Page four




Let the world tickle your heart


Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.
It comes from letting the world tickle your heart,
your raw and beautiful heart.

You are willing to open up,
without resistance or shyness,
and face the world.

You are willing
to share your heart with others.

Chogyam Trungpa



Whatever: What to do with it


I follow four dictates:

face it,
accept it,
deal with it,
then let it go.

Chan Master Sheng Yen



Human desire for Freedom and Dignity


Brute force, no matter how strongly applied,
can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom and dignity.

It is not enough, as communist systems have assumed,
merely to provide people with food, shelter and clothing.

Human nature needs to breathe
the precious air of liberty.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama



Beyond the superficial knowledge


Great knowledge sees all in one.
Small knowledge breaks down into the many.



My doctrine is to think the thought that is unthinkable


My doctrine is to think the thoughtthat is unthinkable,
to practice the deed that is not-doing,
to speak the speech that is inexpressible,
and to be trained in the discipline that is beyond discipline.

Those who understand this are near,
those who are confused are far.

The way is beyond words and expressions,
is bound by nothing earthly.
Lose sight of it to an inch, or miss it for a moment,
and we are away from it forevermore.

Lord Buddha





To have self-respect
is to take good care of one's own mind.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Passing clouds


It depends on one's mind to be perplexed or enlightened.
The enlightened regards fame and gain as passing clouds,
having nothing to gain or lose.

The perplexed becomes happy in success,
sad in failure.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



The Way to Happiness


I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.
From the very core of our being, we desire contentment.

In my own limited experience I have found
that the more we care for the happiness of others,
the greater is our own sense of well-being.

Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others
automatically puts the mind at ease.
It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have
and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter.
It is the principal source of success in life.

Since we are not solely material creatures,
it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness
on external development alone.

The key is to develop inner peace.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama





All phenomena exist interdependently.
Their being is dependent on their parts and attributes.
A flower, a tree, or a human being all exist interdependently,
relying on their causes, circumstances, attributes and parts.

Our happiness, suffering, growth and degeneration,
all exist on the basis of an interdependent relationship
of causes and circumstances.

Master Geshe Rabten



The complete practice of Zen meditation


Please, take care of yourself and enjoy yourself.

Enjoy this practice,
this practice of sore knees and aching bones
and frightened minds and turbulent feelings
and extreme beauty and clarity and simplicity,
warmth and compassion and direct insight into ourselves
and into the nature of all that lives.

Please, enjoy yourself.

Anzan Hoshin Roshi



What are we looking for to be happy?


The conditions for our happiness are already sufficient,
we only need to allow ourselves to be in the present moment,
and we will be able to touch them.

What are we looking for to be happy?
Everything is already here.
We do not need to put an object in front of us to run after,
believing that until we get it, we cannot be happy.

That object is always in the future,
and we can never catch up to it.

We are already in the Pure Land, the Kingdom of God.
We are already a Buddha.

We only need to wake up and realize we are already here.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Half-baked enlightenment


We should be very careful of half-baked enlightenment,
and especially of taking pride in our enlightenment.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Meditation - Zazen


The practice of zazen (Meditation)
is not for gaining a mystical something.

Zazen is for allowing a clear mind,
as clear as a bright autumn sky.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



To manage space and time


A saint is different from an ordinary person
by managing space and time with perseverance
and controlling his/her own conduct with persistence.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Working on spiritual things


True religion cannot be obtained by seeking for some good;
that is the way to attain something in a material sense.

The way to work on spiritual things is very different.
Even to talk about spiritual things is not actually spiritual,
but a kind of substitute.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Beginner's mind


We should practice with a beginner's real innocence,
devoid of ideas of right or wrong, gain or loss.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



No discrimination


Those who have true insight about religions
have no discrimination, because all religions
share a common goal: love.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



One awakening is not enough


Ordinary people have been revolving in circles
since time immemorial, being born and dying.

