A direct, pithy, and accessible guide to the entire path of Tibetan Buddhism by one of the most beloved and respected contemporary lamas.
Accessible, playful, and genuine, this concise guide shows how we can incorporate our own daily experiences into our spiritual path and awaken to how things truly are. By embracing sadness, love, and openness in our lives, we develop an altruistic attitude to help all beings who suffer and to reduce our own greed and aggression. This easy-to-read manual by one of the most widely loved and respected Tibetan Buddhist teachers of our time teaches us how to honestly explore and deal with our own hang-ups and neuroses. Through knowing our own true nature as aware and compassionate, we can progress, step-by-step, on the Buddhist path and use Rinpoche’s pithy wisdom along the way as a touchstone.
Excerpt from the book
“What are the experiences that the teachings of the Buddha are founded on? They are sadness, love, and openness. Although they appear to be quite different, sadness and openness are in fact intimately connected. The profound sadness that overwhelms us when we understand the impermanent nature of all phenomena opens us up to the world around us. We open our hearts and begin to notice our fellow beings. We see how we all must face the hardships of life; we understand the fleeting nature of our joys; and we become aware of how much worry, pain, and suffering we all go through in our lives. In this way, we realize that we all share similar painful experiences.
Knowing what others go through and feel, we cannot help but sympathize with them, and the wish to help and protect our fellow beings naturally wells up in us. This wish to help and protect arises from love, and the more we open our eyes to others’ suffering and delusion, the stronger our love becomes. Love clears the mind of the thick fog of desire, anger, and ignorance. Love is like the sun that burns through the fog, dissolving it, until only vast openness and clarity remain. When nothing but boundless openness and lucidity remain, we come face-to-face with the basic nature of all phenomena beyond concepts.
Still, as thoughts reemerge, the fog inevitably reappears. But now we know—from our own experience—that freedom and awakening are always right here, within us. This realization gives rise to an indescribable joy. We have experienced for ourselves that awakening is a genuine option, for us and for everyone else—how wonderful! The heartfelt wish that everyone may awaken to true freedom is born in us and consumes us to the point where our attachment and delusion seem to dissolve naturally. All the while, we see the world for what it is, utterly impermanent and painful, and our sadness grows ever more profound. Yet our sadness is now accompanied by genuine love and affection and a deep sense of responsibility brought on by the certainty that if we simply stay on course, we will be able to make a true and lasting difference everywhere we go. This is how sadness, love, and openness sustain Dharma practitioners.”
“Warm and accessible, yet profound and insightful. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche offers compelling advice for our times. This book is a treasure of timeless wisdom that today is needed more than ever.”
“My friend and teacher Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is a seasoned and authentic Dzogchen master. He has written a book that throws a lifeline to all of us struggling in the sea of ignorance, desire, and hatred. As he says, ‘Dharma is not a hobby,’ but it is a very serious business indeed. Dharma can save us from the ocean of forgetfulness so that we may remember who we really are: beings of light, love, and wisdom. Complete liberation is possible if we do the work and guaranteed if we follow our teacher’s advice. Rinpoche takes us through the stages of Buddhist practice leading to the joy and freedom of the Great Perfection, Dzogchen. Rinpoche emphasizes the necessity of embracing the truths of impermanence and dependent origination as the sources of our future enlightenment. This is a truly inspiring book for all practitioners.”
“Here we learn how to truly appreciate all of life—in full sadness and full happiness—with the simple recipe of being calm, kind, and aware, and full of joy in everything.”
—Piet Hut, professor of astrophysics and head of the program in Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
“Different traditions differ in how they understand and use the term mindfulness, yet they agree on the nondual nature of mind and the need for authentic instruction and practice. As venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche describes in this elegant, succinct, and extremely useful primer on essential Dharma as a way of being, there are many different methods in the universe of meditation, but in the end—and from the beginning—those that are authentic and trustworthy serve one purpose, and that is realized, embodied wakefulness.”
—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Meditation Is Not What You Think
“Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche embodies the insight and compassion of a bodhisattva. In Sadness, Love, Openness he shares his profound understanding of the Buddhist view of life—it’s suffering and the path to liberation from that suffering—and offers a generous gift to anyone who wants to embrace the Dharma.”
—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
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