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Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human

Miles Neale

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Try not to be so analytical that you lose your creative vision, your soul‘s third eye of innate intuition. Open your heart. Be willing to be foolish, even if it means straying from the mainstream agenda and risking ridicule. I think we all sense that the world is ready for us to think outside the box, because that box of limited, conventional, rational thinking is destroying us. (p. 75)”

“A prayer or chant is a way of creating an imprint in your mind to one day perceive and experience something favorable. It's a way of actively settling aspiration through a process of cultivation and familiarization. What you think you become.”

“What you‘re experiencing now is conditioned and determined by your past; what you‘re doing now conditions and determines what you‘ll see in your future. When you can take responsibility for that causal process, you are on the first stage of the hero path. You change your piece of the world by changing your body and mind from that of an ordinary, deluded, sleepwalking, and afflicted human to that of a hero and eventually a Buddha – one who is utterly awake. Then you inspire others, until everyone‘s piece of the world is utterly, collectively transformed. (pp. 88 - 89)”

“We can sacrifice ourselves in order to save lives, to spread messages of freedom, hope, and dignity. That is our Buddha Nature, our Christ Nature – people who have embodied the principles of love and compassion and have taken extraordinary measures to change the world for the better. We call them heroes and heroines - for example, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Malala Yousafzai, along with the nameless aid workers, neonatal surgeons, and ordinary parents who make extraordinary choices in life-threatening circumstances. And we admire them. Those are the people who we want to occupy our Jewel Tree, letting their nectar rain down upon us in a shower of blessing and inspiration. They are the people who have discovered interdependence, wisdom, and compassion, have seen through the illusion of separation and come out the other side with the hero‘s elixir for the welfare of others. If we don‘t believe we can do it, if we don‘t have the confidence, that‘s the last hurdle. We believe there is something special about the hero and something deficient about us, but the only difference is that the Bodhisattva has training, has walked the Lam Rim, has reached the various milestones that each contemplation is designed to evoke, and collectively those experiences have brought confidence. Our natures are the same. It‘s in your DNA to become a hero. As heretical as it may sound to some, there is no inherent specialness to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is not inherently different from you. If you had his modeling, training, support, and devotional refuge, you too could be a paragon of hope and goodwill. Now, hopefully you will recognize cow critical it is for you to embrace your training (the Bodhisattva Path), so that we can shape-shift civilization through the neural circuitry of living beings. (pp. 139 - 140)”

“We are missing an enormous opportunity if we deny ourselves a wholesome, mature reliance on those who have evolved to what we aspire to become. As Sir Isaac Newton urged, we can evolve best by standing on the shoulders of giants, getting closer to truth by building on the discoveries of those luminaries who came before us.”

“True refuge demands a complete and utter trust fall into the arms of reality. (p. 56)”

“Think about the urgency of death the next time you argue with your partner or you react unskillfully when your teenager talks back to you. It will change your whole perspective on how you live—to know that it will all be gone. All the petty little disagreements, all the tiffs and fights, all the inconsequential pursuits and preoccupations fly out the window when you look at life from this perspective of death and dying.”

“The way we relate to all of phenomena alters when our mind perceives phenomena as a process and expression of flow […] why does it matter? Because we realize we can‘t hold on to processes, just as we can‘t hold a stream of water. We can savor and skillfully work with dynamic things, but we can‘t control or own them. Meditate on this idea; it‘s healing. (p. 174)”

“The real guru is always within, and while we may need an external guide to serve as a mirror to reflect our highest potential, we should never abandon our innate common sense, intuition, emotions, and wisdom. (p. 163)”

“The final disappearing act of the great magician, the great medicine itself, is that a correct view of emptiness prevents even emptiness from being the final source of clinging. The point is that we have nothing to hold on to – not the world of forms and differentiation, not the formless realm of oneness, and not even the dissolving method of emptiness. „Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, hail awakening“ as the Heart Sutra pronounces. (p. 204)”

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Book Keywords:

heart-sutra, spiritual-transformation, emptiness, hero, mentor, opening-of-the-heart, dharma, buddhism, sir-isaac-newton, spiritual-master, awakening, guru-principle, refuge, tradition, path-of-the-magician, path-of-the-bodhisattva, wisdom, enlightenment, tibetan-buddhism, karma, mindtraining, the-real-guru

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