Page three




The true miracle


People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is to walk on earth.

Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child, our own two eyes.

All is a miracle.

Thich Nhat Hanh



Actually free


As long as you are subject
To a life bound by force of habit,
You are not free from the burden of the body.

Kuei-Shan (771-854)



A pebble for your pocket


Sometimes when we become angry during the day, it is difficult to remember to stop and breathe. I know a good way for you to remember to stop and breathe when you are angry or upset.
First, go for a walk and find a pebble that you like. Then, go sit near the Buddha, if there is one in your house, or outside under a special tree or on a special rock, or go to your room.
With the pebble in your hand, say:

Dear Buddha,

Here is my pebble. I am going to practice with it when things go wrong in my day. Whenever I am angry or upset, I will take the pebble in my hand and breathe deeply. I will do this until I calm down.

Now put your pebble in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go. When something happens during the day that makes you unhappy, put your hand in your pocket, take hold of the pebble, breathe deeply, and say to yourself,
"Breathing in, I know I am angry. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger."
Do this until you feel a lot better and can smile to your anger.

Thich Nhat Hanh



The moon, not the finger


Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology,
even Buddhist ones.

All systems of thought are guiding means;
they are not absolute truth.

Thich Nhat Hanh



Time to meditate


You say that you are too busy to meditate.
Do you have time to breathe? Meditation is your breath.

Why do you have time to breathe but not to meditate?
Breathing is something vital to peoples lives.

If you see that Dharma practice is vital to your life,
then you will feel that breathing and practicing the Dharma are equally important.

Ajahn Chah



Looking in the mirror


Awareness is a mirror
reflecting the four elements.

Beauty is a heart that generates love,
and a mind that is open.

Thich Nhat Hanh



Examine your Buddhism


Buddhism never tells you to be dogmatic.
Once you feel the dogma in the Buddhism practice,
re-evaluate that Buddhism.

Once you become dogmatic,
re-examine your own Buddhism.

Desmond Chiong - Dharma Teacher



The principle of egolessness


It is important to remember always that the principle of egolessness does not mean that there was an ego in the first place, and the Buddhists did away with it.

On the contrary, it means there was never any ego at all to begin with.
To realize that is called "egolessness."

Sogyal Rinpoche



Education, not religion


Buddhism is an education, not a religion.
We do not worship the Buddha, we respect him as a teacher.

His teaching enable us to leave suffering and attain true happiness.

Chin Kung



Refuge Prayer - by Thich Nhat-Hanh


At the foot of the Bodhi tree, beautifully seated, peaceful and smiling, the living source of understanding and compassion, to the Buddha I go for refuge.

The path of mindful living, leading to healing, joy, and enlightenment, the way of peace, to the Dhamma I go for refuge.

The loving and supportive community of practice, realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation, to the Sangha I go for refuge.

I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart.
I vow to realize them. I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling, looking deeply into things. I vow to understand living beings and their suffering, to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, and to practice joy and equanimity.
I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning and to help relive the grief of one person in the afternoon.
I vow to live simply and sanely, content with just a few possessions, and to keep my body healthy.
I vow to let go of all worry and anxiety in order to be light and free. I am aware that I owe so much to my parents, teachers, friends and all beings.
I vow to be worthy of their trust, to practice wholeheartedly, so that understanding and compassion will flower, and I can help living beings be free from their suffering.

May the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha support my efforts.

Pure Mind, Quiet Heart - Source: Buddhanet



Everything is an advantage


Insight practice uses everything;
it turns everything to an advantage.

Dharma Teacher



A very important practice


This is a very important practice:
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself.

When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings,
anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself.

The practice is always to go back to oneself.

Thich Nhat Hanh





While practicing generosity,
we should always remember
how very fortunate we are to have this opportunity.

Gomo Tulku



Deep knowledge


"Deep knowledge" means to observe something or someone
with so large concentration that the distinction
between observer and observed disappears.

Thich Nhat Hanh



At that moment


When we are capable of loving ourselves,
we are already protecting and nourishing society.

When we are able to smile, when we are peaceful,
at that moment there is a change in the world already.

Thich Nhat Hanh



In Buddhism faith ......


In Buddhism faith is nourished by understanding.
The practice of looking deeply helps you to understand better.
As you understand better, your faith grows.

Thich Nhat Hanh



The Way and the side road


To live by the precepts is to travel the Way of unity and harmony
in which the road is smooth, the obstructions few,
and the scenery strikingly beautiful.

To transgress the precepts is to take a side road that appears interesting,
but which soon turns bumpy, becomes monotonous,
and ends in the dead-end of regret and apprehension.

