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object:Tenzin Palmo
object:Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
subject class:Tibetan Buddhism

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Tenzin Palmo


QUOTES [0 / 0 - 246 / 246]

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  244 Tenzin Palmo
   2 Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

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1:I'm glad that I'm female. ~ Tenzin Palmo
2:Merit clears away obstacles. ~ Tenzin Palmo
3:Different people are different. ~ Tenzin Palmo
4:First you have to help yourself. ~ Tenzin Palmo
5:In this life you have obstacles. ~ Tenzin Palmo
6:It's important to lighten up a bit! ~ Tenzin Palmo
7:We have the pure nature of the mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
8:You have to recharge your batteries. ~ Tenzin Palmo
9:My body is not good for prostrations. ~ Tenzin Palmo
10:When I look back I feel very grateful. ~ Tenzin Palmo
11:Until you are open, you cannot receive. ~ Tenzin Palmo
12:Still all the tulkus being born are men. ~ Tenzin Palmo
13:We're reborn every second, every moment. ~ Tenzin Palmo
14:Our pure awareness is not male or female. ~ Tenzin Palmo
15:There are wonderful beings in this world. ~ Tenzin Palmo
16:The power of thought is extremely powerful. ~ Tenzin Palmo
17:Women are fully capable of doing everything. ~ Tenzin Palmo
18:I think many monks hesitate to change things. ~ Tenzin Palmo
19:Tibetans are great with meritorious practices. ~ Tenzin Palmo
20:The nature of the mind is completely incredible. ~ Tenzin Palmo
21:Actually we've got countless lifetimes, so relax. ~ Tenzin Palmo
22:It's unlikely that you were a frog in a past life. ~ Tenzin Palmo
23:We shouldn't be too naïve, or taken in by charisma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
24:Our relative being is what rules our relative world. ~ Tenzin Palmo
25:There are certain teachers who shouldn't be teachers. ~ Tenzin Palmo
26:We do have the precious opportunity of this human life. ~ Tenzin Palmo
27:I sometimes feel tremendous compassion and helplessness. ~ Tenzin Palmo
28:I find that being with other people dissipates my energy. ~ Tenzin Palmo
29:The Buddha always emphased the important of good friends. ~ Tenzin Palmo
30:The thing to do in this lifetime is to create more merit. ~ Tenzin Palmo
31:Keep your practice very simple and don't be too ambitious. ~ Tenzin Palmo
32:I think we females have a lot of work to do for each other. ~ Tenzin Palmo
33:We are educated. We can think. We have the freedom to think. ~ Tenzin Palmo
34:Basically, I feel to spend the rest of my life doing retreat. ~ Tenzin Palmo
35:Because we're trying, because we want, it's very hard to get. ~ Tenzin Palmo
36:In the beginning especially, we won't realize we're changing. ~ Tenzin Palmo
37:Obviously being relaxed doesn't mean that you make no effort. ~ Tenzin Palmo
38:If you just follow your inner calling, then you just go ahead. ~ Tenzin Palmo
39:Meditation is a way to take us to a deeper level of awareness. ~ Tenzin Palmo
40:You can certainly learn how to rest in the nature of the mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
41:If nuns begin getting more empowered, where does that leave us? ~ Tenzin Palmo
42:Either we're aware and present, or we're not. There is no half way. ~ Tenzin Palmo
43:In Dharma practice, the most important thing is to be very sincere. ~ Tenzin Palmo
44:Yes, times are not good, but when were times good? This is samsara. ~ Tenzin Palmo
45:I think the problem with Western students is they're very ambitious. ~ Tenzin Palmo
46:From the point of view of the relative world, merit is very important. ~ Tenzin Palmo
47:I really don't know what I could teach and don't really plan to teach. ~ Tenzin Palmo
48:We have produced many of our problems through our confused mental states. ~ Tenzin Palmo
49:To be enlightened doesn't mean you end up stupefied and unable to function. ~ Tenzin Palmo
50:The dharma is here. And the dharma is in your heart. Where else would it be? ~ Tenzin Palmo
51:Try to develop some genuine love and compassion, some real caring for others. ~ Tenzin Palmo
52:As my lama always told me, I learned that I practice better when I'm by myself. ~ Tenzin Palmo
53:As women become more educated and confident, they can start adding their voice. ~ Tenzin Palmo
54:If you're meeting with the dharma, you have probably been a human being before. ~ Tenzin Palmo
55:Wherever we are and whatever we're doing, we're either conscious, or we're not. ~ Tenzin Palmo
56:One thing in the Buddhadharma is that we are not our body, we are not our gender. ~ Tenzin Palmo
57:Until time and space exist... I vow to come back for the benefit of other beings. ~ Tenzin Palmo
58:In one way I would like to teach, but I have no qualifications to teach Westerners. ~ Tenzin Palmo
59:Of course, now as a woman you can do so much, without being necessarily a rinpoche. ~ Tenzin Palmo
60:Even if one isn't a committed Buddhist, it just helps us become better human beings. ~ Tenzin Palmo
61:People talk over and over about bodhichitta, but so often their heart is quite cold. ~ Tenzin Palmo
62:The Buddha said that samsara by its nature is painful. He didn't say it was a joyride. ~ Tenzin Palmo
63:To be completely enlightened means that you're a Buddha.I don't speak of enlightenment. ~ Tenzin Palmo
64:When we read history we find that in all ages people have thought, this is the dark age. ~ Tenzin Palmo
65:I think it's a meritorious action to become a monk, provided that your motivation is pure. ~ Tenzin Palmo
66:At the age of 21 I was so sensible and became a nun. I am very grateful to myself for that. ~ Tenzin Palmo
67:Just because someone is very charismatic, it doesn't mean that they're genuinely qualified. ~ Tenzin Palmo
68:There are other ways of benefiting than by being a recognized tulku and sitting on a throne. ~ Tenzin Palmo
69:We all have our own karma and so different teachers will be meaningful to different students. ~ Tenzin Palmo
