This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
In our practice we learn to appreciate the distinguishing marks of the Dharma. They are sometimes formulated as non-duality, transience and no self.
In one short phrase the Dalai Lama includes and transcends these marks. With his own “grandmotherly kindness’ he puts the Dharma seal on the table where anyone can see it.
The marks of the Dharma are the marks of practice. The Dalai Lama’s mark is the mark of the practitioner For our benefit the Dalai Lama expresses the long and ancient tongue of the Dharma which knows nothing like Zen or Buddhism. It includes the truth of all beings, religions and spiritual paths.
Please read the quote again.
We should practice this from head to foot.
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
We are one with this force whether we know it or not.
From one point of view we can say we practice in order to appreciate and manifest our identity with this force and yet it is more accurate to say that we practice because we are this force.
The force that grows the flower, that is our destroyer, is the eternal Tao.
The Tao’s ally, the crooked rose, gladly ties our tongues – to drive our sight.