Philip Kapleau Roshi



With nothing


I came with nothing
I will go with nothing
but so much joy in my heart.

Cultivate joy and love, honesty and sincerity,
simplicity and humbleness.

Nan Hin

Sharing happiness


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

The Buddha

Source of strength


Difficulties and obstacles,
if properly understood and used,
can turn out to be an unexpected source of strength.

Sogyal Rinpoche

The beginner's mind


If your mind is empty,
it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities,
in the expert's mind there are few.

Suzuki Roshi



Men who are afraid to make love sacrifice,
will have to fight.

Toyohiko Kagawa

Powerful weapon


My most powerful weapon
is silent prayer.

Mahatma Gandhi



Learn to let go.
That is the key to happiness.


Shakyamuni Buddha

More precious than a gem


A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.


Author Unknown
(from Bob Gould in the Yahoo Club: Admirers of HH the Dalai Lama)





Although we may not cultivate perfectly,
little by little the merits that will be accumulated
will be considerable.


Pure Mind, Quiet Heart - Source: Buddhanet



The Bell


A new student approached the Zen master and asked how he should
prepare himself for his training.

"Think of me a bell," the master explained.
"Give me a soft tap, and you will get a tiny ping.
Strike hard, and you'll receive a loud, resounding peal."


Zen Story

Comment: The more you try, the more a good teacher will help.





Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course)
that we can be very grateful to those people
who have made life most difficult for us.


Ayya Khema,
"When the Iron Eagle Flies"



Right Practice


Solve the problems that life sets before you,
and you will find that solving them
contributes to your inner growth.


Peace pilgrim





There is hope in men,
not in society, not in systems,
not in organised religious systems,
but in you and in me.


J. Krishnamurti





Joy is the mainspring in the whole
Of endless Nature's calm rotation.

Joy moves the dazzling wheels that roll
In the great timepiece of Creation.


Dharma Teacher





The function of meditation practice is to heal and transform.
Meditation helps us to be whole, and to look deeply into ourselves and around us in order to realize what is really there.

The energy that is used in meditation is mindfulness; to look deeply is to use mindfulness to light up the recesses of our mind, or to look into the heart of things in order to see their true nature.


Thich Nhat Hanh



Non-clinging is not indifference


Indifference lacks compassion
non-clinging does not.

Indifference is cold, dead,
non-clinging is alive and well.

Indifference wears a face of stone,
non-clinging wears a warm smile.

Indifference is suffering,
non-clinging is not-suffering.

Be non- clinging, do not be indifferent.
Be well, do not be unhealthy.


Des - Dharma Teacher



Love letters


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

They should learn
how to read the love letters
sent by the wind and rain,
the snow and moon.


Ikkyu (1394-1491)



Understanding the teachings


If people say they understand the teachings,
but cannot put them into practice,
they do not truly understand them.


Pure Mind, Quiet Heart - Source: Buddhanet



Pure Giving - (Dana)


Pure giving is when we have no attachment
to the thought that we have given,
that someone has received
or that something has been given.


Pure Mind, Quiet Heart - Source: Buddhanet



Freedom - I


Freedom is not a reaction;
freedom is not a choice.

It is man's pretence
that because he has choice he is free.


Krishnamurti - about freedom



No thought


'No thought' means having 'no improper thought',
it does not mean having no 'awakened thought'.


Pure Mind, Quiet Heart - Source: Buddhanet



The most important thing


The most important thing is to find out
what is the most important thing.


Shunryu Suzuki



The Four Immeasurable Minds


Practicing the Immeasurable Mind of Love
extinguishes anger
in the heart of living beings.

Practicing the Immeasurable Mind of Compassion
extinguishes all sorrows and anxieties
in the heart of living beings.

Practicing the Immeasurable Mind of Joy
extinguishes sadness and joylessness
in the heart of living beings.

Practicing the Immeasurable Mind of Equanimity
extinguishes hatred, aversion and attachment
in the heart of living beings.


Nagarjuna - Mahaprajnaparamita Shastra



Do not try to become anything


Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened.

When you sit, let it be. What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.


Taken from "A Still Forest Pool" by Ajhan Chah



No attachment!


One who clings to vacancy and rejects the world of things
escapes from drowning but leaps into fire.


Song of Enlightenment



I have no age


A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah,
"How old are you? Do you live here all year round?"
"I live nowhere," he replied.
"There is no place you can find me. I have no age.

To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem.
Don't make problems; then the world has none either.
Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."


Master Ajahn Chah's teachings



Love - IV


This sense of affection, this love, this quality
cannot be cultivated, cannot be practiced, cannot be brought about;
but it must happen as naturally as breathing,
as fully with great joy and delight as the sunset.


