One is not thereby a learned man merely because one speaks much. He who is secure, without hate, and fearless is called learned.
The perception of the external world is dependent on the mind. We cannot find a material world that exists totally separately from the mind. The material world is a reflection of the mind rather than an independently existing thing. If your understanding of this leads you to realise the nature of mind, you will automatically realise the nature of the external world. It is not necessary to separately examine the nature of the world. We realise the nature of the external world through realising the nature of mind because of unity in diversity. This is the same as the realisation of non-dual wisdom.
The Karmapa gave another example illustrating how important and necessary all traditions of Buddhism are. Imagine, he said, a large copper vat filled with milk. It takes four people to lift up, using their strength equally so that the milk does not spill out. There may be some little difference between the four people but basically they are the same. Nevertheless, the Karmapa explained, if one of the four could not carry their side, the milk would spill out. And it would go out even faster if one of the four thought they could do the lifting on their own. So the four need to cooperate in the project of lifting the vessel, which the Karmapa explained as an analogy for the Buddha’s teachings being carried by different traditions. If one side tried to carry the entire vat and spilled the milk, the whole of Buddhism would be diminished; if even one of the other schools disappear, it means that Buddhism is disappearing, so everyone needs to work together. In sum, he said that if the teachings, which are the antidote for our afflictions, become the cause for afflictions to increase, we are finished, so we should consider this carefully.
~Karmapa: Cultivating the Delight of Rejoicing and the Freedom from Prejudice
There are three kinds of dharma practitioners: firstly, there are those who look like practitioners outwardly, but inwardly they are not real practitioners; secondly, there are those who talk very high, but have no realisation at all; thirdly there are those who do not look like practitioners outwardly, but who are in fact genuine practitioners inside.
— His Holiness Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche
All of the faults of samsāra arise from the deluded mind which apprehends a personal self or a self of phenomena. Since this deluded mind also is adventitious like clouds in the sky, from the beginning neither mixing nor polluting the luminous clarity of the primordial basic nature, these faults are individually distinguished from the basic element and are suitable to be removed. Therefore, the essence of the basic element is empty of these faults; it is untainted. Without depending on the polluting delusion, it is luminous and clear by its own nature; self-existing wisdom permeates the thusness of all phenomena. It is not empty of that which it is inseparable from, the basic element of consummate qualities, because in its essence this is the basic nature from which it is inseparable—like the sun and light rays.
– Mipham Rinpoche
What are the reasons for following any spiritual path? Perhaps we are searching for a greater purpose and a sense of meaning in our lives. We need to find an inner and more effective way of managing our problems. We may be hoping to discover lasting happiness but the methods we have tried for dealing with our uncertainties up to now have not been very successful. Although the material world provides many comforts and practical answers, these do not always bring us the contentment we seek. Spiritual questions come from the urge for a new, more satisfying way of life and they are part of our need for a deeper truth.
— Ringu Tulku Rinpoche