Because of clinging fixedly to self-images,
false ideas, and misperceptions,
the habits of illusion eventually become second nature to them.

Even if they suddenly awaken in this life
and realize that their essential nature is fundamentally empty and silent,
no different from the Buddhas,
nevertheless past habits are difficult to remove all at once.

Master Chinul (1158-1210)



Loving speech


Speak tenderly.
Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes,
in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting.

Always have a cheerful smile.
Don't only give your care,
but give your heart as well.

Dharma Teacher



Our Ultimate Potential


Inner refuge is refuge in ourselves,
in our ultimate potential.

When we recognize and nourish this potential,
we have found the real meaning of refuge.

Kathleen McDonald
"How to Meditate"



Deep listening


Moment after moment,
completely devote yourself
to listening to your inner voice.

Master Shunryu Suzuki



True Religion


To believe in religions
we must have right perception,
right view and right thoughts.

A religion has no superstition,
otherwise it is not a religion.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Deep Mindfulness


We can do no great things;
only small things with deep mindfulness.

Dharma Teacher



The Ease of Serene Calm


A radiant deity once asked the Buddha:

"Those who dwell deep in the forest,
Peacefully living the Noble life,
Eating but a single meal a day,
Why is their appearance so serene ?"

Buddha responded:

"They do not sorrow over the past,
Nor do they hanker for the future,
They live by, just with what is present,
Therefore is their appearance so serene!

By urging towards the unreal future,
By longing back into the lost past,
Fools verily dry up and wither away,
Like a green creeper all cut down... "

Samyutta Nikaya I 5



Our practice


We work on ourselves in order to help others,
but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.

Pema Chodron





In your daily lives,
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 self-discipline.

Chan Master Sheng-Yen





Notice that the first vow says nothing about enlightenment.
Enlightenment comes last.

Master Cheng-yen



Free mind


Our mind should be free
From traces of the past.

Just like the flowers of spring.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi





A miracle is not the suspension of natural law,
but the operation of a higher law.

Dharma Teacher



Do not complain over adversity


Do not complain or haggle over adversity.

Sufferings will never end
if one keeps creating bad causes this way.

Master Cheng Yen





Do away with your old habits
and start fresh.

Wash away your old opinions,
And new ideas come in.

Xue Xuan (1389-1464)



Essential truth of suffering


The essential truth of suffering
is that neither individual nor social problems
are due chiefly to external conditions.

B. Alan Wallace,
”Tibetan Buddhism From the Ground Up”



The goal


The goal of a religion
is to provide clear guidance to truths
and to broaden the boundary of love,
so one will not struggle in pain
when facing impermanence.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen





Things are always changing,
so nothing can be yours.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Fatal damage


When you are fooled by something else,
the damage will not be so big.

But when you are fooled by yourself, it is fatal.
No more medicine.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Buddhism hands out freedom freely


Buddhism does not offer hope.
Buddhism offers freedom if it is practiced properly
and is lived mindfully day to day,
moment to moment.

Desmond B. Chiong



You and reality


When the mind exists,
understanding and not understanding are both false.

When you understand, reality depends on you.
When you don't understand, you depend on reality.

Dharma Teacher



A very powerful reason


On the basis of the belief that
all human beings share the same divine nature,
we have a very strong ground,
a very powerful reason,
to believe that it is possible for each of us
to develop a genuine sense of equanimity toward all beings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama



Bodhisattva's heart


To see others' success as one's own
is to have a Bodhisattva's heart.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen





The Way avoids nothing at all,
so we may be grateful even for obstacles.

Apart from obstacles,
there is no training.




Awareness brings joy and calm


As you get more and more familiar
with living in mindfulness,
you will feel a sense of joy enveloping you.

You will be more calm in your feeling
as well as in your outlook.

Desmond B. Chiong



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.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Successful Person


A truly successful person can tolerate
and be tolerated by all others.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



The Moment of Attaining


The dharma is such that it cannot be
attained by groping or searching about.