70:I think, for East and West, the first thing we need is a good grounding in basic Buddhadharma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
71:We're not lowly sinners, we're not worthless beings. We are something jewel-like and beautiful. ~ Tenzin Palmo
72:You can still practice to be a better and kinder and happier person. That's perfectly possible. ~ Tenzin Palmo
73:We need to be sincere in our practice, but at the same time we can't take ourselves too seriously. ~ Tenzin Palmo
74:There is a tremendous rise now in feminine awareness and wishing for equality, equal opportunities. ~ Tenzin Palmo
75:Our thinking can create liberation or it can create imprisonment. It depends on how we use our mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
76:I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form - no matter how many lifetimes it takes. ~ Tenzin Palmo
77:It's interesting to see people's projections because one lives very much in the world of projections. ~ Tenzin Palmo
78:When I was in retreat I just did my meditation sessions and, in-between, reading and things I had to do. ~ Tenzin Palmo
79:Develop confidence in your innate qualities and believe that these qualities will be brought to fruition. ~ Tenzin Palmo
80:It takes a tremendous amount of merit to meet with the dharma - especially if you have an interest in it. ~ Tenzin Palmo
81:The future of Dharma is in women's hands now because they have this energy which was never really tapped. ~ Tenzin Palmo
82:In our endless past lives, we've all done everything, you name it, we've done it. Good, bad, intermediate. ~ Tenzin Palmo
83:A dog, however nice he is, and sweet-tempered, doesn't have much of a range of options. A human being does. ~ Tenzin Palmo
84:Meditation is for you to realise that the deepest nature of your existence is beyond thoughts and emotions, ~ Tenzin Palmo
85:The Buddha himself said, "I still use conceptual thinking, but I'm not formed by it." And that's the Buddha. ~ Tenzin Palmo
86:Monastic life cuts off the distractions and emotional entanglements one becomes involved in, in the lay life. ~ Tenzin Palmo
87:When Tibetan lamas die they stay in a realization of clear light nature of the mind for several days or weeks. ~ Tenzin Palmo
88:I've often said that the seventh paramita should be a sense of humor, so we don't take ourselves too seriously. ~ Tenzin Palmo
89:On a relative level where we live, we need to have a sense of identity, otherwise we'd fall apart, wouldn't we? ~ Tenzin Palmo
90:This precious life is our opportunity. We are not the millions and millions of other things that are not human. ~ Tenzin Palmo
91:The Dharma is a very, very special and precious thing. The more you practice it, the more you will realize this. ~ Tenzin Palmo
92:In the very deep darkness of this world, little pinpoints of light show up very brightly and can shine a long way. ~ Tenzin Palmo
93:To become effortless takes a lot of effort. It's good to compare it to learning an instrument or learning a sport. ~ Tenzin Palmo
94:One of the beauties of the Buddhadharma is there are so many approaches, and not everything is right for everybody. ~ Tenzin Palmo
95:The real spiritual power is enabling beings to realize the nature of the mind. That's the power of Buddha activity. ~ Tenzin Palmo
96:We should develop a deep appreciation for all the we have, and not waste it, otherwise we'll die with deep regrets. ~ Tenzin Palmo
97:Whether we're in retreat or out in the world, we should try to develop the quality of awareness as much as possible. ~ Tenzin Palmo
98:Distraction is the main problem for us all - what the Buddha called the monkey mind. We need to tame this monkey mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
99:The answer lies within ourselves. If we can't find peace and happiness there, it's not going to come from the outside. ~ Tenzin Palmo
100:We're always given the message that our potential is so limited, which is so sad. Actually, our potential is infinite. ~ Tenzin Palmo
101:I do think that someone who decides to devote themselves entirely to the spiritual life, that that is more meritorious. ~ Tenzin Palmo
102:We have to transform those ordinary actions of our day into dharma practice because otherwise nothing is going to move. ~ Tenzin Palmo
103:We only think about the difficult people and the horrible things that happen. That's what gets all the media attention. ~ Tenzin Palmo
104:To want not to want, you'll tie yourself in knots. So this is why the Tibetans always say, just relax the mind and open. ~ Tenzin Palmo
105:There are certain people who people think are enlightened. The problem with the word enlightenment is what you mean by it. ~ Tenzin Palmo
106:Western Tibetan Buddhists are always looking out there at the distant snow peaks and they lose the flowers along the path. ~ Tenzin Palmo
107:People get very deep experiences and they think they're enlightened. That's not enlightenment, that's just some realization. ~ Tenzin Palmo
108:My mother's love was really not based on attachment. Her love was genuine love. To make me happy, not how I will make her happy. ~ Tenzin Palmo
109:The problem is that our inherent ignorance keeps us in samsara and unable to benefit ourselves and others on a really deep level. ~ Tenzin Palmo
110:The world is full of incredible people who are embodiments of compassion. Some of them have a spiritual path; some of them don't. ~ Tenzin Palmo
111:Buddhism helps us to overcome our endless ego grasping mind to open up to something so much more spacious and genuinely meaningful. ~ Tenzin Palmo
112:Some males are intelligent, some are dumb. Some females are intelligent, some are dumb. We're all human beings, no one is superior. ~ Tenzin Palmo
113:Joining the Sangha and renouncing worldly life is necessary in order to devote your whole life and all your energies toward the Dharma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
