Monthly Dharma Quotation: On relating to experience

Every month on Guru Day (10th day of the Lunar Month) we will publish an excerpt from one of Rigdzin Shikpo’s teaching. This teaching is from the book Never Turn Away.

What is the correct way to relate to our experience mindfully and with awareness? According to Trungpa Rinpoche, the important thing is not to have a program of awareness. Try instead to connect with whatever arises very directly; you have to give in to it.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t think, “I am going to be aware of whatever happens around me!” Just allow yourself to experience it simply. Without trying to protect yourself, or feeling the need for tricks or techniques, open out to whatever happens and experience it as directly as you can.

Trungpa Rinpoche taught that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to do when you open out like this. Don’t worry about that. If you don’t know what to do, let that be the case. Just open—immediately and simply—to your experience and allow it to carry you. His analogy was a cook: a good cook doesn’t question whether or not he can cook; he just cooks. And that is how we should be. Just go ahead, without questioning whether or not you can do it. You may not be a perfect cook, but this seems to be the only way to really learn about our experience.

Rigdzin Shikpo

If you enjoyed this teaching, you can read the book Never Turn Away by Rigdzin Shikpo for an introduction to the entire Buddhist path. This book covers in detail Buddhist view, meditation practice, and how to act in the world and is available from our bookstore here:

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