In the realm of seeing,
knowledge perishes.

At the moment of attaining,
mind is surpassed.

Master Dogen



Sympathizing and sharing


Tell the person about the impermanence of the body,
but do not tell him to despise or turn away from the body.

Tell him to use his own illness as a mean
of sympathizing with the illness of others.




To abstain from killing is to cultivate compassion


Not only should one hurt no lives,
but also respect all.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Taking the First Steps of the Day


Walking on the Earth
is a miracle!

Each mindful step
reveals the wondrous Dharmakaya.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Why Don't We Have Time to Meditate?


Why Don't We Have Time to Meditate?

There's plenty of time to meditate,
we just don't fully understand the practice, that's all.

While sleeping we breathe, eating we breathe, don't we?
Why don't we have time to meditate?
Wherever we are we breathe.

If we think like this then wherever we are we have time.

Master Ajahn Chah



To Meditate


To meditate means to confront reality and not to escape.
If you are running away from your real problems,
you are not meditating correctly.

You need to sit in a mound of calm, of concentration.
You need to sit in a mound of mindfulness
in order to confront these hardships
and to look into the nature of this suffering.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Past, Present, and Future


Do appreciate the past,
anticipate the future,
and most importantly
seize the present.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Experience Dharma


Don’t Cling to Dharma;
Don’t Study Dharma;
Don’t Learn Dharma;

Experience Dharma.

Clinging, studying, learning does not lead to Dharma.
Dharma can only be experienced.
Mindfulness practice paves the way
to experiencing Dharma.

Dharma Teacher



The Bodhisattva Vows


However innumerable beings are,
I vow to meet them all with kindness and interest.

However inexhaustible the states of suffering are,
I vow to touch them all with patience and love.

However immeasurable the Ways of Dharma are,
I vow to explore them all deeply.

However incomparable the mystery of interbeing,
I vow to surrender to it freely.

Dharma Teacher



A help to grow


When safe and sound, we may easily indulge ourselves.

Contrarily, it may be our fortune to encounter some frustrations,
which may help to cultivate our conscience and goodness.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen





Our practice should be based on the idea of selflessness.
Selflessness is very difficult to understand.

If you try to be selfless, that is already a selfish idea.
Selflessness will be there when you do not try anything.

When you are practicing with a good teacher,
you will naturally be not so selfish.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



The fragrance of goodness


If a person foolishly does me wrong,
I will return to him the protection of my boundless love.

The more evil that comes from him,
the more good will go from me.

I will always give off only the fragrance of goodness.

Lord Buddha





In reflecting on our problems,
we should include ourselves.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Sitting Meditation


Sitting meditation
is to establish stillness, peace and joy.

Just as an anchor holds a boat
so that it does not drift away,
conscious breathing sustains our awareness of the present moment,
and keeps us in touch with our true nature.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Mindful speech, deep listening


We should speak and listen wholeheartedly,
never to select and combine words,
making them sharp enough
to prick other's hearts.

Master Cheng Yen



True penitence


True penitence is to let go of past mistakes,
and most importantly is to seize the present moments

to make no more mistakes
and strive for good deeds.

Master Cheng Yen



A matter of priority


Feeling miserable?

Meditation is the only cure to all your problems.
But you have to put meditation on top of your priority list.

Is it?

Master Tishan



Direct experience


To experience directly,
one must be aware of oneself in the process of repetition,
of habits, or words, of sensations.

That awareness gives one and extraordinary freedom,
so that there can be a renewal,
a constant experiencing, a newness.

J. Krishnamurti



Free of attachment and aversion


What we have to learn,
in both meditation and in life,

is to be free of attachment to the good experiences,
and free of aversion to the negative ones.

Sogyal Rinpoche





Overcome anger by love;
Overcome the wrong by good;

Overcome the miserly by generosity;
And a liar by truth.

