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Finding a Genuine Way

Keep a sincere heart

Please take a few moments before watching or listening to this clip to settle yourself physically in an upright position. Listen to the teachings thinking, "I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the precious Dharma. I am doing this for the benefit of all sentient beings so that they may be free from suffering and attain complete awakening".

Finding a genuine way to practice is quite easy to talk about, Phakchok Rinpoche teaches. But, he warns us that it is actually quite difficult to do. Finding a genuine way can be very challenging. What we really need to put effort into, Rinpoche says, is to be genuine. What does that mean? We really don’t have a clue. We think we are being genuine, but really, we always learn to lie. Lying here is not the negative kind, but the “positive” kind of lying.

To be genuine, Rinpoche teaches, we need to drop this habit. How? Think that you don’t need to please anybody. You don’t need to think about yourself. You don’t need to think about your image. Just keep a truthful and sincere heart. The sincere heart should not be based upon yourself, but on a caring for others. Here, Rinpoche explains he means just simple caring. Try to have a good heart, but be sincere.

It is difficult to be sincere. Among spiritual practitioners, it can be difficult to find those who are sincere. Rinpoche says that this is a challenge that we all face. So what to do? The only way to stay sincere, Rinpoche advises, is motivation. This is why, in the Buddhist tradition, we always begin teachings with supplication and motivation prayers. Here, Rinpoche shares personal advice on how he now thinks about the importance of motivation. He knows that we have heard this many times and we may be tired of hearing about it. Rinpoche jokes that teaching about motivation can seem tiring — but it is all about kindness. And kindness means it is not “all about you.”

Rinpoche asks us to consider why he talks about motivation again and again. It is because we always fail at that. We can be very good at accumulating mantras or doing hours of practice if Rinpoche requests it. But, the point we should consider is: are we more sincere? More genuine and true? And the answer you know yourself is no, not much. We may be a little better until we meet someone. And then, our personality changes depending on the conditions.

Dharma means knowing yourself. And this means knowing without judging yourself or worrying about your image. Just sit and reflect, remind yourself, and re-remind yourself. That is how to consider motivation. Remind yourself to have a kind mind and a caring mind.

Related Teachings

At the end of the teaching, please remember to dedicate the merit of receiving a Dharma teaching. As you go through your day, take a few moments from time to time to recall these instructions.

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Samye Institute