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Mar 02
Dharma Teachings
When Concept Opens Up

From the column Dharma Snacks, by Cynthia Kneen

I find contemplation powerful. When a concept opens up, we find a meaning that is deeper and richer than the intellectual activity we started with. As the mind softens and appreciates, we gain insight into the nature of what we were contemplating. What interests me especially is that as we turn inward, we gain insight into the nature of the one who is hosting insight, too, which is ourselves. Realizing our nature, we soften and brighten up. Resting free of intellect, we easily gain confidence in basic goodness. If you’d like to know more about contemplation, the Sakyong’s instruction in Turning the Mind Into an Ally is the best I’ve ever read.

Here is a contemplation that I treasure. Its imagery and analogies are priceless stepping stones.


Some Essential Points, by Jigma Lingpa

In the depth of your being, have no fear−
Be more peaceful than the king of swans

Rely only on yourself, taking advice only from a true teacher−
Be like a wild animal escaping from a cage

Never break your commitment in retreat practice−
Be like a stake planted firmly in hard ground

In bad circumstances, do not panic−
Be like an oblivious madman

When with others, don’t let mindfulness stray to ordinary things−
Perceive all phenomena as infinite purity

When meditating on prana and sampannakrama, never lose your concentration−
Be like someone threading a needle

At death, even if unexpected, have no sadness or regret and nothing unfinished in your mind−
Be like a vulture soaring through the sky


Cynthia Kneen is the author of Awake Mind, Open Heart: The Power of Courage & Dignity in Everyday Life (Avalon, 2002), and the CD course, Shambhala Warrior Training (Sounds True, 1996). Cynthia has taught Shambhala Buddhist programs throughout the mandala for over thirty years and is currently writing a book on business and dharma. Visit her website at www.cynthiakneen.com

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1 response to “ When Concept Opens Up ”
  1. Thanks, Cynthia. This is very helpful.
    You are fabulous.

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