Page two




All as One


If you wish to cast aside the false
And return to true,
Concentrate and settle your
Mind in wall gazing.

Self and other,
The unenlightened
And the saintly,
Are all as one.







In your daily life,
walk single-mindedly when you walk,
sleep single-mindedly when you sleep.

No matter what you do,
do it single-mindedly,
without a second use for the mind,
without external distractions,
without interfering thoughts.

This is a self-discipline.


Master Sheng-yen



Forgetting themselves


All living creatures have worries
because they are attached to themselves.

They are egocentric and think of themselves as the most important.
This not only makes them suffer,
but also makes others around them suffer too.

Only by forgetting themselves
can they create healthy bodies and minds
and a happy attitude toward their spiritual formation.


Master Cheng Yen



True miracle


One of his followers urged the Buddha to perform a miracle in order to attract some nonbelievers.
The Buddha replied:

"I detest and will not undertake the so-called miracles of magic power and divination.
I and my followers attract non-believers only by the miracle of truth."


Digha Nikaya

From "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000.
Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.



The Buddha and the devil


Look for Buddha outside your own mind,
and Buddha becomes the devil.





Look directly!


Look directly!
What is this?

Look in this manner
And you won't be fooled!







When you don't see emptiness in others,
saving them is a weighty thing to do.

When you do see emptiness in others
saving them is like a bud light.


(Dharma Teacher)



Just a little of Zen


The truth of Zen,
Just a little of it,
Is what turns one's
Life of monotonous,
Commonplace actions,
Into one of art,
Full of genuine inner creativity.


D.T. Suzuki





Attention is living;
inattention is dying.

The attentive never stop;
The inattentive are dead already.


Dhammapada 21



The Mind


Quivering, wavering,
hard to guard,
to hold in check:
the mind.

The sage makes it straight
like a fletcher,
the shaft of an arrow.


Dhammapada, 3



What happens with anger.


When someone makes you angry,
it is as if they shot an arrow at your heart.
It doesn't hit you, but it lands right at your feet.
Then you pick up the arrow and stab yourself with it
over and over again.

That's what happens with anger.
Anything in life can be the cause of getting upset,
but the choice to be upset or not is our own.


Tsering Everest,
recounting an analogy
by Chakdud Rinpoche



Compassion and wisdom.


Compassion is the origin of salvation,
but without wisdom, it cannot become 'great compassion.'

With wisdom, we can act
with full perseverance and compassion.

This is in accord with the Buddhist teaching that
'compassion and wisdom revolve together.'


Master Cheng Yen
Still Thoughts Volume 1 Page 24



We are what we think.


We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakeable.





The nature of conditioning.


This body is not yours, nor does it belong to others.
It should be seen as the product of the whole of history.
In regard to it the wise person will reflect on the nature of conditioning, saying:

"If this comes into being, that will arise;
if this does not come into being, that will not arise."


Samyutta Nikaya



Remaining calm.


Knowing that the other person is angry,
one who remains mindful and calm
acts for his own best interest
and for the other's interest, too.


Samyutta Nikaya I, 162



Meditation and activity.


For penetrating to the depths
Of one's own true self-nature,

And for attaining a vitality
Valid on all occasions,

Nothing can surpass
Meditation in the midst of activity.


Hakuin (1686-1769)



It depends on you.


By doing evil, one defiles oneself;
by avoiding evil, one purifies oneself.

Purity and impurity depend upon oneself:
no one can purify another.


Dhammapada 165





If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


The 14th Dalai Lama



Real peace.


Real peace will arise spontaneously
When your mind becomes free of attachments.

When you know that the objects of the world
Can never give you what you really want.







At death a person abandons
what he construes as "mine".

Realizing this, the wise shouldn't incline
to be devoted to "mine".


Sutta Nipata IV, 6





Are you concerned with enlightenment,
which implies a static attainment,
or rather enlightening,
an unending process of continual opening?

Are you concerned with answers
or rather with boundless questions?

For the answer never fails to kill enlightening
the mind then reverts to the static knowing,
soon becomes caught again
in the web of associations and reduces the entirety
of the world to the mundane.


Ji Aoi Isshi



A pot of water.


One should be swift in doing good deeds,
and one's meritorious deeds should be continuous.

