Quotes by Anam Thubten ~ selections from books & teachings

posted Jul 17, 2012, 8:40 PM by Susan Dharma   [ updated Oct 18, 2012, 12:21 PM ]


    No Self No Problem                                 Books                   The Magic of Awareness

    Anam Thubten



    "To experience transcendent bliss means to go beyond all limitations. The way is utterly simple as well as ecstatic too. The way to the Buddha mind is the Buddha mind."


    Anam Thubten ~ The Magic of Awareness


        "A central theme is that enlightenment is always available,
    even in this very ordinary moment. It is something
    extraordinary that ordinary people can witness here and now, whenever we are ready. Spiritual awakening can happen to
    anyone at any time because it is not bound by culture or
    religion, and its possibility is our birthright. Rinpoche speaks
    with startling insight, unflinching honesty, and a great sense
    of humor. He cuts to the essence, the heart of the matter, drawing from his personal experience of walking the
    spiritual path, and clarifies subtle, complex points directly,
    in easily understood language." 
     From the Preface of No Self No Problem  





    "When we know how to give
    rise to this gentle heart, then
    we are not in a hurry and we no longer have to be antagonistic
    to ourselves. Rather, we know
    how to hold this deep trust, we
    know that the ground of who we
    are is intrinsically enlightened, already the Buddha, and we have ecstatic compassion."

    Anam Thubten ~ The Magic of Awareness

    "There is a story about a man who traveled in the
    mountains and was overtaken by nightfall. As he continued walking in the dim light, he fell over what seemed to him
    to be a steep cliff. He managed to grab onto the branches
    of a small bush.  He was holding on to it for dear life,
    imagining in his mind sure death if he let go of it.
    He spent the whole night in agony.
    By the first light of morning, sapped of all his strength, he lost his grip and fell. He was surprised to find that he landed on a secure ledge just two feet below where he had been clinging to the branches for dear life."

    Anam Thubten ~ No Self No Problem


     http://store.dharmata.org/no-self-no-problem.html          To Order Books           http://store.dharmata.org/the-magic-of-awareness.html 



    "Nirvana, or whatever you want to call it, means the complete deconstruction of all of our rigid mental patterns and

    habits as well as the deconstruction of all of our limiting beliefs. This deconstruction creates a space for true inquiry.

    When we open our hearts and our minds completely, we are in a place where we can experience something new, a

    new truth, a new reality, a miracle that we haven’t experienced in the past. We can see things differently and they

    present new, expanded opportunities, new horizons. Therefore an open mind is required. This is true not only in

    relationship to the truth but in relationship to everyday life as well. 


    For example, when I first came to the U.S., I was very close-minded and very close-hearted about Western food. 

    I was very afraid of two things, the tomato and the avocado. The tomato reminded me of a clot of blood and the

    avocado reminded me of some kind of very repulsive grease. I had pictures in my mind and stories about them simply

    because my mind and my heart were not open to them. I was trying to defend my old belief systems about taste and

    diet. I wasn’t ready to open my heart to the tomato and the avocado. There was no way. All of these negative

    thoughts kept coming into my mind. “Well, the tomato may be delicious. Perhaps I should try it sometime, but not

    today. Maybe tomorrow or in another few months I will be ready to taste the avocado, but definitely not now.”


    Actually there was really no good reason not to try a tomato or an avocado, but my mind came up with one reason

    after another. “Maybe it isn’t delicious. Maybe it’s disgusting. It looks like blood, very yucky.” This was enough to

    keep me from trying either the tomato or the avocado and so my heart wasn’t open for a very long time. Then one

    day, accidentally, my mind and my heart were totally open to the tomato and the avocado and I tried them. They

    were quite good. Now I love avocados and tomatoes so much that I actually cannot imagine life without them. They

    are truly amazingly delicious. They have totally changed my life. Sometimes I feel like holding my palms together in

    praise to express my gratitude to the tomato and the avocado.


    The truth is similar to that.  We just don't open our heart and mind because we haven't experienced the benefit of that.  

    Once we have experienced the truth, there isn’t even an issue. There is no worry. The whole question of whether we are

    ready to open our heart and mind to the truth isn't even a concern."