Krishnamurti - Talks in India



The question of Nirvana


I myself feel, and also tell other Buddhists that the question of Nirvana will come later.
There is not much hurry.
If in day to day life you lead a good life, honesty, with love,
with compassion, with less selfishness, then automatically it will lead to Nirvana.


H.H. Dalai Lama



Knowing and love


The man who knows how to split the atom
but has no love in his heart
becomes a monster.


Education and the Significance of Life



The realm of reality


Constantly see your body as empty
And quiet, inside and outside
Communing in sameness.

Plunge the body into the realm
Of reality, where there has
Never been any obstruction.


Tao-hsin (580-651)



Love - III


The things of the mind are jealousy, envy, ambition,
the desire to be somebody, to achieve success.
These things of the mind fill your hearts, and then you say you love;
but how can you love when you have all these confusing elements in you?

When there is smoke, how can there be a pure flame?
Love is not a thing of the mind;
and love is the only solution to our problems.


Krishnamurti's Talks 1949-1950



Right Mindfulness


Constantly be aware,
Without stopping.

When the aware mind is present,
It senses the formlessness of things.


Tao-hsin (580-651)



Love - II


Love is: dying every day.
Love is not memory, love is not thought.
Love is not a thing that continues as duration in time.

And, through observation,
One must die to the continuity of everything.
Then there is love; and with love, there comes creation.


Talks by Krishnamurti in India 1965



Heart Practice


When conflict and adversity arises,
always preserve a spacious heart.


Master Cheng Yen



Love - I


We shall know that state of love only when jealousy, envy,
possessiveness, domination, come to an end;
and as long as we possess, we shall never love.


Krishnamurti's Talks 1949-1950





The realm of Buddhahood
is not some external world
where there is a formal "Buddha."

It's the realm of the wisdom
of a self awakened sage.


Ta Hui (12th century)



Master of the art of living


The one who masters the art of living
Does not put divisions between his work and his free time.
Between his mind and his body,
his training and his recreation, his love and his religion.

He hardly knows what is what.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does,
letting others decide whether he is working or playing.

He always thinks he is doing both at the same time.





Strengthen your mind


Strengthening the mind is not done by making it move around
as is done to strengthen the body,
but by bringing the mind to a halt, bringing it to rest.


Ajahn Chah



The Need To Win


When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.

If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets
He is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize
Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting.

And the need to win
Drains him of power.


from The Way of Chuang Tzu [xix,4]
Thomas Merton Translation



The sage's speech


Any speech which ignores uncertainty
is not the speech of a sage.


Ajahn Chah



Truth is all there is


If your mind is happy, then you are happy anywhere you go.
When wisdom awakens within you,
you will see Truth wherever you look.

Truth is all there is.
It's like when you've learned how to read
you can then read anywhere you go.


Ajahn Chah



Magnanimous mind


Magnanimous mind
Is like a mountain,
Stable and impartial;

Exemplifying the ocean, it
Reflects the broadest perspective.


Dogen (1200-1253)



Who is Ajahn Chah?


Once there was a layman who came to Ajahn Chah and asked him who Ajahn Chah was. Ajahn Chah, seeing that the spiritual development of the individual was not very advanced, pointed to himself and said, "This, this is Ajahn Chah."

On another occasion, Ajahn Chah was asked the same question by someone else. This time, however, seeing that the questioner's capacity to understand the Dhamma was higher, Ajahn Chah answered by saying, "Ajahn Chah? There is NO Ajahn Chah."


Master Ajahn Chah's teachings





Don't be surprised,
Don't be startled;
All things will arrange

Don't cause a disturbance,
Don't exert pressure;
All things will clarify







If you wish to have the insight of Interbeing you only need to look at a basket of fresh green vegetables which you have just picked. Looking deeply you will see the sunshine, clouds, compost, gardener and hundreds of thousands of elements more.

Vegetables cannot arise on their own, they can only arise when there is sun, clouds, earth etc. If you take the sun out of the basket of vegetables the vegetables will no longer be there. If you take the clouds away it is the same.


Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



The abode of the Way


Heaven is calm and clear,
Earth is stable and peaceful.
Beings who lose these qualities
While those who emulate them

Calm spaciousness is the
House of spiritual light;
Open selflessness is the
Abode of the Way.







A student asked:

"For all the different people who have come to listen to your words, please tell us about the way you have found and known."

The Buddha answered:

"When you take things it is because of a thirst, a clinging, and a grasping. You should lose that and lose it altogether, above, below, around, and within.
It makes no difference what it is you are grasping. When you grasp, you are losing your freedom. Realize this and grasp at nothing.
Then you will cease being a creature of attachment, tied to the powers of death."


Sutta Nipata





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