The study of Buddhism is essentially the study of modification, how we modify the state of mind we're in, how we modify the realm we're in.
Advanced Buddhist Yoga is the art of altering your karmic patterns.
At this point, you are so far away from what you really are, it is ridiculous. The good news is that every step you take within brings you more in touch with that which you really are.
Thinking that the next person, the next relationship, the next experience will free you - these are foolish thoughts of people who are bound again and again to birth, death and rebrith for thousands and thousands of incarnations.
Buddhism suggests that you have that choice; you are in the driver's seat. Hertz or somebody has put you there. You have an absolute choice about what you experience in your mind.
Believe in yourself, step one. Believe in the order, step two. Believe in the teachings, step three.
The study of enlightenment is really a reorganization of our perceptual body or our perceptual field. We learn to see life more directly and more clearly.
To become completely aware is the journey of enlightenment. There is pain in it and suffering. But you already have those things so it doesn't really matter.
The pathway to enlightenment is joyful. It may sound harsh. I suggest just the opposite. It is rather easy compared to the possibilities of staying in pain and illusion.
If you think of spiritual practice as unpleasant work - it is not spiritual practice as I know it.
In the Far East, it is taken for granted that the training of a monk is physically rigorous and academically challenging.
Most people we observe who practice self-discovery just get caught up in a new description, a new "ism", a new religion, a new god. But nothing changes.
People seem to get caught up in jargon like they get caught up in ashrams and power structures and they never become free. They become masters of jargon and power structures.
You never devote yourself to a teacher. You devote yourself to the practice.
Selectively pick a teacher, one that you respect, not just someone who can talk with wonderful poetic figures about enlightenment, but someone who has the personal power to bring you into altered states of awareness.
I think enlightenment is something that you decide to do after you have met someone who is enlightened. Something touches your heart, your being at a very deep level.
Because someone is a lama or is part of a monastic order or claims to be part of a succession, doesn't really mean they know anything. Always examine the individual's consciousness, their ability to transmit light.
Power is the big obstacle, or one of them, that you have to overcome and learn to deal with effectively before you can reach enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a journey. It is a journey that is made alone. It is a journey that is made with a teacher.
What makes a difference is when we take our mind and put it into the scriptures, when we read the Buddhist Canon, the Pali Canon, when we read the Tibetan books, when we read anything inspiring -- somebody else's journey into the world of enlightenment.
Meditate on enlightenment. Read the exploits of the great teachers, the great saints. They'll inspire you. Their power is there.
It is possible to wake up very quickly, to become enlightened, or you can do it gradually.