Lord Buddha



Peace in oneself, peace in the world


A great deal of chaos in the world occurs
because people don't appreciate themselves.

Having never developed sympathy or gentleness toward themselves,
they cannot experience harmony or peace within themselves,

and therefore, what they project to others
is also inharmonious and confused

Chogyam Trungpa



Guided meditation - I am freedom


Breathing in,
I have become space
without boundaries.

I have no plans left,
I have no luggage.

Breathing out,
I am the moon
that is sailing through the sky
of utmost emptiness.

I am freedom.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Guided meditation - Mirror mind


Breathing in,
I am still water.
I reflect the sky

Look, I have a full moon
within my heart,
the refreshing moon of the Bodhisattva.

Breathing out,
I offer the perfect reflection
of my mirror-mind.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Guided meditation - Solid and stable


Breathing in,
I am a mountain,

Breathing out,
I feel solid.

The waves of emotion
can never carry me away.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Guided meditation - The eyes of true love


Breathing in
I see myself as a flower.
I am the freshness
of a dewdrop.

Breathing out,
my eyes have become flowers.

Please look at me.
I am looking with the eyes of true love.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Peace, Great Joy


"'I am breathing in and making my whole body calm and at peace.'

It is like drinking a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day
and feeling your body become cool inside.

When you breathe in, the air enters your body
and calms all the cells of your body.
At the same time each 'cell' of your mind also becomes more peaceful.
The three are one, and each one is all three.

This is the key to meditation.
Breathing brings the sweet joy of meditation to you.
You become joyful, fresh, and tolerant,
and everyone around you will benefit."

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



The energy of a true Sangha


The easiest way for anyone to practice mindfulness is to join a Sangha.
When we come together as a Sangha, we support each other in the practice,
And what may seem difficult to do by ourselves at home
becomes natural and enjoyable with Dharma friends.

A Sangha that has acceptance, understanding, compassion, and love,
is great enough to sustain and nourish all its members
and support them in transforming their suffering to joy, peace, and compassion.

To have a loving teacher
who supports the Sangha in this important work of transformation
is a rare and wonderful gift.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Compassion and Wisdom


The only useful emotion is Compassion.
Anything else is too emotional or too emotionless.
The only useful reason is Wisdom.
Anything else is too rational or too unreasonable.

Compassion is Wisdom reaching out.
Wisdom is Compassion's guiding light.

Thus the middle path of spiritual cultivation
is to balance and perfect Compassion and Wisdom.

Dharma Teacher



Until repetition becomes endurance


People seldom understand the power of repetition.
What is repeated over and over again can become enduring;
what is done in a moment is seldom lasting.
If farmers do not tend to their fields every day,
they cannot expect a harvest.

The same is true of spiritual practice.
It is not the grand declaration or the colourful imitation that means anything.
It is the ongoing, daily living of a spiritual life that has meaning.
Our progress may range from dull to spectacular,
but we must accept both.

Each and every day should be linked together,
strung into a long line of prayer beads.
In life, you don't know how many beads you've counted already,
and you don't know how many are yet to come.

All that matters is fingering the one that comes to you now
and taking the spiritual significance of that moment to heart.

Master Deng Ming-Dao



Learn from snow


Have you noticed how quiet it is when the snow falls?
It is because snow absorbs sound.
There is much to learn from snow.

When you encounter adversity, instead of reacting negatively,
allow your mind to absorb and dissolve the problem.
In this way you will be undisturbed and at peace.

You need to discover how to practice in such a way that problems disappear.
Remember the peace that arises in snowfall and "cool it".

Master Sheng Yen



Not by comparisons


Don't be discriminatory,
don't keep a grasping and rejecting attitude.

For this reason it is said,

"Truth is not revealed by comparisons,
because it is not relative to anything."




The Track of the Ox


Phenomena are preceded by the heart
ruled by the heart, made of the heart.

If you speak or act with a corrupted heart,
then suffering follows you,
as the wheel of the cart
follows the track of the ox that pulls it.