114:Just entering into the dharma and taking refuge and bodhisattva vows is a tremendous amount of merit, but we need more and more and more. ~ Tenzin Palmo
115:Learn not to be too ambitious; not to expect if you have a 9-to-5 job and three kids, that you're likely to get buddhahood in one lifetime. ~ Tenzin Palmo
116:If you've made a lot of negative seeds, and not a lot of positive seeds, even though you meet with the dharma, you're going to have problems. ~ Tenzin Palmo
117:Look at your own potential. Don't overestimate your capabilities and push too hard, or underestimate them and use that as an excuse to be lazy. ~ Tenzin Palmo
118:There are wars, there's pestilence, there are plagues, there is corruption in religious circles, corruption in the government, when was it not? ~ Tenzin Palmo
119:We don't always need to be sitting at the foot of the teacher, but from time to time we need someone who can overview us and give us direction. ~ Tenzin Palmo
120:I don't think I've changed anything, but I hope that by my talks I have encouraged people in their practice. That's as much as any of us can do. ~ Tenzin Palmo
121:If you take the time to study how to be a doctor and how to use your scalpel and your medicine, then there are endless beings out there to help. ~ Tenzin Palmo
122:Obviously the dharma is every breath we take, every thought we think, every word we speak, if we do it with awareness and an open, caring heart. ~ Tenzin Palmo
123:We have met with the dharma. Many of us have met with teachers. We do have some idea of what to do and how to practice. And we should not be lazy. ~ Tenzin Palmo
124:As a human being, we have everything we need. It's enough suffering to give us incentive to go on, but not so much that we don't know where to turn. ~ Tenzin Palmo
125:The purpose of dharma is to help your mind to expand, to grow, to clarify. It should uphold us and create an inner sense of peace, joy, and clarity. ~ Tenzin Palmo
126:We've been human countless times and done everything you can imagine. So we've been planting all these negative seeds, and they're going to come up. ~ Tenzin Palmo
127:With sincerity from the depths of your heart to do the best you can, just keep going and don't worry too much that you're not Milarepa or Rechungpa. ~ Tenzin Palmo
128:I don't know why I got reborn as a female. Maybe in my past life I had some sympathy or something for women, but I certainly wasn't a female last time. ~ Tenzin Palmo
129:The Tibetans are good at learning many skillful ways to show that everything we do becomes dharma practice, depending on which kind of approach we use. ~ Tenzin Palmo
130:When I heard that our bodies change when we get a bit older, I thought, oh good, now I'll go back to being a boy again. But it didn't happen like that. ~ Tenzin Palmo
131:Forget about realizing shunyata and going on the different bhumis and all this. Just stay in the moment, stay aware, be kind and try to improve your mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
132:It's only when all the dust is completely gone from the mirror, and there is only mirror, no dust, that we're really enlightened. So that's a lot of work. ~ Tenzin Palmo
133:Many people are benefiting beings, but from a dharma point of view, if you are a dharma practitioner, then the first priority is to get yourself together. ~ Tenzin Palmo
134:A lot of people with the purest motivation end up getting completely burned out. And that's because they lack the wisdom and the skill and the inner space. ~ Tenzin Palmo
135:A realized being would not be making any fresh karma because karma is very much connected to the ego but would still be receiving the results of past karma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
136:The very best players, when they are practicing, put everything they've got into it. But then they leave it for a while. And it's the same in dharma practice. ~ Tenzin Palmo
137:At one time I thought that if I could really understand renunciation and bodhichitta from the depths of my heart, then, for this lifetime that would be enough. ~ Tenzin Palmo
138:There is a basic problem that a lot of Western monks and nuns become ordained without really understanding or appreciating what the monastic life is all about. ~ Tenzin Palmo
139:If you lose interest in the dharma, then you might be reborn in a place where you are unlikely to meet with the dharma. And then you're completely off the path. ~ Tenzin Palmo
140:Since I was a small child, I'd believed we were inherently perfect, and that we had to keep coming back again and again until we recognized our innate perfection. ~ Tenzin Palmo
141:Why are we sitting? Why are we practicing? Why are we doing anything? It's not so I can be happy. It's so I can embody the dharma in order to benefit other beings. ~ Tenzin Palmo
142:All of us are playing roles, and there's nothing wrong with playing roles because we have to live in this world - the problem is only when we believe in those roles. ~ Tenzin Palmo
143:I've always loved the Sangha. I have the deepest, deepest respect for them. I'm very sorry that in the West people don't appreciate what the monastic order is about. ~ Tenzin Palmo
144:You think you're enlightened. But as my lama said, when you realize the intrinsic nature of the mind, then you start to meditate. It's not the end, it's the beginning. ~ Tenzin Palmo
145:It's interesting that in those countries like Taiwan or Korea, where nuns are given equal opportunities for study and practice, they also develop great social awareness. ~ Tenzin Palmo
146:If you become a monk because it's an easy life, because you're going to be fed, and sheltered and people will respect you, then that is not a very meritorious motivation. ~ Tenzin Palmo
147:We don't want to go to heaven. We want to be reborn so that we can keep going and realize the dharma so we can benefit other beings, endlessly. It's a very different thing. ~ Tenzin Palmo
148:You see people swimming, and you think, oh, how wonderful to swim. But most people stand on the edge swaying back and forth, afraid to jump. They don't think they can swim. ~ Tenzin Palmo
