If both partners practice but one makes faster progress—which depresses the other—what should we do?

Lama Ole’s answer:

We should try to strengthen the we-feeling and consider ourselves a totality. Then both can profit from the experiences of the other. If sometimes the woman is ahead, she carries the man along, and if the man has found some strength, he motivates the woman. As long as one thinks “we” instead of “I,” there are no problems at all. Both know what the highest level is and where the goal lies—and both identify with it. When couples practice, they can complement each other very well.

How can we keep the level of development we have reached?

Lama Ole’s answer:

On the level of cause and effect, we simply decide not to kill anymore, not to abuse others sexually, not to steal, not to lie, not to get “stupid drunk,” and so on. We find out where we made mistakes in the past and say to ourselves, “I am not going to do that anymore.”

On the second level, which is more psychological, disturbing feelings are dealt with. Here we try to remove our anger, attachment, jealousy, pride, and confusion. We recognize that those feelings don’t bring any benefit but only destroy a lot.

The third level is all about insight. It’s a matter of knowing that a higher level of joy means a higher level of truth and that enlightenment is the full unfolding of mind. This is a well-rounded state, at rest in itself and beyond hope and fear. We cannot grasp at or produce this state of mind, but only give space for it to appear.

There is a good joke about this. Enlightenment is like meeting a beautiful lady. If you chase her, she’ll call the police. Instead, you have to park your Porsche in front of her door, put your checkbook on top, and wait until she comes. So we can create the outer conditions for enlightenment, but we cannot grasp at it.