Quotations are selected from Quotes and Quotes II  – Dharma Publishing.

These two journal/ books were published in 2018 to celebrate fifty years of Tarthang Tulku teaching in America. They contain quotations on beauty, mind, body, caring, knowledge, language, work, goodness, relaxation, meditation, appreciation. 

The quotes are insightful and inspiring, each inviting deeper understanding of our potential; powerful reminders to value and care for our own lives and the lives of others.

As more people become aware of Tarthang Tulku’s profoundly inspirational life and work, and what he has to say, the teachings will spread.

This blog can be a simple way to enjoy and share these insights.

A Gift of Appreciation

A few years ago I sent the following quote from Rinpoche to my friend Jack McDonald, a legendary Professor of Finance at Stanford University.

        “It has more to do with pursuing our highest ideals and values. For instance, it might have to do with helping others – our family, our friends, our community – or making a contribution to humanity. It might have to do with advancing knowledge or creating beauty. Your values may be very different from someone else’s, and that is fine. But the question to ask is whether you are letting time go by in activities that have nothing to do with your own sense of what’s important. That’s what I mean by getting a good return on your investment.”

While we were visiting him last January in the hospital, I learned from his son, Tom, that Jack had posted the quote on his refrigerator. Tom had copied it and had it on his refrigerator as well. Both appreciated the quote.

By the time we visited, Jack could no longer speak. That evening, Tom told me later, he read his father the quote. Jack raised his thumb in the air; the sure sign all was well. A few days later, Jack died.

Perhaps it was my great respect for Jack that led me to reflect how inspirational Rinpoche’s quotes can be – how they can make such a powerful difference in our lives.

As I dwelled on this, the idea arose to make a book of selected quotes in celebration of Rinpoche’s 50 years of teaching in America and present it to him on July 4, 2018.

From the beginning, the intention was for it to be a secular book that would connect and inspire (literally, “breathe in”). A book for all: your friends, neighbor, relative; your dental hygienist.

I reached out to friends and students of Rinpoche. As the quotes rolled in and the selection and order began, I experienced a personal transformation. So many quotes, read over and over, seemingly gentle inquiries, reflections and poetry. It made me curious.

Each morning or evening, sometimes both, I would read a quote. It became an addiction. I wanted more; not more quotes but more understanding. What did the words mean? What was this power that had seduced me?

Was it…. The depth of the questions? The poetry, the suggested exercises, the charm? The unmistakably uplifting nature of what Rinpoche had to say? Composing the book began to feel like creating a musical piece with far grander proportions than I understood. I decided on a minimalist design, a book that was also a journal, allowing the space and openness for writing and reflection. And then there were more questions:

How did these quotes unleash such a tidal wave of creativity and curiosity? What jump started this awareness and appreciation? What is it about questioning, about the beauty it evokes, that is so freeing and opening – so much fun? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS BOOK!?

See for yourself. It is a gift, available to all.

Barry J. Schieber