                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Anam Thubten  No Self  No Problem



    "Meditation is the only way we can experience this wisdom – no self, and when we experience it the

    experience is obviously very magical, life-transforming and then we are able to transcend

    all our problems and suffering right there on the spot.  Once you have realization, then that’s it. 

    The realization itself is not even meditation."
                                                                                                         From June 2009 Interview with Tricycle Magazine


         "Mind has no mind.        Mind is luminous."

    "When thought arises simply look for the origin of your thought and then you will not find anything to hold on to except the groundless ground of yourself; the groundlessness of the Dharmakaya.  The thought dissolves and you’ll have nothing to hold on to.  You’ll find your original pure heart, and immediately you’ll have liberation right there. ...



     ... This method works if you are totally willing not to set yourself free – sounds strange doesn’t it?   This is a very strange spiritual message.  It almost sounds too simple.  If you are actually ready to be free from all struggles, all forms of delusions, if you are ready to be free and ready to be who you are which is pure awareness – you are pure awareness.  And this notion that you are pure awareness is not doctrine.  … this is truth expressed by all spiritual traditions… you are already pure awareness."

    From audio tape :  “You’re Already Free!”  talk 6-30-11 at the Insight Meditation Community

    of Berkeley: IMCB http://dharmaseed.org/talks/



    More from the 2009 Tricycle Interview




    On Dzogchen


         "Well, this teaching can be called Dzogchen as we wish.  Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Prajnaparamita – they are all same in their essence.  The 4th Panchen Lama who was a great scholar as well as also yogi, who was very much revered by all traditions in Tibet, he said all these names and labels of teachings are not really different after all.  They are all the same in their essence and in that sense, yes, we can call this teaching Dzogchen, Mahamudra or Prajnaparamita (except that I'm a little bit cautious about calling this book a Dzogchen teaching because there have been so [many] rumors - divine gossips - about Dzogchen).  People have such ideas, expectations [and] preconceived notions about Dzogchen as the highest; whereas everything else is 'low teaching' or 'inferior teaching' (even though there is no such thing as inferior Dharma), and therefore, as you may notice, I haven't used the term Dzogchen so much - not at all in my book."




    "Drop the ego"


         " . . . as a human being, we don’t want to have to be very responsible for ourselves because it’s a hell of a lot of work to be free and to set yourself free.  As Buddha said:  "No one can liberate you, only you can liberate yourself."  But it’s a huge responsibility to set oneself free and therefore, automatically, we want to keep all our neuroses, we want to keep the old back, but [at the] same time we want to be enlightened.  It’s like we want to have the both of the best worlds which is impossible.  Either we drop the ego, or we don’t drop the ego.  If we don’t drop the ego, if you don’t drop the delusions, enlightenment isn’t possible. 


         But our ego doesn't want to drop delusion:  all these mistaken belief systems of reality, but still wants to get this very 'goody' called enlightenment, but it's a totally impossible endeavor.  I think that's why many people - they don't really want to go inside actively - they really don't want to let go of anything and their secret strategy is to keep everything in one piece - delusion, hatred, whatever neuroses we're dealing [with] - and at the same time they want to manufacture this thing we call enlightenment because it sounds pretty good; because after that, everything's supposed to be hunky-dory.  So they want to buy or learn those techniques or methods that use them mechanically, as if you buy the latest gadget - the camera or the what-you-may-call-it.  All you need is just [to] read the manual and then you follow the manual and then this thing starts working.  People think we can get enlightenment automatically - if you align all these techniques precisely, without making any mistakes as the guru or teacher said or the sadhana said, then [you think] 'I will be enlightened in' - whatever time, either in three years or three lifetimes or three eons - and then it's very comforting for ego, because then, [you think[ 'I don't have to let go of anything.' "





         "One time ... this great old Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki ... said 'Enlightenment is not like taking a shower.  When you take shower, you know how long it takes, you know how long it takes to dry your body.  But, ... you can't predict enlightenment.  It can happen at any moment.  It may not happen for a long time.'


         So one of the tricks of enlightenment (I guess I have to provide some tricks), is to have a sincere intention and to go beyond everything to realize this thing called Buddha Nature or the Dharmakaya.  You have to have intention.  "Therefore," Buddha said in one of those sutras, "The intention is the forerunner of all activities."  So intention determines everything.  If we have a sincere intention to be liberated; to be enlightened, then yes, then the meditation - whatever method you do - it will help you to be enlightened."



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