See Everyone As Your Mother
"Since the cycle of existence has no beginning, there is no sentient being we can point to and say, 'That person has not been my mother in the past.' Not only have they been our mothers in the past, but also they will be our mothers in the future. If you are able to develop deep conviction in this fact, it will be quite easy to recollect and reflect upon their great kindness and then develop the wish to repay their kindness."
— The Way to Freedom
Find a Spiritual Practice Suited to You
"When embarking upon a spiritual path, it is important that you engage in a practice that is most suited to your mental development, your dispositions, and your spiritual inclinations. It is crucial that each individual seek a form of spiritual practice and belief that is most effective for that individual's specific needs. Through this, one can bring about inner transformation, the inner tranquility that will make that individual spiritually mature and a warm-hearted, whole, and good and kind person. That is the consideration one must use in seeking spiritual nourishment."
— The Good Heart
The Purpose of Religion
"The purpose of religion is not to build beautiful churches or temples but to cultivate positive human qualities such as tolerance, generosity, and love. Every world religion, no matter what its philosophical view, is founded first and foremost on the precept that we must reduce our selfishness and serve others. Unfortunately, sometimes religion itself causes more quarrels than it solves. Practitioners of different faiths should realize that each religious tradition has immense intrinsic value and the means for providing mental and spiritual health. One religion, like a single type of food, cannot satisfy everybody. According to their varying mental dispositions, some people benefit from one kind of teaching, others from another. Each faith has the ability to produce fine, warmhearted people and despite their espousal of often contradictory philosophies, all religions have succeeded in doing so. Thus there is no reason to engage in divisive religious bigotry and intolerance, and every reason to cherish and respect all forms of spiritual practice."
— Imagine All the People: On Money, Politics, and Life As It Could Be
"I believe that developing the compassion on which happiness depends demands a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, we need to restrain those factors which inhibit compassion. On the other, we need to cultivate those which are conducive to it. As we have seen, what is conducive to compassion is love, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, and so on. What inhibits compassion is that lack of inner restraint which we have identified as the source of all unethical conduct. We find that by transforming our habits and dispositions, we can begin to perfect our overall state of heart and mind (kun long) — that from which all our actions spring."
— Ethics for a New Millennium
Listening Is The Supreme Wealth
"It is through listening that your mind will turn with faith and devotion, and you will be able to cultivate joy within your mind and make your mind stable. It is through listening that you will be able to cultivate wisdom and be able to remove ignorance. Therefore, it is worthwhile to engage in listening even if it costs your life.
"Listening is like a torch that dispels the darkness of ignorance. And if you are able to make your mental continuum wealthy through listening, no one can steal that wealth. It is supreme wealth."
— The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom
"Regarding my actual daily practice, I spend, at the very least, five and a half hours per day in prayer, meditation, and study. On top of this, I also pray whenever I can during odd moments of the day; for example, over meals and while traveling. In this last case, I have three main reasons for doing so: first, it contributes toward fulfillment of my daily duty; second, it helps to pass the time productively; third, it assuages fear! I see no distinction between religious practice and daily life."
— The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom
Enemies as Spiritual Teachers
"The worst consequence of not being mindful of the unintended kindness of others comes into view when we consider our enemies. Without enemies you could not fully engage in the practice of patience — tolerance and forbearance. We need enemies, and should be grateful to them. From the viewpoint of training in altruism, an enemy is really your guru, your teacher; only an enemy can teach you tolerance. An enemy is the greatest teacher of altruism, and for that reason, instead of hating, we must respect him."
— How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships
"The great nineteenth-century Tibetan Dzokchen meditator Dza Patrul Rinpoche always maintained a demeanor of true humility. At one time, when he was giving a series of teachings to a large crowd of students, he experienced a forceful yearning for solitude. So one day he quietly left his residence and disappeared, dressed like an ordinary pilgrim and carrying a walking staff and very little else. When he reached a nomadic camp he sought shelter for a few days with one of the families. While he was staying with them, his hostess asked him to read some texts and, since he looked just like an ordinary pilgrim, in return for his food and lodging she asked him to help with the household chores, which included the disposal of the contents of her chamber pot.
"One day, while he was away from the camp attending to this task, some of his well-dressed monk students came looking for him. When his hostess heard their description of him, she suddenly realized this was the same person she had asked to throw away the contents of her chamber pot. It is said that she was so embarrassed that she just ran away! Such was the humility of this great teacher, who had many thousands of students."
— Lighting The Way
"We are all born helpless. Without a parent's kindness we could not survive, much less prosper. When children grow up in constant fear, with no one to rely on, they suffer their whole lives. Because the minds of small children are very delicate, their need for kindness is particularly obvious.
"Adult human beings need kindness too. If someone greets me with a nice smile, and expresses a genuinely friendly attitude, I appreciate it very much. Though I might not know that person or understand their language, they instantly gladden my heart. On the other hand, if kindness is lacking, even in someone from my own culture whom I have known for many years, I feel it. Kindness and love, a real sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, these are very precious. They make community possible and thus are crucial in society."
— How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life