Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying

Motivation and Dharma as Medicine

In this short clip, Rinpoche responds to a question asked about how to view and implement our motivation into practice. Rinpoche uses the analogy of the Dharma as medicine, the student as the patient, study and practice as the treatment plan, and the teacher as the physician. Rinpoche then briefly discusses a genuine motivation; that is, the wish to free all beings from their suffering and mental problems.

Caring With Genuine Motivation

When, as Buddhist practitioners, we engage in caring for others, we need to check our own motivation carefully. As we go about our day, are we setting aside any of our self-centered focus? Sometimes, when we are caring, we slip into a focus on our own goals. But if we truly wish to free others from all suffering, we will need to regularly reset our intent. Caregiving is a truly noble activity so we need to take the time to recall and refresh our motivation. While we care, we can remember that we, too need the treatment of a skilled physician in order to bring ultimate benefit for beings.

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.