It is like boiling a pot of water:
before the water reaches boiling point,
do not pull the fire out, for it would be too much trouble
to start all over again.


Master Cheng Yen



What is Dharma?


Dharma is not Dharma if it is static, fixed, defined, categorized,
printed, expressed in words.

Then why are words used to express dharma?

Words are used to expressed Dharma,
just like the finger is used to point to the moon.
After following where the finger points,
and one sees the moon, the finger has served its purpose.
After reading the words and experienced the truth,
then the purpose of the words that expresses the Dharma, is served.

Dharma is dynamic and fleeting.
It is subtle and soft.
It is quiet and at times total silent.
It does not have to pass through the five sense doors.
It presents itself un-announced directly at the mind door.

When it comes, let it stay, don't grasp it.
When it comes, let it stay, before it goes away.


Dharma Teacher



The Mirror of Life.


Everything in our lives reflects where we are in the process of developing integration and balance.

We can use everything that happens externally as a mirror to help us see the areas within us that need healing and development.

Whenever we have a problem, especially a recurring or chronic problem, it is always an arrow pointing directly to some aspect of our psyche where we need more awareness.

If we accept that life is always trying to teach us exactly what we need to learn, we can view everything that happens to us as a gift.

Even experiences that are uncomfortable or painful contain within them an important key to our healing, wholeness, and prosperity.

We may have difficulty understanding what the mirror of life is trying to show us, but if we sincerely ask for the learning and the gift in every experience, it will be revealed to us one way or another.


Excerpted from the article:
Using the Mirror of Life
by Shakti Gawain





Our lives are not pre-determined
and cannot be completely comprehended.

But our lives can be determined
by our own commitments.


Master Cheng Yen



Mind is Buddha.


Few people believe their
inherent mind is Buddha.

Most will not take this seriously,
and therefore are cramped.

They are wrapped up in illusions, cravings,
resentments, and other afflictions.

All because they love
the cave of ignorance.







As we grow older, it is:

"Not the things we did that
we often regret,
but also the things
we did Not Do
to change ourselves positively!"


Zen Master





Some people cannot bow their heads in modesty,
because they keep turning around to look at past achievements.


Master Cheng Yen



Cause and effect.


One day the Buddha was walking along a dusty road with Ananda, when they saw a piece of string lying in front of them.
The Buddha told Ananda to pick it up. Holding it in his hand, Ananda smelled a fishy odor coming from the string.

The Buddha said:

"Do you smell something, Ananda?"
"Yes, Teacher. It smells strongly of fish."
"Well, do you think that this string originally smelled like fish?"
"No, it is only after it was tied to a fish that it smells like fish now."

The two continued walking for a little while. After some time they saw a piece of paper on the street.

"Ananda, pick it up and see what it is," the Buddha said.
So Ananda bent over and picked it up.

"Do you smell anything?"
"I smell an incense like fragrance," Ananda said.
"Do you think that the paper originally smelled that way?"
"No, Teacher. It smells that way because at one time it must have been used to wrap incense. That's why it smells that way."
"That is so," the Buddha said.
"Now you know that everything in this world, no matter how small, occurs because of the constant operation of cause and effect."

Ananda thanked the Buddha for his advice.

But what did Ananda attain?


Parable of the Buddha



Love letters.


Every day priests minutely
examine the Dharma
and endlessly chant
complicated sutras.

Before doing that, though,
they should learn
how to read the love letters
sent by the wind and rain,
the snow and moon.


Ikkyu (1394-1491)





If we can treat others with love and kindness,
then we will not bring misfortune or harm to ourselves.

So, we must be able to accept a little loss at times
and be like a saint who is so wise that he looks a little stupid.


Master Cheng Yen



Continuous practice.


In the great Way of the Buddha patriarchs there is a supreme continuous practice which is the Way without beginning or end.

Arousing the thought of enlightenment, practice, bodhi, and nirvana have not the slightest break, but are continuous practice which goes on forever.

Therefore, it is neither one's own effort nor someone else's effort; it is pure continuous practice which transcends the opposition of self and others.


Dogen (1200-1253)



Present moment.


Just put thoughts to rest
and don't seek outwardly anymore.

When things come up,
then give them your attention.

Just trust what is functional
in you at present,
and you have nothing
to be concerned about.







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