“Samsaric pleasures are like salt water, the more we indulge, the more we crave.” 

~ Ngulchu Gyalsey Thogmed Zangpo, Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas.

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The nature of will and the nature of ego are very close. A person who has labored long that the distinction between with his or her spiritual discipline often has great I illusion-it is all good! All pride. These are the people who have been punc- tilious about the law, observed the fasts, and given much time and energy to meditation and prayer. But this work and devotion have a hidden danger, which is the danger of pride. Pride is not the same as enjoying the labor or even rejoicing in one’s accomplishment. These two feelings rest on the knowledge that life is temporary. Pride, on the other hand, knows of no future other than itself. Filled with itself, it believes that all reality revolves around it.

 

The following story describes the danger that can bring to our practice: Naftali the tzaddik was sitting at home one evening and heard a  knock at the door. He answered. Standing there was a young man dressed in the robes of a scholar.

 

“Rebbe,” he said, “I have come to study with you.”

 

“Really?” said the rebbe. “What have you learned so far in your studies?”

 

“A tremendous amount,” said the young man. ” I have memorized all of Torah and most of Talmud.”

 

“I am sorry, young man, I cannot teach you,” the tzaddik said and closed the door.  A little later there was another knock. He.answered it, and a young woman was there. “Ex cuse me, Rebbe,” she said. “I would like to learn with you.”

 

“And what have you learned of Torah up to now?” he asked sternly.

 

“To tell you the truth, I know nothing,” she said.

 

“Come in, come in,” he said, smiling broadly.  Later his wife asked him the meaning of this  strange behavior.  “The first lesson and the important-the one we must always begin with – every year, every day, every moment-is that we know nothing.  If we come from a place of thinking we know, it is very hard to progress.”

 

–The Klippah of pride (Avram Davis, “The Way of flame”)

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“What meaning is there in that kind of happiness? It is like a dream that just stops in the middle when you wake up. Those who, as the result of some slight positive action, seem to be happy and comfortable at the moment, will not be able to hold on to that state for an instant longer once the effect of that action runs out. The  kings of the gods, seated high on their thrones of precious jewels spread with divine silks, enjoy all the pleasures of the five senses. But, once their lifespan is exhausted, in the twinkling of an eye they are plunged into suffering and fall headlong down to the scorching metal ground of hell. Even the gods of the sun and moon, who light up the four continents, can end up being reborn somewhere  between those very continents, in darkness so deep that they cannot see whether their own limbs are stretched out or bent in. So do not put your trust in the apparent joys of samsara.” 

~ Patrul Rinpoche in Words of My Perfect Teacher.

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Saṃsāra, the Sanskrit and Pāli term for “continuous movement” or “continuous flowing” refers in Buddhism to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti) and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped through enlightenment. Saṃsāra is associated with suffering and is generally considered the antithesis of nirvāṇa or nibbāna

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