What to Do? The Four Metaphors
This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from Patrul Rinpoche’s classic introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Words of My Perfect Teacher. We’re using the Yale University Press edition, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. You can get the book for yourself if you wish. We are not following any particular order in these excerpts. This one is in the chapter on The Ordinary or Outer Preliminaries, and the section on The Four Metaphors, on page 16 of the 2011 edition.
The Four Metaphors
The Sutra Arranged like a Tree says:
Noble one, you should think of yourself as someone who is sick,
Of the Dharma as the remedy,
Of your spiritual friend as a skillful doctor
And of diligent practice as the way to recovery.
We are sick. From beginningless time, in this immense ocean of suffering that is samsara, we have been tormented by the illness of the three poisons and their fruit, the three kinds of suffering.
When people are seriously ill, they go to consult a good doctor. They follow the doctor’s advice, take whatever medicine he prescribes, and do all they can to overcome the disease and get well. In the same way, you should cure yourself of the diseases of karma, negative emotions, and suffering by following the prescriptions of that experienced doctor, the authentic teacher, and by taking the medicine of the Dharma.
See More Excerpts from The Words of My Perfect Teacher on YoWangdu:
The Words of My Perfect Teacher
By Patrul Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama
Our friend, a Buddhist Studies professor in the U.S., notes that this is “an English translation of a Tibetan text on the path to enlightenment. The translation is really good and many Tibetan Studies scholars use the book in their Tibetan Buddhism classes.”
Description: “A favorite of Tibetans and recommended by the Dalai Lama and other senior Buddhist teachers, this practical guide to inner transformation introduces the fundamental spiritual practices common to all Tibetan Buddhist traditions...Patrul Rinpoche makes the technicalities of his subject accessible through a wealth of stories, quotations, and references to everyday life….quintessential introduction to Tibetan Buddhist practice. ” (5 stars/24 reviews)
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