Dhammapada, 1



Master of yourself


If you are pushed by your habit energy
to say something, don't say it.
Instead, take a notebook and write it down.

A day or two later, read what you wrote,
and you might find out that
it would have been an awful thing to say.

So slowly you become master of yourself,
and you know what to say
and what not to say.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Clear mind


Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky.
Sometimes clouds come and cover it,
but the moon is always behind them.

Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly.
So don't worry about clear mind: it is always there.
When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind.
When thinking goes, there is only clear mind.

Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes,
You must not be attached to the coming or the going.

Zen Master Seung Sahn Sunim



Living everyday as the last.


Which is more certain, tomorrow or death?
If death is more certain, how should I live my life?

The answer, for me, is to learn to live everyday as the last.
Be good to my friends and loved ones today.
Live with a clear conscience today.
Fulfill my duties for today.
Cultivate myself today.
Live mindfully today.
Be at peace today.
Be happy today.

If I live today, I live in peace.
If I die today, I die in peace.

This is my answer.

Dharma Teacher



Living religions


If religions are authentic,
they contain the same elements of stability,
joy, peace, understanding, and love.

The similarities as well as the differences are there.
They differ only in terms of emphasis.
Glucose and acid are in all fruits, but their degrees differ.
We cannot say that one is a real fruit and the other is not.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Living Buddha, Living Christ





Karma is not fatalistic or predetermined.
Karma means our ability to create and to change.
It is creative because we can determine how and why we act.

We can change.
The future is in our hands,
And in the hands of our heart.

Buddha said:

”Karma creates all, like an artist,
Karma composes, like a musician.”

Master Rigpa Glimpse



Good opportunity


We should remember
that every opportunity to develop anger
is also an opportunity to develop patience

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso



Wave in the sea


A wave in the sea, seen in one way, seems to have a distinct identity,
an end and a beginning, a birth and a death.

Seen in another way, the wave itself doesn¹t really exist,
but is just the behaviour of water,
“empty” of any separate identity but “full” of water.

So when you really think about the wave,
you come to realize that it is something
that has been made temporarily possible by wind and water,
and is dependent on a set of constantly changing circumstances.

You also realize that every wave is related to every other wave.

Master Rigpa Glimpse



The Practice of Patience


For a spiritual practitioner,
one's enemies play a crucial role.

As I see it, compassion is the essence of a spiritual life.
And in order for you to become successful in practicing love and compassion,
the practice of patience and tolerance is indispensable.

There is no fortitude similar to patience,
just as there is no affliction worse than hatred.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
From "The Pocket Dalai Lama"



Your greatest Treasures


I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and in thoughts,
You return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,
You accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,
You reconcile all beings in the world.

Lao Tzu



Cease Hatred


Never in this world does hatred
Cease by hatred.

Hatred ceases by love,
And this according to a law
Which has existed forever.

Lord Buddha



Renouncing Samsara


By renouncing samsara,
we renounce our habitual grasping, unhappy minds.

And by renouncing samsara,
we embrace our potential for enlightenment.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
"Transforming Problems Into Happiness"



The difference


The difference between enlightened beings and sentient beings
is that enlightened beings think of all sentient beings instead of themselves;
while sentient beings, who are ordinary people, only think of themselves.

Master Chin Kung



Watching and Controlling the Mind


There is a difference between watching the min
allows the mind to settle down and come to rest.

Trying to control the mind, or trying to control the way
one's spiritual practice will unfold,
just stirs up more agitation and suffering.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
"Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness"





The greatest freedom is freedom from ourselves.
Usually we remain unaware
that we ourselves are the tightest chains
And the heaviest loads on our selfsame shoulders.

Osho "Il lungo, il corto, il nulla”



The simple practice


I just practice the way my Teachers have explained to me, that is:

Do not create suffering
Transform suffering
Purify your mind

Cultivate compassion,
deep listening and mindful speech,
good health for your body and mind.

