Dear friends near and far

As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you a few lines from Atisha’s Root Verses on Training the Mind. These offer very clear, simple, and straightforward advice to anyone who wishes to practice, or just improve their lives by changing their way of thinking and acting. I wish to share with you those lines that I find most important, as pithy summaries of the key points of the teachings:

The supreme spiritual discipline is to tame one’s own mind.
The supreme good quality is great altruism.
The supreme oral instruction is to observe the mind at all times (…)
The supreme conduct is to be in disharmony with the world.

—Atisha, Root Verses on Training the Mind

In essence, the teachings consist in watching your mind and transforming it. And this is only possible if one detaches from the worldly concerns, which is what is meant here by being “in disharmony with the world.” The worldly concerns are basically ego- or pride-based expectations: hoping for praise, respect, fame, and so on. These concerns are quite natural if one lives in this world in the samsaric way. However, they also create a lot of difficulties for whoever is attached to them. Instead, we should turn our minds towards thinking of others.

The supreme accomplishment is the continuous decrease of disturbing emotions.
The supreme sign of accomplishment is the continuous decrease in disturbing emotions.

—Atisha, Root Verses on Training the Mind

The result of Dharma practice is reduced desire, reduced attachment to achieving any goal, and, overall, less negative emotions, disturbing feelings, or mental and physical stress. In short, knowing the Dharma means knowing yourself, and practicing the Dharma means transforming yourself.

So among these quotes that I share with you today, please choose whichever one you find most beneficial, and you can use that as a reminder, a mirror to watch yourself. If you wish to learn more about mind-training, you can also visit Samye Institute for more content and a free short course (also available in Chinese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Thai).

I’m wishing for all of you to improve in your practice and to be genuinely happy. Please take care, and try to meditate and transform your minds as much as you can.

Thank you.

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche


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