“The great teacher Nagarjuna said:
“Because of devotion, you practice Dharma.
Because of wisdom, you begin to discover insight into the true nature.
Of these two, wisdom is principle, but the root of wisdom is devotion.”
This is true. First, you have to focus on devotion. Don’t go around looking for something different all the time, chasing after new ideas about this and that. You have to study the teaching, mingle the teaching with your heart and mind, and then let the teaching grow so that you become the teaching. Then you and the Dharma will not be separate from one other. …
Currently, we all have some degree of devotion—that’s why we’ve all come here to practice Dzogchen and study the teachings of the Buddha. But this is not enough. We should always restrengthen our devotion. We should celebrate our devotion every day. Again, what is devotion? Devotion is joy, respect, and appreciation, while feeling the preciousness of our situation, contentment, and happiness.
Devotion also means that you shouldn’t always focus on external things. Devotion means enjoying yourself, being happy with yourself, and feeling joy for what you already have. Respect yourself. Appreciate yourself. Don’t blame and criticize yourself all the time! And of course, be good to others. Reflect on your wonderful teachers who show you the way to total realization. They are so kind! If we don’t have this feeling of devotion towards our teachers, the teachings, and to our own potential for realization, we become very poor beings and won’t be able to take full advantage of our precious human life. With devotion we become more determined to improve ourselves by making everything more precious and special than it is now. That is our determination and our goal.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Seven Nails: The Final Testament of the Great Dzogchen Master Shri Singha (pgs 16-17)
Photo of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche at Orgyen Cho Dzong in the 1980s.
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