Inspiration to Practice Dharma

Inspiration manifests in many ways. In this teaching to a Dharma Stream group in NYC in April 2015, Phakchok Rinpoche gives some personal examples of how he inspires himself to practice. And, self-reflection drives the process. Rinpoche advises us to make an honest assessment of our own emotions and behavior. We have to look at our true character and not at some phony, constructed version of ourselves we prefer people to see. In these days of social media dominance, we can forget who we are pretty easily, right?

Inspiration with Understanding of Purity

We benefit from doing this self-assessment while simultaneously remaining completely confident that our nature is completely pure. Rinpoche again reminds us of the importance of supplicating the gurus and Buddhas and bodhisattvas –making the wish that we can become genuinely good practitioners.

From his personal observations, Rinpoche notes that when we experience success and good fortune, we often revert to old patterns. Here he gives very personal advice on how easily we can get sucked into ego and pride. Rinpoche shares some short tips on how we can check our own minds and avoid this pitfall.

He reminds students how important it is to continually make aspirations and supplication to be a true practitioner. By following this pattern–not by relying on luck– we, too, can bring about the conditions that are conducive to practice. We can remain inspired and motivated by following these simple and effective steps.

Reflection Questions

Regularly reflect on these simple questions.  Check in with yourself frequently to see if you are becoming complacent.

How do you react when things are going well?  Can you relate to Rinpoche’s caution about reverting to old habits? 

When you experience success and happiness, how is your Dharma practice?