Phakchok Rinpoche recently discussed six lessons from Patrul Rinpoche, a 19th-century Tibetan teacher, on what we are actually missing in life. The message was sent out on Guru Rinpoche Day, which celebrates Padmasambhava, the 8th century teacher credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet.
“Many of us try to practice and I think it is very important to have a clear idea of the wrong qualities we have in life and their actual nature,” Phakchok Rinpoche wrote. Below is his further explanation of Patrul Rinpoche’s teachings:
“The proud will never be pleased”
When others are proud, you cannot please them easily. When you are being very proud, you always find fulfillment difficult, your expectations are high, and you take things very personally. I like to advise all of you that it is healthy to not take things too personally and not be too proud. And it is very important to be aware of this in daily life.
“The jealous will never be happy”
When you have a lot of jealousy in life towards others, it will be difficult to have a moment of happiness because your mind is constantly in competition when it comes to improving things, changing things, and getting better in life. Jealousy always gives you unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life.
Related: Treasury of Lives: Patrul Rinpoche
“The greedy will never be satisfied”
When you are a very greedy or a person with a lot of attachment, it will be difficult to have satisfaction in your life because what you have will never be enough. There will always be subtle complaining. You are not going to be so happy. You’re always missing something. You want to have more. So you need to learn to be satisfied. You need to learn to remind yourself that you’re very happy with what you have. Remind yourself that you need to respect and be satisfied with things in your life.
“The hateful will never be reconciled”
When you are a hateful person or angry person, it is very difficult to to make friendships, reconcile, forgive, or forget. And it will be difficult for others to forgive you. So you need to watch your hatred and remember to let go to give some space to yourself and others. That can be for anyone: Toward yourself, toward your family members, toward sangha members or dharma brothers and sisters; toward your friends, colleagues, and bosses, and any other person.
“The stingy will never have enough”
When you are very stingy, you never have enough things. The worst part is, you always feel more stingy. And stinginess always makes it more difficult to give. You never respect giving. The stingy never have enough for themselves and cannot give others. So stinginess is very difficult. Especially when it comes to supporting your families, your friends, dharma activities, and helping people who are really needy. So what I want to say on Guru Rinpoche Day is please, all of you, whoever practices dharma, please watch all these kinds of negative thoughts and emotions and the things that we do normally.
“The ignorant will never accomplish”
When you are ignorant, you never accomplish anything because you don’t see things in life clearly, so you can’t achieve things nicely. Ignorance means not being clear in life, not seeing clearly, not understanding clearly. You need to be very clear in life, especially in spiritual life and on your spiritual path. When you don’t see your spiritual path clearly (what your life is about, what are you going to do), you don’t have clarity and you have a lot of ignorance. You have a lot of blind spots so you never accomplish things in life: dharma, non-dharma, spiritual, or non-spiritual.
[This story was originally published in 2016]
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.