Be mindful in the present moment.
Be present 100% now - do not look after future lives or rebirths.
Be aware of Buddha’s teachings in the here and the now (there are many indeed).
Act compassionately with no greed to get any reward, neither today nor in the future,

That’s all my practice!

Dharma Teacher



Do Not Pursue the Past


The Buddha taught:

"Do not pursue the past. Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is. The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.

We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day
'one who knows the better way to live alone.'"

"Bhaddekaratta Sutta,"
translated by Thich Nhat Hanh



Acknowledge your fears


You see, if you have the courage to acknowledge your fears,
you will be taking the first step toward controlling them
instead of them controlling you.

And if you take the next step toward understanding,
you will be able to move past them to compassion,
perhaps even to love.

Dharma Teacher



I am fear


I know no master but one.
It's name is understanding.

I have no power but what the human mind gives me,
and I vanish completely when the light of understanding
reveals the facts as they really are,
for I am really nothing.

Dharma Teacher



Do not try to grasp it


If by grasping the mind one tries to stop agitation,
then with this movement
the mind will be even more active.

Niutou Fajung



True Religion


Does anybody exist able to deceive us
as much as we do with ourselves?
We are our worst enemies.

If you get the truth in this assertion,
then you should also understand that, if you want,
You might become your best friend.

True Religion begins within yourself,
when you become your own friend.

Osho "Il lungo, il corto, il nulla"



A serious question deserves a serious answer


One day a little boy asked his father,

"What are the ways to gain the most valuable things in life?"

His father said,

“Only worthy ways lead to worthwhile goals.
These are the six worthy ways:

Keep yourself healthy and fit
Cultivate responsibility and generosity
Listen to those with more experience
Learn from those with more knowledge
Cultivate compassion and loving kindness
Act with sincerity, not just energy."

Dharma Teacher



Which one will win?


An Apache elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, "A fight is going on inside of me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too."

They thought about it for a moment, and then one child asked him,

"Which one will win?"

The old man simply replied,

"The one you feed."

Bodhileaves newsletter, winter 2002



Wisdom and humility


Pride never allows the flower of wisdom to bloom
And an arrogant wisdom is nothing but delusion.

A pompous ostentation of knowledge
Clearly declares it was just completely borrowed.




Being empty, being alive


If we are not empty, we become a block of matter.
We cannot breathe, we cannot think.
To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out.
We cannot be alive if we are not empty.

Emptiness is impermanence, it is change.
We should not complain about impermanence,
because without impermanence, nothing is possible.

Thich Nhat Hanh



Perceive the truth


One who makes distinctions of respect and disdain,
high and low status, the big and the small
will be unable to perceive the truth
underlying all things.




The benefit of Zen


The central benefit of Zen,
in the context of ordinary ups and downs of life,
is not in preventing the minus and promoting the plus,

But in directing people to the fundamental reality
that is not under the sway of ups and downs.

Muso Kokushi (1275-1351)



The Perfect Path


If you check your mind over and over again,
whatever you do becomes the perfect path.

Of all the hundreds of vital instructions,
this is the very quintessence of the practice.

Fuse everything into this one single point.

Patrul Rinpoche



There is always hope


In Tibet we say:

“Negative action has one good quality: it can be purified.”

So there is always hope. Even murderers and the most hardened criminals,
can change and overcome the conditioning that led them to their crimes.

Our present condition, if we use it skillfully and with wisdom,
can be an inspiration to free ourselves from the bondage of suffering.

Rigpa Glimpse



Our appointment with life


The wise does not dwell in the past,
nor does he speculate about the future.

He observes with wisdom
whatever mental phenomena that arise at the moment.

The Lord Buddha



When the Buddha said "Do not pursue the past,"
he was telling us not to be overwhelmed by the past.
He did not mean that we should stop looking at the past in order to observe it deeply.

When we review the past and observe it deeply,
if we are standing firmly in the present, we are not overwhelmed by it.