149:For so many centuries women have been suppressed and regarded as inferior. And that of course is not right at all, that we all have buddha-nature - so what's the difference? ~ Tenzin Palmo
150:From the point of view of emptiness, there is neither being nor non-being, but we're not on the point of view of emptiness, we're on the point of view of our relative being. ~ Tenzin Palmo
151:We're not making up merit scores for ourselves. We're making up merit scores so that we can be reborn in a situation where we can really live to benefit ourselves and others. ~ Tenzin Palmo
152:People should find what approach really speaks to them, and then do it. Obviously, better with a good teacher, who can help you on the path. But in any case, basic principles. ~ Tenzin Palmo
153:Sometimes people come and they have so much pain and confusion in their eyes... what to do? A few words is a little bit of balm but doesn't really solve the deep disease within. ~ Tenzin Palmo
154:If we greet situations with a positive attitude, we will eventually create positive returns. If we respond with a negative attitude, negative things will eventually come our way. ~ Tenzin Palmo
155:In fact there are beautiful people in this world doing incredibly selfless acts over and over and over. Dedicating their lives completely for the welfare and happiness of others. ~ Tenzin Palmo
156:I think if you really start practicing, the energy comes. I was always very happy and grateful for the opportunity to have the time, solitude and good health to be able to do it. ~ Tenzin Palmo
157:The more you realize, the more you realize there is nothing to realize. The idea that there's somewhere we have got to get to, and something we have to attain, is our basic delusion. ~ Tenzin Palmo
158:Why do some people, when they want to practice, keep coming against problems and difficulties, and obstacles - inner obstacles and outer obstacles? It's because of the lack of merit. ~ Tenzin Palmo
159:There are many wonderfully qualified teachers out there, but that doesn't mean that each teacher is suitable to the same person, anymore than people fall in love with the same person. ~ Tenzin Palmo
160:If you're born in the higher realms, then it's too pleasant, and you don't have any incentive to practice. If you're born in the lower realms, you don't have any opportunity to practice. ~ Tenzin Palmo
161:For any practice to work, the mind which is meditating on the object must merge. Often they are facing each other. One has to become completely absorbed, then the transformation will occur. ~ Tenzin Palmo
162:This is a time that calls for extreme restraint. In a world of outright aggression and violence there can be no winners. To respond to violence with counter-violence only throws oil on the fire. ~ Tenzin Palmo
163:The Tibetans have many teachings on how to die, consciously, and how to remain in the clear light, and it works. You can see it working, and they can stay in that state for hours, days, or weeks. ~ Tenzin Palmo
164:The first thing is to learn how to quiet the mind, relax the mind, and bring the awareness to the front so that we are conscious of what we're doing when we're doing it without all the commentary. ~ Tenzin Palmo
165:Once one has understand what is Buddhadharma, what is not Buddhadharma, and once one has had enough view to see the different approaches, then it's important to really look at what speaks to one's heart. ~ Tenzin Palmo
166:for any practice to work, the mind which is meditating and the object of meditation must merge. Often they are facing each other. One has to become completely absorbed, then the transformation will occur. ~ Tenzin Palmo
167:I remember asking my mother if she believed in reincarnation and she said that that sounded very sensible, and I thought, yes, it does to me too. So I always believed in it. I can't remember when I didn't. ~ Tenzin Palmo
168:I'd say look at the teacher's students. Do you want to be like them? If you see a good and harmonious sangha, and if they're practicing well and are good people with good hearts, then you have a cause for trust. ~ Tenzin Palmo
169:It's very important to realize that every person that you meet, everything that you do, with the right attitude and a little awareness and skillful means - we can transform everything - all our joys and sorrows. ~ Tenzin Palmo
170:What I like about Tibetan Buddhism is it was taken to Tibet in the 7th century and then again in the 11th. It has everything that had been collected in India up until that time. And so on all levels, it's so vast. ~ Tenzin Palmo
171:If we want to be musicians, dancers or sportspeople, we can download a certain amount and watch DVDs and read books, but in the end we need someone to assess us and give us personal instruction. The two go together. ~ Tenzin Palmo
172:Most religions have always appreciated the extreme power of concentrated thought directed toward the benefit of others, especially when that person is practicing in solitude. That's why they have contemplative orders. ~ Tenzin Palmo
173:Tibetans - at least traditionally - are so totally permeated with the dharma that they don't see any difference between dharma and everyday life, really. And therefore they enjoy it because they don't make a separation. ~ Tenzin Palmo
174:Other people may tell us, "Oh, you're so much nicer." Of course you can't hope that other people will tell you that you're so much nicer, but that's always a good sign. Perhaps people find that you're easier to live with. ~ Tenzin Palmo
175:Every country that meets Buddhism molds it into their own indigenous religion, as America will. A very clear example of this is Japan, which threw out almost all the dharma, and just kept that essence, which spoke to them. ~ Tenzin Palmo
176:The new nuns don't know that they're 'supposed' to be meek and submissive, and so in many ways they believe they can do anything, because they've seen the earlier ones do it. In this way, there's nothing for them to doubt. ~ Tenzin Palmo
