The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

130 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGimmediately; but if we are patient a space can be createdwithin us, in which doubts can be carefully and objectivelyexamined, unraveled, dissolved, and healed. What we lack,especially in this culture, is the right undistracted and richlyspacious environment of the mind, which can only be createdthrough sustained meditation practice, and in which insightscan be given the chance slowly to mature and ripen.Don't be in too much of a hurry to solve all your doubtsand problems; as the masters say, "Make haste slowly." Ialways tell my students not to have unreasonable expectations,because it takes time for spiritual growth. It takes yearsto learn Japanese properly or become a doctor: Can we reallyexpect to have all the answers, let alone become enlightened,in a few weeks? The spiritual journey is one of continuouslearning and purification. When you know this, you becomehumble. There is a famous Tibetan saying: "Do not mistakeunderstanding for realization, and do not mistake realizationfor liberation." And Milarepa said: "Do not entertain hopes forrealization, but practice all your life." One of the things I havecome to appreciate most about my own tradition is its downto-earth,no-nonsense practicality, and its acute sense that thegreatest achievements take the deepest patience and thelongest time.

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