The materials of the past which make up the present
become clear when they express themselves in the present.
We can learn from them. If we observe these materials deeply, we can arrive at a new understanding of them. That is called:
"Looking again at something old in order to learn something new."

If we know that the past also lies in the present,
we understand that we are able to change the past by transforming the present.

The ghosts of the past, which follow us into the present, also belong to the present moment.
To observe them deeply, recognize their nature, and transform them:
this is to transform the past.

Thich Nhat Hanh - Our Appointment with Life



Practice when you're bored


When we're bored, we really have to put effort into the practice.
When we're bored, we want to turn away and be reborn into something fascinating and exciting.
But for insight and wisdom, we have to patiently endure through the troughs of disillusionment and depression.

It is only in this way that we can stop reinforcing the cycles of habit,
and come to understand cessation, come to know the silence and emptiness of the mind.

Ajahn Sumedo



The doctrine of kamma


If properly understood the doctrine of kamma
teaches us to be careful with our thoughts,
words and actions in daily life,
so that as time goes on it makes us better human beings,
willing to perform better and nobler actions towards all
and live more harmoniously with our fellow human beings.

Sayadaw U Thittila



The Dance


This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds,
to watch the birth and death of beings
is like looking at the movements of a dance.

A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by,
like a torrent down a steep mountain.

The Lord Buddha



The field and the seeds


The mind is like a field:
if no good seeds are sown,
nothing good will grow."

Master Cheng Yen



True transformation


Although attempting to bring about world peace through the
internal transformation of individuals is difficult,
it is the only way.

Wherever I go, I express this, and I am encouraged
that people from many different walks of life receive it well.

Peace must first be developed within an individual,
and I believe that love, compassion, and altruism
are the fundamental basis for peace.

Once these qualities are developed within an individual,
he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family,
from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.

Words from the Dalai Lama



Wisdom and resolve


Use wisdom to contemplate the meaning of life.
Use resolve to organize the time you are given."

Master Cheng Yen



Loving Heart


To have a loving heart means to love our own hearts.
We must take care of our hearts and maintain the purity of our hearts
so that we can be rid of the diseases of the heart,
such as greed, lust, and suspicion.

Master Cheng Yen



The method


The most essential method,
which includes all methods,
is beholding the mind.




His last words


It is the nature of all things that takes form to return to what they once were.
Be a lamp unto yourself.

Don't look for the answer outside yourself.
Hold onto the truth like a torch.
Work out your own enlightenment with diligence.

Buddha's last words



True Love


True love is undiscriminating, unattaching, and unconditional.

We should show this love with all beings.
This is called great compassion.

Chin Kung



Why not?


Life is short and fragile.

Why not cultivate kindness instead
of committing acts which cause harm to living beings?

Chin Kung



The Heart


If we can reach the understanding of what we actually are,
there is no better remedy for eliminating all suffering.

This is the heart of all spiritual practices.

Kalu Rinpoche, "Luminous Mind"





Those who wish to guard their practice
Should very attentively guard their minds.

For those who do not guard their mind
Will be unable to guard their practice.

Dharma Teacher



Time to learn


A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master:
"If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen?"

The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years."

The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then ?"

Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years."

"But, if I really, really work at it. How long then ?" asked the student.

"Thirty years," replied the Master.

"But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student.
"At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?"

Replied the Master," When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."

Zen story



The observing mind


Mindfulness is the observing mind, but it does not stand outside of the object of observation.
It goes right into the object and becomes one with it.

Because the nature of the observing mind is mindfulness, the observing mind does not lose itself in the object but transforms it by illuminating it, just as the penetrating light of the sun transforms trees and plants.

Thich Nhat Hanh



During meditation


From babyhood through college, we learn to use words, concepts and ideas to make others understand us.

But during meditation you are not trying to express your experience to anybody.
If you add more words to the mind, the mind simply remains busy.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana





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