177:Everyone should not be ordained, but for those who really feel that the only thing that matters in this world is the Dharma, then it is a logical step to adopt a form of life that automatically precludes worldly distractions. ~ Tenzin Palmo
178:I think the difference is that when we drink tea, we just drink tea. But if you're in the presence of a genuine master, they don't have to do anything but drink their tea, and yet it affects you at an incredibly profound level. ~ Tenzin Palmo
179:The big lamas coming from Tibet, Ladakh, India - everywhere - have been very friendly. But I don't figure in their world. For one thing, being Western puts you outside the limits. A token female doesn't hurt - there's only one. ~ Tenzin Palmo
180:Realization is wonderful, but you have to expand it until there's not a single defilement left in the mind and the mind is completely open and spacious. Even in that condition, you still use the relative mind. You use them both. ~ Tenzin Palmo
181:Doing retreats, getting personal teachings from time to time from inspiring teachers, all of this helps to recharge our batteries. Then we get inspired and can carry what we've gained into our daily life, which is very important. ~ Tenzin Palmo
182:Don't be thinking that this lama over there is giving better teachings or that this lama over here is giving more secret initiations. Leave that. Just keep the practice very simple, try to stay in the moment and try to stay mindful. ~ Tenzin Palmo
183:In India many people come to discuss things with me. I sometimes say that half of them come saying, "I have a problem, I want to find a teacher." The other half say, "I have a problem because I have a teacher!" So it's not so simple. ~ Tenzin Palmo
184:The more you realize, the more you realize how much there is to realize and, at the same time, how much you realize that there is nothing to realize. So, it's an enormous job, not something that is going to be finished in this lifetime. ~ Tenzin Palmo
185:Some students went to Milarepa and said, we should stop living in caves and meditating because we should go out and help beings as bodhisattvas. And Milarepa said that as long as space exists, so long will there be beings for you to help. ~ Tenzin Palmo
186:To me the special quality (which of course many men have as well) is first of all a sharpness, a clarityIt cuts through - especially intellectual ossification. Itgets to the point. To me the dakini principle stands for the intuitive force. ~ Tenzin Palmo
187:In a monastic setting, if someone doesn't want to obey the rules and just wants to live the way they've always lived as a lay person, then why did they become ordained? They have no sense that they have to give something up to gain so much. ~ Tenzin Palmo
188:From a Buddhist point of view, the first thing to help is yourself, to get your own mind together. And to really understand how to benefit beings, not just on the physical level, but on all levels. Then there are endless beings you can benefit. ~ Tenzin Palmo
189:Caves are beautiful things you know. They're thermostatically controlled - warm when it's cold out and cool when it's warm. Very quiet. Nobody there. Especially in the winter - it was perfect. Also, because it's a cave, you can't do much with it. ~ Tenzin Palmo
190:When I was 18 I read a book about Buddhism and, before I was halfway through it I said to my mother, "I'm a Buddhist!" She said, "That's great. Finish reading the book and then you can tell me all about it." From that moment on I knew I was a Buddhist. ~ Tenzin Palmo
191:Buddha activity doesn't mean radiating light and elevating yourself up a thousand feet in the air. That's not the point. The point is, as Zen is always saying - and Tibetans understand this also very well - every activity becomes perfect Buddha activity. ~ Tenzin Palmo
192:Most of the people I talk to are not going to go off and live in a cave. Why should they? So I talk about how people can stop separating dharma practice - going on retreats, going to dharma centers, hearing talks, reading books - from their ordinary life. ~ Tenzin Palmo
193:The internet can be enormously helpful, just like books can, but I don't think it's the be all and end all for really practicing Buddhism. At a certain point, as with learning any skill, we need personal instruction from someone who is more advanced than us. ~ Tenzin Palmo
194:I know many Catholic priests and nuns who use the Buddhist teachings to become better Catholics, and Jews who use them to become better Jews. Why not?! It just takes us towards more deeply recognizing our original nature, which is what we all share after all. ~ Tenzin Palmo
195:If you go to any nunnery and ask them what the main obstacle is, they'll always say low self-esteem and lack of confidence. It will take time. But the difference between the first girls from Ladakh who became nuns, to the girls we have now, is very encouraging. ~ Tenzin Palmo
196:Ultimately, there is light and love and intelligence in this universe. And we are it, we carry that within us, its not just something out there, it is within us and this is what we are trying to re-connect with, our original light and love and intelligence. ~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
197:Basically, I want to spend my time in retreat, but to my own amazement, I agreed to help with a project to start a training center for nuns. I agreed because I think it's really very important for the Western Sangha. I don't know how I'm going to help, but it's important. ~ Tenzin Palmo
198:I think it's crucial to recognize that we are so fortunate to have this human birth where we can practice what we want, pick up and not just read books but actually understand them. This level of education is very rare throughout history, so we shouldn't take it for granted. ~ Tenzin Palmo
