Book Cover
The Wisdom of No Escape


TL;DR: Hard to think of central theme. Titular talk was one of the weaker ones, it basically described that when you are backed into a corner you can find out who you really are by opening up and letting things happen. Lots of stuff about self-acceptance.

Notes

  • Final talk: The Four Reminders
    • The first reminder is our precious birth and how much of a damn miracle it is
    • The second reminder is impermanence. The essence of life is fleeting.
    • The third reminder is karma. Every action has a result. We sow the seeds and we reap the fruit.
    • The fourth reminder is the futility of continuing to spin around on samsara. Don’t fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over and over again.
    • Together, these reminders can help us wake up when shit isn’t going perfectly.

Snippets

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspured way. (6)

You were very god. You were very good right from the beginning, but I knew if I told you that you were good, you would stop trying. (10)

Thereare three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go. (13)

Being with the out-breath cultivates the precision of your mind, and when you label (say "thinking" to yourself), that too brings out the precision of your mind. (15)

This is probably one of the most amazing tools that you could be given, the ability to just let things go, not to be caught up in the grip of your own angry thoughts or passionate thoughts or worried thoughts or depressed thoughts.

Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting. (25)

There isn't any hell or heaven except for how we relate to our world. Hell is just resistance to life. [...] Life's work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep. (29)

As soon as you begin to believe in something, then you can no longer see anything else. The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new. (32)

The first noble truth says simply that it's part of being human to feel discomfort. [...] The second noble truth says that this resistance is the fundamental operating mechanism of what we call ego, that resisting life causes suffering. [...] The third noble truth says that the cessation of suffering is letting go of holding on to ourselves. [...] I'm talking about resisting, not grasping, not getting caught in hope and in fear, in good and in bad, but actually living completely. (40)

Whether it's smoking a cigarette or drinking a cup of tea or making your bed or washing the dishes--whatever it might be--it's ritual in the sense of doing it properly, if you can hold the sadness in your heart as well as the vision of the Great Eastern Sun. (78)

We can stop thinking that good practice is when it's smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it's rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea. (81) [Tiger: don't prefer one over the other. They exist in a balance.]