Spiritual well-being

In this technological age, we are encouraged to believe that science will provide a better life for us and for our children, curing our ills and expanding knowledge.

Confidence in science has gradually eroded faith in older forms of knowledge related to spiritual well-being, as if there were no room in the human heart for both.

Have we gained the miracles of technology and modern medicine, only to lose contact with a  deeper dimension of knowledge?

When we are unable to trust in knowledge that embraces spiritual as well as physical needs, we cut ourselves off from all that gives experience brightness and meaning.

Life tends to become flat and dull, our actions driven by habit.

Within today’s most advanced societies, we see symptoms of a deep discomfort that indicate the needs of our inner being are not being addressed. 

Gesar Summer 1992

Seeking benefit

Mind is always seeking benefit.

Sometimes it tells you that the benefit is over here, other times it tells you that the benefit is somewhere else.

You do your best to follow its lead, to live by the rules.

If you think you have done so successfully, you stand back, filled with a sense of accomplishment.

You put your achievement on a pedestal. You patent it, and you own it.                                                     

This is perfectly natural, but it also leads nowhere.   

Everyone is always looking for a purpose—if you don’t have a purpose, the mind tells you are a nobody, and you agree: “Yes, I am a nobody.”

You give in totally to being nobody.

But that is mind-manipulation.

You accept its biases, and you give in to the black and white thinking of “I am” and “I am not.”

You are still clinging to concepts and language. 

Creative Journey 

Honesty

Regardless of our past, we can now make a choice for our future.

If we are determined to work on ourselves honestly and intelligently much worthwhile growth can take place.

Honesty is required because we have to learn to take care of ourselves in the best possible way; intelligence is required because there are many obstacles to overcome.

Unless we are relentlessly honest, ultimately we will cheat ourselves by trying to cover up our mistakes or trying to escape our difficulties, rather than confronting ourselves and bringing about meaningful change.

If we want to attain inner peace and balance, we must begin with honesty.

Tibetan Meditation

A compassionate heart

Compassion is a healthy psychological attitude, because it does not involve expectations or demands.

Even if we are not able to accomplish very much on a physical level, at least can have the desire to be a loving person with a compassionate heart—the wish to help others, spontaneously, with no reservations.

This attitude automatically opens our hearts and develops our compassion.

Then we can sincerely say to ourselves, “If there is any way I can learn to increase my compassion or understanding of humanity, then I wish to receive that teaching—wherever it exists—and take the responsibility to use that knowledge to help others.” 

Tibetan Meditation

Begin a life of compassion

When you commit to yourself to be open and to free yourself from the bondage of the mind, you are also making the commitment to help others around you, and all sentient beings.

Your heart opens, and you begin a life of compassion.

That will develop on its own into the ability to know and act in truly helpful ways. 

Challenging Journey, Creative Journey

Taking refuge in our hearts

Once we clearly recognize that our expectations lead only to disappointment and frustration, constant grasping no longer binds us, and we become more open to our experiences.

We can find satisfaction anywhere—a simple walk may give more pleasure than any other entertainment.

But until we open our hearts, there is little inspiration, inner light, or warmth to sustain us, for we constantly undermine ourselves.

Ultimately no one can really help us unless we take the first step, listen to ourselves, encourage ourselves, and give ourselves confidence by taking refuge in our hearts.

Once our hearts are open, all existence appears naturally beautiful and harmonious.

This is not just another fantasy—it is possible to see and feel this way, and this is the essence of the spiritual teachings.

The heart reveals all knowledge to us.

Why the heart and not the mind?

Because our egos control our heads, and our hearts are much more free. 

Tibetan Meditation

Natural awareness

Awareness generally means to be “aware of some thing”— to look at objects, to recognize, identify, and try to understand them.

This is commonsense awareness.

But as a living experience, natural awareness is simple and direct, open and responsive, without concepts, words, images and interpretations.

Awareness takes place within the first moment, not before, and not after.

It is immediate, spontaneous.

There is no other “thing” to obscure the moment—there is no subject or object, no time or space.

All that remains is within this openness, which neither words nor concept can describe.

There is complete freedom from our restless attempts to hold on to something, to be secure in some distraction or some trance-like fixation.

There is no fear and no guilt—no desire to escape or be any other way. There becomes complete self-acceptance and generates a fresh new outlook all its own. 

Tibetan Meditation