199:We do look for inspiration amongst our own sex. Why not? You go into temples and they're full of all the lineage lamas who are male. What message does that give to a young girl, except that somehow she got trapped in the wrong body because of bad things she did in a past life? ~ Tenzin Palmo
200:One has to find a balance. I don't say that when you leave it you forget all about the dharma or practice, but there have to be times when you throw yourself into it, and then there are times when you just relax and realize that wherever you go, you cannot get out of the dharma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
201:There is an enormous joy and satisfaction in doing what you really want to do and are best fitted to do. When it all comes together like that, it gives you a wonderful sense of well-being and satisfaction knowing that you have been doing what you were intended to do for this lifetime. ~ Tenzin Palmo
202:I never really wondered about getting from London to Lahaul. It all seemed such a natural progression. In London I felt I was in the wrong place and wanted to leave. I'd thought about going to Australia or New Zealand. It's nothing against England, but I knew I wasn't meant to be there. ~ Tenzin Palmo
203:In the early '60s there was very little reliable information on Tibetan Buddhism. I was living in London and I had joined the Buddhist Society. For the most part, people there were either interested in Theravada or Zen Buddhism. There was almost no one into Tibetan Buddhism at that time. ~ Tenzin Palmo
204:Perhaps one of the main antidotes to depression, lack of self-esteem, loneliness and so forth is the recognition that we really do have Buddha nature. All the other problems like anger, jealousy, ambitions, are merely habitual patterns that we've learned, but aren't inherent to who we are. ~ Tenzin Palmo
205:If you don't find that people find you're easier to live with than you were before, if you don't find that your heart is feeling warmer toward others and if your negative emotions are not getting any better, then there's something wrong. That is always the touchstone of the Dharma practice. ~ Tenzin Palmo
206:In the texts, and as His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds us, we should check the person's behavior not when they're sitting on a big throne, but behind the scenes. How do they treat ordinary people - not the big sponsors - but just ordinary people who are of no particular importance to them. ~ Tenzin Palmo
207:To be a nun is a very great blessing. It's a great inspiration to think that the Sangha goes all the way back to the Buddha and that so many fantastic, really truly-realized beings have been ordained. Thinking of all those members, such a wonderful, exalted and holy order - I love the Sangha. ~ Tenzin Palmo
208:To really be of benefit to others as the Buddha always taught, we ourselves must first get out of the swamp. One of the quickest and most effective ways to do this is in isolation, with very few distractions, working very hard at it and spending all your time and efforts at changing your mind. ~ Tenzin Palmo
209:For some people, every door opens, and they meet just who they need to meet when they need to meet them, all the conditions come together. For other people, there is one problem after the other, even though they are so sincere. And from a Tibetan point of view, this is because of a lack of merit. ~ Tenzin Palmo
210:We have to cultivate contentment with what we have. We really don't need much. When you know this, the mind settles down. Cultivate generosity. Delight in giving. Learn to live lightly. In this way, we can begin to transform what is negative into what is positive. This is how we start to grow up. ~ Tenzin Palmo
211:We have to know what is Buddhadharma and what is not Buddhadharma. It needn't go on forever. You don't have to spend 18 years at it. But still, a basic and uncompromised understanding of Buddhist principles is important. Very basic: the three signs of being, the four noble rruths, karma, and so on. ~ Tenzin Palmo
212:If you want to be a doctor, you may say, There are all these beings, they're sick, they're dying, I've got to go out and help them. And so you grab a bag full of scalpels and medicine and rush off. Even though your motivation is very pure, you end up harming beings because you don't know what you're doing. ~ Tenzin Palmo
213:Nowadays, mindfulness has become a catch-all word, but the general principle of trying to be more conscious and aware in our daily life is very important. Along with this, it's helpful to contemplate some of the mind training verses which are designed to take and transform all of the problems we experience. ~ Tenzin Palmo
214:The point with Buddhism is that it doesn't just tell you to be good, it tells you how. It doesn't just say, "Don't be angry," it shows us the methods to help us not to be angry. It gives techniques for everything that it advises us to cultivate, and all the negative qualities we need to overcome and transform. ~ Tenzin Palmo
215:All the other religions I had ever read about dealt with the idea of God, and your relationship with God. Buddhism is the only religion that deals with man himself and the nature of the mind - how to deal with yourself and your condition, here and now, as opposed to having to deal with something outside yourself. ~ Tenzin Palmo
216:When we are angry, when we are excited, when we are depressed, when we are elated, we are completely submerged in and identified with those thoughts and feelings. This is why we suffer. We suffer because we are completely identified with our thoughts and feelings and we think this is me. This is who I am. ~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
217:The dharma is the most precious thing in the world and we should put it at the center of our hearts and transform our whole lives into dharma practice. Otherwise, at the time of death, we will look back and say, now what was all that about? If we truly want to benefit others and ourselves, we have to do it. No excuses. ~ Tenzin Palmo
