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Rinpoche's Teachings
Here is Where the Journey Starts

Death, Dying and Reincarnation



Rinpoche's Teachings

Here is Where the Journey Starts
By the Venerable Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche

An article from the Shambhala Sun, September 2002

The Venerable Traleg Rinpocheelucidates three principles that make spiritual practice genuine, but they all come down to the same thing: you have to start with who you are now.

The practice of Buddhism must always begin with ourselves - with gaining some kind of understanding of where we are and what sort of being s we are. Transcendental concepts like buddhahood and nirvana may well represent our ultimate goal, but we will never become a buddha by ignoring our immediate human condition.

If we think of buddhahood and nirvana as realms that are far removed from our human condition, we will set up barriers between who we are and who we want to become. This kind of thinking only defers what we want to realize to some time in the future, because conceiving these realms of transcendence as having nothing in common with our everyday experience renders them unreachable. Thus they remain purely abstract concepts that have no real meaning to us as human beings.

Here are three fundamental points which ground our practice in the reality of being human and that are needed to transform ourselves on the spiritual path.