After taking part in a Buddhist course, I feel full of energy. Then at home I lose that feeling again. How can I avoid that?

Lama Ole’s answer:

That’s quite natural. Everybody experiences ups and downs in one’s development. One feels good for a while, but then when the good impressions exhaust themselves, unpleasant impressions might come up again. In that case, you have to look at the mirror itself instead of the reflections in it, to identify with awareness itself and not with the ups and downs. If you meditate regularly, that which is between and behind your thoughts, that which experiences and understands your thoughts will gradually become ever more luminous, clear, and strong. And in the end, you won’t lose this state anymore.

If you always have this freshness and “aha” experience within yourself and everything is buzzing with meaning, you cannot suffer any longer. It’s just a matter of time. With every mantra you speak, with every time you let Karmapa melt into yourself in meditation and then rest in naked awareness, you always remove and cleanse all possible kinds of disturbances.

One day you will stand there and think, “I used to be confused and unhappy in this situation”—but you aren’t anymore. That’s purification! Everything pleasant is a blessing; everything unpleasant is purification on the way. It is important to know that we aren’t taking on new negative impressions when we experience suffering and difficulties, but instead our mind is freeing itself from old impressions. If we compare those old, confused impressions to a zoo, we might say that we see the behinds of the animals as they leave, not their faces. We are getting rid of something. It’s a release of impressions from our mind that would have come to us as real problems and suffering later on. Understanding this as purification gives meaning to these experiences, and one feels better in the process.