H.H. Penor Rinpoche Teaching on Pride

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”It’s important to get rid of all arrogance and become humble, noble, and free of pride about your practice and accomplishments. You might have certain experiences and realizations that you would like to tell others about, but there is nothing special about such experiences, and you should keep them to yourself. One of the four maras is the devaputra mara, the demon of the divine child, which refers to pride and distraction.

Whether lamas, monks, nuns, or lay practitioners, we are all deceived by pride and distraction. When good thoughts or signs appear, such as rainbows in the sky or visions of deities, we give rise to pride and attachment about them. We may also have good dreams about seeing deities and going to buddha fields, so we feel very joyful and excited, but when practicing the yidam deity and having good experiences and realization, we shouldn’t get carried away by pride, thinking, “I have such a good practice!”

Since we are worldly people, of course we will have such emotions, but if we get attached to these things, we are still bound—but with golden chains. Instead, we should just keep doing our practice and rest within the nature of awareness, without holding on to these experiences. Otherwise, our practice will not improve and we won’t make any progress. Whatever good experience you have, you should develop faith and devotion; then your experience and realization will develop and your good qualities will unfold. The moment you have dualistic concepts of subject and object, that itself is the worst obscuration that blocks good qualities. Whatever thought arises, good or bad, you should be free of doubt and not hold on to it.”

— H.H. Penor Rinpoche, An Ocean of Blessings: Heart Teachings of Drubwang Penor Rinpoche (pp. 55-56)