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Living Fully

Finding Joy in Every Breath

Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche


From the introduction:


Those who continually experience the highest, richest qualities of their being are known as enlightened ones. The more we can integrate with the essential richness of our being, the more fully we can live. Then we can truly enjoy this precious life and celebrate each and every moment. Ultimately, there is no difference between the Buddha and ourselves. The Buddha actualized his enlightened qualities, and we too have the same potential.

The enlightened nature that exists within us is inherently perfect from beginningless time. We do not have to manufacture anything, since it is already perfect as it is. Our true nature shines like the sun. We need to always be aware of this unconditional luminosity, even on the darkest of days.

In this troubling age, when rigid ideologies and confusion often reign, the teachings of the Buddha beckon us home to the simplicity and freshness of our natural state. We do not need to concern ourselves with anything other than this fundamental state of being. Let us breathe freely, without all of the pressure and stress to which we have grown so accustomed. It is my heartfelt wish that these precious wisdom teachings will help to guide us straight to the essence of our true, unconditional nature. At peace with ourselves and at ease with the world, we can discover what it means to live each moment fully.

From Chapter Three, The Qualities We Nurture:


Do everything sincerely. Sincerely feel what you are feeling. Sincerely see what you are seeing. Sincerely express who you are. Sincerely experience what you are interested in experiencing. Look at others sincerely. Sincerely have curiosity. It’s okay. Whatever you do, just do it sincerely. 


When a young child looks at you, there is always this quality of sincerity. No matter how closely she looks, you do not feel any judgment. You sense her curiosity. She is fully present, just looking. She sees all of your imperfections, but you are not embarrassed. You know she will not care about the size of your nose, the shape of your body, or the style of your dress. You are willing to be yourself because she sees you sincerely.

Sincerity is one of the most valuable things in life because it engenders innocence. When you view the world with innocence, everything is fresh. You appreciate and savor whatever you encounter. When you enjoy things innocently, you do not create negative consequences that will haunt you later.

How do you bring about this innocence? You cannot fake it. People will suspect your motives and will never trust you. Perfect innocence comes naturally only when you taste the richness of life. When you feel the preciousness of your every breath, you will not be distracted by promises of wealth or sensual pleasure. You will be enraptured by the wonder and beauty right under your nose. You will not be overpowered by any situation, and you will never feel intimidated.


In this very life, we hold a priceless jewel that should not be traded for anything. The sincere conviction that this life is truly worthwhile is what we need. This conviction, I feel, creates compassion and love for all beings. We cannot love falsely. When we love others and value their precious qualities, we will find real satisfaction and will not look for something in return.

To love others without expecting anything in return is sincere love. If you are expecting a reward, there is no innocence. If you act with a premeditated agenda, your love is insincere — it is not real. It is fabricated and contrived. Therefore, it is false.

It is not what you do that matters; it is how genuinely you do it. You will benefit from a spiritual path when you have sincerity. No matter what you do, you will find joy in it; this is the Buddha’s promise. Your way of life will become very natural, very relaxed. Once everything is settled and you remain at ease, there will be nothing but light and clarity, nothing but bliss and freshness.

Living Fully, Finding Joy in Every Breath is available in paperback at


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