218:Most of the spiritual traditions were very theistic and the idea of an external god pulling the strings didn't resonate with me. I then discovered Buddhism and found the perfect path. I felt so grateful to the Buddha for having given the path, and not just explaining the end result, but showing so clearly how to get there. ~ Tenzin Palmo
219:We are each living in our own soap opera. We do not see things as they really are. We see only our interpretations. This is because our minds are always so busy...But when the mind calms down, it becomes clear. This mental clarity enables us to see things as they really are, instead of projecting our commentary on everything. ~ Tenzin Palmo
220:My mother was a spiritualist. We had weekly séances at our house with a neighbor who was a medium and various friends, and so I was brought up with the idea that there are many realms of being all around us. So that prepared me for Buddhism, and especially Tibetan Buddhism with all its talk of different realms and dimensions of being. ~ Tenzin Palmo
221:We're normally caught up in the current of our thinking, feelings and emotions. With awareness, we can observe it all without being swept away. This gives us access to something much vaster and deeper than our usual compressed minds. All of us can access this. It's not so difficult. With some instruction and practice, anybody can do it. ~ Tenzin Palmo
222:If you put a little pin in the middle and you make a little space, a little circle, then the nature of the mirror shines through. So now you know the mind is not dust, that behind that dust there is this mirror-like nature of the mind, and if it's a big enough hole, you might be so transfixed by the hole you don't notice the rest of the dust. ~ Tenzin Palmo
223:When one has a decisive realization of the inherent nature of the mind, which has no ego, it has no sense of duality between oneself and the cup, and a deep sense of interpenetration of the whole dharma. Then whatever we do is spontaneously perfect Buddha activity. And anybody who is even slightly tuned in will get a very deep experience of that. ~ Tenzin Palmo
224:One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won't solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can't find peace and happiness there, it's not going to come from the outside. ~ Tenzin Palmo
225:One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside. ~ Tenzin Palmo
226:When I look back I can think that of course I've been lazy and haven't practiced as much as I could have and have wasted time. Still though, I look back on my life and I think that really, I am very happy that I lived my life the way I have and I would never ever have wished it any other way - especially, the six years with my lama and then the 18 in Lahul. ~ Tenzin Palmo
227:We make the commitment to stop for a moment and look at what the mind is doing, what mind state we are dwelling in. We don't judge it, we just know it. Gradually we'll become more and more accustomed to being conscious of what we're thinking and our various positive and negative states. We'll become more and more the masters of our mind, rather than the slaves. ~ Tenzin Palmo
228:I think to dwell continually on the dark side creates gloom and despair and anger and hatred, and that just adds to the darkness. So rather than that, we need to think of the beauty in the world, and also send out love and compassion to all beings in this world. Not just the people we like, but people who we find difficult. Because they are very deeply in need of compassion. ~ Tenzin Palmo
229:Even if the hermits do not appear to benefit other beings with their presence or teachings, still they are enormously inspiring to many. Perhaps, in this lifetime, they were meant to work on their own practice, to try to purify their own mindstream so that in future lifetimes (that will last a lot longer than this one), they will be fit vessels to give the teachings to others. ~ Tenzin Palmo
230:Traditionally, women didn't have much a role in Buddhism. The books were all written by monks, for other monks. So the general view of the feminine was rather misogynistic, with women playing the role of the forbidden other, waiting to pounce on innocent little monks! In that society, it was hard for women to become educated and get the deeper teachings and really become accomplished. ~ Tenzin Palmo
231:Ultimately there is light and love and intelligence in this universe. And we are it, we carry that within us, it’s not just something out there, it is within us and this is what we are trying to re-connect with, our original light and love and intelligence, which is who we are, so do not get so distracted by all this other stuff, you know, really remember what we are here on this planet for. ~ Tenzin Palmo
232:My mother was superb. Even when I said to her, when I was nineteen, oh, I'm going to India. Her immediate reaction was, oh yes dear, and when are you leaving? She didn't say, oh how could you leave me, your mother? Or wait a bit dear until you get a bit older and you know your own mind. She just said, well, when are you going? And that was because she loved me, not because she didn't love me. ~ Tenzin Palmo
233:We live in a society which is heading in one direction, so it's good to have at least a few friends who share the same values and can encourage us and help us to remember that we're not alone or peculiar, but that what we're doing is a very valid way of life. This will encourage us to put the Dharma at the centre of our life and not the periphery, to use our daily life as our Dharma practice. ~ Tenzin Palmo
234:If you see young tulkus when they're with other little monks, it's like in a Broadway show or something where the main character is spotlighted and the others kind of fade into the background. And you think, who is that tulku? Because that's all you see, even though they're all dressed the same and they're all the same age, but it's like the tulku is illumined. They don't look like the other ones. ~ Tenzin Palmo
