Exercise: Protect Your Potential
Take a moment to reflect on the people in your life who, one way or another, could not achieve their full potential. Consider what their lives might have been like if they had been able to commit to their best selves and bring them into being. Imagine the beauty and goodness they would have added to the world.
Now, make a list of your own inner aspirations, your dreams for yourself. Look at them carefully, and consider whether they are worth a deep investment of your time and energy. If you are convinced, make yourself a promise in the memory of all your friends and loved ones who couldn’t make their aspirations come true, you will do better: you will not give up on yourself.
Caring, p. 78
To understand who we are and what we are doing, we must understand the meaning of silence.
Within silence there is balance.
When everything becomes simplified through silence, all the tangles of our inner knots and problems gradually dissolve. True silence comes from within. It is not merely the absence of speech: It is pure naturalness–absolute calm, without fixation, without preparation. Nothing is required except, simply to be.
If this means something to you, then it is not silence, for silence does not hold on to anything. But when we cannot hold on to some idea, or some fascination, we tend to feel lost, as if we had no identity. This sense of loss threatens us very deeply.
Within silence, mind and body become transparent, and we can discover who we really are.
Crystal Mirror IV, page 59
Imagine that you are completely empty, that inner space is free and unoccupied. Imagine that gradually and gently the heart begins to open, like a little bud of light expanding in space.
Mandala Gardens page 61
Until we fully understand ourselves, we may have a feeling that we are not enough–not strong enough, not good enough, not whole enough within ourselves. This can lead us to turn outside ourselves for ways to manage this feeling of being inadequate or incomplete. We may look for leisure time, companionship, possessions or accomplishments in order to support ourselves.
As long as we sense a lack, we will need to respond to this need within ourselves with kindness, and deliberately cultivate our confidence and self-esteem. This work we can do right now, without needing to wait for deep insight into ourselves; all it requires is a shift in emphasis from getting things to cultivating the beauty of our juncture, our unique moment in time.
Knowledge of OK Mantra p 25
Recently, we have launched a new initiative: creating contemplative spaces that will feature “Quotes of Wisdom.”
These are spaces of beauty, quietude, inspiration and reflection—spaces that create a natural sense of curiosity and inquiry, a pause in the daily routine, free from the busyness and distractions of everyday life.
The simple environment of contemplative space invites you to take an empty folio, and look around at quotations displayed in pocket holders. Each holder contains a quote from Tarthang Tulku’s books. Visitors can take as many quotes as they like, place them in the insert in the folio, and sit and reflect or take them home.
The proposal to create Quotes of Wisdom Exhibits has been received with open arms by universities throughout the country. In September Wellesley College in Massachusetts will be the first to install the exhibition for students, faculty and the public.
More “contemplative spaces” will be available this fall.
The “Quotes of Wisdom Exhibit” seems to speak to a time where people are sincerely interested in finding balance and harmony in a world filled with discord, confusion, fear and emotionality. The opportunity to reflect on insights in a contemplative space provides a fresh way of connecting to a deeper understanding of human potential.
We need to connect to our experience through the heart. It doesn’t matter whether what you are feeling is positive or negative—just bring it close to your heart. once the heart feeling is there, it naturally opens up in positive ways. It begins to expand, and the sense that you are separate from others becomes questionable, so that you can easily imagine sharing positive feelings with others. You don’t have to work out in advance what you want to do or how you can be of benefit. All that comes naturally. You can find ways to communicate that don’t depend on external conditions or holding the same values or ideas.
Like bees, we can go from flower to flower, but what will we do when all the flowers have faded? By learning how to be totally satisfied every moment, our time will never be wasted.
When we look at our situation in relations to others, how much do we have to offer? What can we do to honor those who have gone before us? How can we lighten the load of future generations? How can we support their activities and speak to their concerns?
If we really want to address these questions, we will need to ask first how to take care of our own minds. We have all experienced emotions like anger, disappointment, desire, anxiety and confusion.
What can we do now to reach inner peace?
What knowledge can we apply in this lifetime today?
Balance begins with each of us.
If individuals take responsibility for their own inner environment, and learn how to nourish the heart, human activity will grow less destructive to our own species and to the planet.
When the result of meditation and awareness comes into your life, truth becomes your way of being, and your actions naturally harmonize with your environment.
This sounds sweet.
It seems like a good idea.
Then why not put it into effect?