In my last posts I have been writing about how to find lasting happiness. Ultimately it can only be found if we recognize the nature of mind but on a relative level the practices of meditation, compassion and devotion can help us come closer to this realization.
Buddha said: “It is only through devotion, and devotion alone, that you will realize the absolute truth.”
“The absolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the ordinary mind. And the path beyond the ordinary mind, all the great wisdom traditions have told us, is through the heart. This path of the heart is devotion.” (p.139)
“Real devotion .. is not mindless adoration; it is not abdication of your responsibility to yourself, nor undiscriminating following of another’s personality or whim. Real devotion is an unbroken receptivity to the truth. Real devotion is rooted in an awed and reverent gratitude, but one that is lucid, grounded, and intelligent.” (p.140)
“All the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and enlightened beings are present at all moments to help us, and it is through the presence of the master that all of their blessings are focused directly at us. Those who know Padmasambhava [who is considered to be the second Buddha by Tibetans] know the living truth of the promise he made over a thousand years ago: “I am never far from those with faith, or even from those without it, though they do not see me. My children will always, always, be protected by my compassion.”
All we need to do to receive direct help is to ask. Didn’t Christ also say: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth”? And yet asking is what we find hardest. Many of us, I feel, hardly know how to ask. Sometimes it is because we are arrogant, sometimes because we are unwilling to seek help, sometimes because we are lazy, sometimes our minds are so busy with questions, distractions, and confusion that the simplicity of asking does not occur to us. The turning point in any healing of alcoholics or drug addicts is when they admit their illness and ask for aid. In one way or another, we are all addicts of samsara; the moment when help can come for us is when we admit our addiction and simply ask.
What most of us need, almost more than anything, is the courage and humility really to ask for help, from the depths of our hearts: to ask for the compassion of the enlightened beings, to ask for purification and healing, to ask for the power to understand the meaning of our suffering and transform it; at a relative level to ask for the growth in our lives of clarity, of peace, of discernment, and to ask for the realization of the absolute nature of mind … ”
Devotion becomes the purest, quickest, and simplest way to realize the nature of our mind and all things. …
The teacher of Patrul Rinpoche was called Jikmé Gyalwé Nyugu. For many years he had been doing a solitary retreat in a cave in the mountains. One day when he came outside, the sun was pouring down; he gazed out into the sky and saw a cloud moving in the direction of where his master, Jikmé Lingpa, lived. The thought rose in his mind, “Over there is where my master is,” and with that thought a tremendous feeling of longing and devotion surged up in him. It was so strong, so shattering, that he fainted. When Jikmé Gyalwé Nyugu came to, the entire blessing of his master’s wisdom mind had been transmitted to him, and he had reached the highest stage of realization, what we call “the exhaustion of phenomenal reality.” (p.142-143)