hundred thousand suns, shining from Vajrasattva's body and entering

me, and I just take it in. When I see a beautiful person walking down

the street, I might in the beginning think, "What a nice-looking person,"

but the next instant I am offering that up to Padmasambhava

with my full heart, and letting it go. You have to take real life situations

and make them your practice. Otherwise you will have only an

empty belief that gives you no solace, no strength, when hard times

start. It's just a belief: "Oh, some day, I'll go to heaven. Someday I'll

be a Buddha." Well, some day you won't be a Buddha. You are a

Buddha, now. And when you practice, you are practicing at being

who you are

It's very important to take situations that are occurring in your life

and use them. As Rinpoche keeps saying, if you have practiced calling

out and asking for help, then in the bardos it will be natural to do

the same... I made a mantra out of this line by Dudjom Rinpoche:

"Lama of unrepayable kindness, I only remember you." Some days, it

is all I can manage to think; it is the only practice I can get out. But it

works great.

So ... happiness, self-responsibility, gratitude ... don't confuse a

dead, ritualistic practice for a living, ongoing, changing, fluid, opening,

glorious practice. Because, and it's my experience right now—and I

know it sounds like words perhaps, but I know in my heart it's

not—I see Padmasambhava everywhere. That's just my practice.

Every person, especially the difficult ones, who make life difficult for

others, encountering them is the blessing of the master. To me this

illness is the blessing of the master. It is grace. So much grace I could

chew on it.

But this has happened because I have trained my mind... When

I started, I used to judge things constantly in my mind. I would judge

this person; I would judge that one. I would judge the way he

looked; I would judge the way she sat; I would judge, "I don't like

today, it's too rainy, too gray. Oh, poor me ... Oh love me ... Oh

help!" So I started with that. It was just a constant commentary in

my mind. But I made a start. I would write myself little notes and

stick them on my refrigerator. "Don't judge!"

When you live in your mind—that is choosing between this and

that, "This is good ... this is bad, I don't want it," between hope and

fear, between hate and love, between joy and sorrow, when you are

actually grasping for one of those extremes—the essential peace of

your mind is disturbed. A Zen patriarch says: "The Great Way is not

difficult for those who have no preferences." Because your buddha

nature is there. Happiness is everywhere.

So I began to work with my conceptual mind. At first it seemed

like an impossible thing to do. But the more I practiced at it... I

found out: If you leave the risings in their own place, they are perfectly

fine, where they are. Just be with them, and be happy, because

you know you have the buddha nature.

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