235:When you learn an instrument, it takes an awful lot of time to just learn the scales, and then eventually when you have completely mastered the instrument, the music plays for you. But you still have to keep practicing. And it takes an awful lot of practice. Nonetheless, if you diligently practice, hours and hours and hours and hours, you probably won't get it. You'll probably just end up hurting your fingers. ~ Tenzin Palmo
236:Perhaps Westerners are in a better position to practice true renunciation than uneducated Orientals because most Western people, by the time they come to the Dharma, have led a pretty full worldly life with lots of sensual pleasures, money and lots of toys to play with. They have seen that the path of accumulation of worldly treasure does not lead to happiness or contentment. That's why they come to the Dharma. ~ Tenzin Palmo
237:We try to be present when we are drinking our tea, which isn't as easy as it sounds. It's very easy to think, right now I'm going to be really present while I'm drinking my tea, here I am drinking my tea, and I'm so present, look this is easy, I am here drinking my tea and I know I'm drinking my tea blah blah blah blah... right? And the one place where the mind is not, is here. It's just thinking about being here. ~ Tenzin Palmo
238:Buddhism is the most active one! The whole time, we're dealing with the mind and how to tame it, and how to transcend our ordinary conventional mind. This takes an enormous amount of determination and perseverance. It also requires an attitude of being relaxed and spacious, rather than tense and stressed. It's certainly not a matter of lying back and expecting it all to happen. If we don't make it happen, it won't! ~ Tenzin Palmo
239:All of the external circumstances and the rude and difficult people we meet, instead of getting angry, upset, or frustrated, we see that we can take them all and use them on the path in a way that actually invigorates and strengthens us, rather than defeats us. It's all very practical advice, and that's why I talk a lot about how to make our daily life into Dharma practice, otherwise it's easy to feel hopeless and helpless. ~ Tenzin Palmo
240:It's not a matter of how much you know or can define, or how many millions of mantras or thousands of prostrations you have done, or how many months of wangs you've attended. The important thing is whether or not the mind is really changing, whether our negative emotions are really coming under control, whether we are really beginning to understand ourselves, whether our mind is really improving, and whether in our hearts there is genuine love and caring for other people. ~ Tenzin Palmo
241:I think it would help if, when people are first ordained, they underwent a period of strict training, maybe for several years. During this time they would learn basic Buddhist philosophy in a monastic community where all the teaching and training was directed toward living a perfect monastic life and wasn't channeled out to fit into the lay life - which is what usually happens in Dharma centers where the teachings are directed toward how to live the Dharma in your everyday life. ~ Tenzin Palmo
242:Each of us has something to do in this lifetime. We all have negative emotions to be purified and positive emotions to be cultivated. All of us need to reconnect to our source and drop our personal stories, don't we? Men, women, old, young, from here, from there - it is the same. All you can do is your practice. There is nothing else. Don't get caught up. Don't stop. We have to learn how to get out or our own way. Because ultimately, the only thing standing in our way is ourselves. ~ Tenzin Palmo
243:We have compassion because of the incredible pain and suffering which we as unenlightened beings cause to ourselves and all others through our ignorance. This is why we're trying to get out. This is why the bodhisattva has meaning. Because we're saying, no we won't get out, we won't escape until we've helped all other beings to escape, but most other beings don't even want to escape. They don't even know that there is an escape, and it's hard, so it's going to take an awfully long time. ~ Tenzin Palmo
244:I was born in England and brought up in London. When I was 18 I read a book and came across the Dharma. I was halfway through the book when I turned to my mother and said, "I'm a Buddhist," to which she replied, "Oh are you dear? Well finish the book and then you can tell me about it." I realised I'd always been Buddhist but I just hadn't known it existed, because in those days not even the word 'Buddha' was ever spoken. This was in in the 1960s, so there wasn't that much available, even in London. ~ Tenzin Palmo
245:Let's consider: at the time of the Buddha, when he attained enlightenment, according to the old texts, in the first watch of the night, he went through all of his past lifetimes. Then in the second watch of the night, his mind opened still further and encompassed the coming into being and dying and re-coming into being of all beings, everywhere. The third watch of the night, he realized interdependent origination. He realized interdependent origination because he saw it. It wasn't some theory he thought up. He saw it. That was his enlightenment experience. That was why he was a Buddha. ~ Tenzin Palmo
246:If we could turn around and stand back, then we would see the whole complete pattern. And therefore what we have to do in this lifetime is to perfect this pattern, so that it will continue a most beautiful pattern next time and next time and next time and next time because we vowed until samsara is empty! Now, that's going to be a long time, so you'd better get prepared for the long haul, and the best way to do that is to really prepare yourself as much as possible in this lifetime, and not waste your opportunities so that we can genuinely benefit beings, endlessly, endlessly, endlessly. ~ Tenzin Palmo



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