There's nothing you can't get used to.

My notes from a book "Joy of Living" by Yongey Mingyur Ripoche

  • p7 Every aspect of experience assumes a certain kind of brightness once you learn to laugh at yourself.
  • p11 Buddhism is not so much concerned with getting well as with recognizing that you are, right here, right now, as whole, as good, as essentially well as you could ever hope to be.
  • p15 Saljay Rinpoche, a gentle man with a low voice, he had an amazing ability to do or say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. I'm sure some of you have spent time around people who had a similar kind of impact, people able to teach incredibly profound lessons without appearing to be teaching at all. Just the way they are is a lesson that lasts for the rest of your life.
  • p41 Although the Buddha taught that the brain is, indeed, the physical support for the mind, he was also careful to point out that the mind itself isn't something that can be seen, touched, or even defined by words. Just as the physical organ of the eye is not sight, and the physical organ of the ear is not hearing, the brain is not the mind.
  • p44 There's nothing you can't get used to.
  • p45 Confusion, I was taught, is the beginning of understanding, the first stage of letting go of the neuronal gossip that used to keep you chained to very specific ideas about who you are and what you're capable of.
  • p46 most people simply mistake the habitually formed, neuronally constructed image of themselves for who and what they really are.
  • p47 feeling of limitation, anxiety, fear, and so on are just so much neuronal gossip. They are, in essence, habits. And habits can be unlearned.
  • p47 "Those who have gone that way" are the people who have attained complete enlightenment - in other words, people whose minds have completely surpassed ordinary limitations that can be described in words.
  • p51 When you can't describe a powerful experience in words anymore, it's a sign of progress.
  • p52 The only difference between meditation and ordinary social interaction is that the friend you're gradually coming to know is yourself.
  • p59 tongpa means "empty", but only in the sense of something beyond our ability to perceive with our senses and our capacity to conceptualize.
  • p99 If you think about the difficulty of trying to describe something that is essentially beyond description, you can probably understand something of the challenge the Buddha must have faced in trying to explain the nature of mind to his students - who were no doubt people just like ourselves, looking for clear-cut definitions that they could file away intellectually, making them feel momentarily, proud that they were smarter and more sensitive than the rest of the world.
  • p111 An abundance of material items provides such a variety of external distractions that people lose the connection to their inner lives.
  • p117 And as we become accustomed to distinguishing between "self" and "other", we lock ourselves into a dualistic mode of perception, drawing conceptual boundaries between our "self" and the rest of the world "out there", a world that seems so vast that we almost can't help but begin to think of ourselves as very small, limited, and vulnerable. We begin looking at other people, material objects, and so on as potential sources of happiness and unhappiness, and life becomes a struggle to get what we need in order to be happy before somebody else grabs it.
  • p118 Nirvana is a fundamentally objective state of mind: an acceptance of experience without judgements, which opens us to the potential for seeing solutions that may not be directly connected to our survival as individuals, but rather to the survival of all sentient being.
  • p118 We need to be touched; we need to be spoken to; we need the simple fact of our existence to be acknowledged.
  • p122 The deeper our attachment to whatever provides us with this sense of completeness, the greater our fear of losing it, and the more brutal our pain if we do lose it.
  • p135 The seven-point posture of Vairochana is really a set of guidelines. Meditation is a personal practice, and everyone is different. The most important thing is to find for yourself the appropriate balance between tension and relaxation.
  • p143 But like every other sentient being, all a crazy monkey really wants is to be happy and to avoid pain. So it's possible to teach the crazy monkey in your own mind to calm down by deliberately focusing its attention on one or another of the senses.
  • p151 And alternating between focusing on an object and allowing the mind to rest in naked awareness, you actually come to recognize the basic truth that neuroscience has shown us: Everything we perceive is a reconstruction created in the mind. In other words, there's no difference between what is seen and the mind that sees it.
  • p152 As you grow accustomed to giving bare attention to sound simply as sound, you'll find yourself able to listen to criticism without becoming angry or defensive and able to listen to praise without becoming overly proud or excited. You can simply listen to what other people say with a much more relaxed and balanced attitude, without being carried away by an emotional response.
  • p157 OM AH HUNG. OM represents the lucid, distinctive, perceptual aspect of experience; AH represents the empty, or inherently open, aspect; while HUNG represents the union of distinctive appearance and the inherently empty nature of the appearance.
  • p157 But freedom rarely arrives in the form we think it should. In fact, for most of us, freedom feels not only unfamiliar but distinctly unpleasant. That's because we're used to our chains. They might chafe, they might make us bleed, but at least they're familiar.
  • p162 When you don't understand the nature and origin of your thoughts, your thoughts use you.
  • p173 If we were to make a list of people we don't like ... we would find a lot about those aspects of ourselves that we can't face.
  • p179 Being human means having power; specifically, the power to accomplish whatever we want. And what we want goes back to the basic biological urge to be happy and to avoid pain.
  • p180 The practice of loving-kindness and compassion toward others essentially involves cultivating the recognition that all living creatures want to feel whole, safe, and happy.
  • p182 Every heartbreak is an opportunity for love and compassion to flow through you.
  • p188 Simply by covering his feet with leather, he covered the entire earth with leader.
  • p207 Experience changes the brain.
  • p210 Conditions are always changing, and real peace lies in the ability to adapt to the changes.
  • p222 In strictly biological terms, the drive to survive propels us more strongly toward unhappiness than toward happiness.
  • p244 Among sentient beings, human beings appear to stand alone in their ability to recognize the necessity to forge a bond between reason, emotion, and the instinct to survive, and in so doing create a universe - not only for themselves and the human generations that follow, but also for all creatures who feel pain, fear, and suffering - in which we all are able to coexist contentedly and peaceably.
  • p244 Only through resting the mind in its natural awareness can we begin to recognize that we are not our thoughts, not our feelings, and not our perceptions. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions are functions of the body. And everything I've learned as a Buddhist and everything I've learned about modern science tells me that human beings are more than just their bodies.
  • p250 Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.