Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dharma Quote: Geshe Sonam Rinchen

Dharma Quote of the Week from Snow Lion Publications:
Apart from the perfection of wisdom,
All virtuous practices such as
The perfection of giving are described
As skillful means by the Victorious Ones.

The first five perfections--giving, ethical discipline, patience, enthusiastic effort and concentration--as well as meditation on impermanence, on the connection between actions and their effects and the cultivation of compassion, love and the altruistic intention are all skillful means. In fact all positive practices which do not constitute the cultivation of wisdom fall into the category of skillful means.

Whoever, under the influence of familiarity
With skillful means, cultivates wisdom
Will quickly attain enlightenment--
Not just by meditating on selflessness.

When stability in practices which develop skillful means has been gained, the Bodhisattva meditates on the selflessness of persons and other phenomena and thereby overcomes clinging to their true existence. This leads swiftly to enlightenment. If we confine our efforts only to understanding reality, our understanding lacks the power to destroy all the obstructions that prevent omniscience and we may remain locked in a state of solitary peace. Cultivation of skillful means prevents this and adds such power to our understanding of reality that, like a blazing fire, it consumes all obstructions.

~ From Atisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, commentary by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, translated and edited by Ruth Sonam, published by Snow Lion Publications.

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