when death comes all my preparation may fail. I hope not! I think these practices are mentally very helpful in dealing with death. Even if there is no next life, there is some benefit if they relieve fear. And because there is less fear, one can be more fully prepared. If you are fully prepared then, at the moment of death, you can retain your peace of mind. I think at the time of death a peaceful mind is essential no matter what you believe in, whether it is Buddhism or some other religion. At the moment of death, the individual should not seek to develop anger, hatred and so on. I think even non-believers see that it is better to pass away in a peaceful manner, it is much happier. Also, for those who believe in heaven or some other concept, it is also best to pass away peacefully with the thought of one’s own God or belief in higher forces. For Buddhists and also other ancient Indian traditions, which accept the rebirth or karma theory, naturally at the time of death a virtuous state of mind is beneficial.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom)