Page five




Innermost essence


Each time we begin our practice of meditation,
we are moved by the awareness that we, and all other sentient beings,
fundamentally have the Buddha nature as our innermost essence.

To realize it is to be free of ignorance
and to put an end, finally, to suffering.

Sogyal Rinpoche



What is the View?


It is nothing less than seeing the actual state of things as they are;
it is knowing that the true nature of mind is the true nature of everything;
and it is realizing that the true nature of mind is the absolute truth.

Dudjom Rinpoche says:

The View is the comprehension of the naked awareness,
within which everything is contained:
sensory perception and phenomenal existence, samsara and nirvana.

This awareness has two aspects:
‘emptiness’ as the absolute, and ‘appearances’ or ‘perception’ as the relative.

Sogyal Rinpoche



This way is enough


In accord with my heart,
Everything merges
In one harmony.

Gain and loss
Are not my concern;
This way is enough
To the end of my days.

Wen-siang (1210-1280)



True self


True self is non-self,
the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements.
There’s no separation between self and other,
and everything is interconnected.

Once you are aware of that
you are no longer caught in the idea that you are a separate entity.
That is the goal of the practice:
to realize non-self and interconnectedness.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



To meditate


To meditate means to go home to yourself.
Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you,
and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.

All meditation exercises are aimed
at bringing you back to your true home, to yourself.

Without restoring your peace and calm
and helping the world to restore peace and calm,
you cannot go very far in the practice.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



All you have to do


Start to think about it
and immediately you are mistaken.

The one mind is the Buddha,
and there is no distinction between Buddha and ordinary beings,
except that ordinary beings are attached to forms
and thus seek for Buddhahood outside themselves.

By this very seeking they lose it,
since they are using Buddha to seek for Buddha,
using mind to seek for mind.

They don't know that all they have to do
is put a stop to conceptual thinking,
and the Buddha will appear before them.

Master Huang-po



The Four Reliances


Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;
Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;

Rely on the real meaning, not on the provisional one;
Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental mind.

Lord Buddha



Thoughts and emotions


Sometimes people think that when they meditate
there should be no thoughts and emotions at all;
and when thoughts and emotions do arise,
they become annoyed and exasperated with themselves
and think they have failed.

Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a Tibetan saying:

“It’s a tall order to ask for meat without bones, and tea without leaves.”

As long as you have a mind,
you will have thoughts and emotions.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The Key


Buddha recognized that ignorance of our true nature
is the root of all the torment of samsara,
and the root of ignorance itself
is the mind’s habitual tendency to distraction.

To end the mind’s distraction would be to end samsara itself;
the key to this, He realized, is to bring the mind home to its true nature,
through the practice of meditation.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The Four Minds


The Mind of Love,
The Mind of Compassion,
The Mind of Sympathetic joy,
The Mind of Equanimity.

If cultivated and developed,
is of great fruit and continuation.

Dharma Teacher



Help without abusing


We need to both talk the talk to share the teachings,
and to walk the walk to exemplify its practice.

But to force it down the throat of anyone,
is to abuse it and to abuse the person one is supposed to help.

Master Shiqin



Calming the Breath


Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh





That goodness is what survives death,
a fundamental goodness that is in each and every one of us.

The whole of our life is a continuous teaching
of how to uncover that strong goodness,
and an intense training toward realizing it.

Sogyal Rinpoche



Practice of mindfulness


When working or walking,
it's always a good idea to be mindful.

We should know where our feet are,
how our body is doing.

Our mind plays tricks and we must learn to discern
the truth of our experience.

Rev. Dr. So Daiho Hilbert-roshi



Once more about meditation


Meditation is bringing the mind back home,
and this is first achieved through the practice of mindfulness.

Master Sogyal Rinpoche



One great precept and vow


If there is but one great precept,
it is to harm none
in any way.

If there is but one great vow,
it is to help all
in every way.

Dharma Teacher





The real glory of meditation lies not in any method,
but in its continual living experience of mental presence.

In its bliss, clarity, peace, and, most important of all,
complete absence of grasping.

Sogyal Rinpoche





The fear that impermanence awakens in us,
that nothing is real and nothing lasts,
is, we come to discover, our greatest friend because it drives us to ask:

If everything dies and changes, then what is really true?
Is there something behind the appearances?
Is there something in fact we can depend on,
that does survive what we call death?

Allowing these questions to occupy us urgently, and reflecting on them,
we slowly find ourselves making a profound shift in the way we view everything.
We come to uncover in ourselves “something”
that we begin to realize lies behind all the changes and deaths of the world.

As this happens, we catch repeated
and glowing glimpses of the vast implications behind the truth of impermanence.
We come to uncover a depth of peace,
joy, and confidence in ourselves that fills us with wonder,
and breeds in us gradually a certainty that there is in us “something” that nothing destroys,
that nothing alters, and that cannot die.

Sogyal Rinpoche



Enlightenment and Compassion


Enlightenment and Compassion
Goes hand in hand.

Or are like
Hand in the glove.

Desmond Chong



To all sentient beings


Live in love
And do your work;
Make amends of your sorrows;

For just as the jasmine
Releases and lets fall
Its withered flowers,
Let fall wilfulness and hatred.

The Dhammapada



Morning Meditation


The Dharmakaya is bringing morning light.
Sitting still, my heart at peace, I smile.

This is a new day.
I vow to go through it with awareness.

The sun of wisdom will soon be shining everywhere.
Sisters and brothers,
diligently bring your mind into meditation.

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya
Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya
Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh





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

On the contrary, it means
there was never any ego at all to begin with.

To realize this is called “egolessness.”

Sogyal Rinpoche



Zen - 2


The Zen Masters teach that the pure mind is the eternal Buddha - nature.
To attain enlightenment, to be aware of one's own Buddha - nature,
it is necessary to go beyond our ordinary thoughts.

When we are free from our own projections and ideas,
we can be aware of the Buddha Reality which is all pervading.

Dharma Teacher



Zen - 1


Zen quotes and teachings are inherently paradoxical,
because the goal of Zen cannot adequately be described in words.

Great Zen Masters often appeared to be talking in riddles
as they tried to point their students towards their Buddha nature,
a consciousness that is all pervading yet eludes our grasp.

Dharma Teacher



Attaining enlightenment


I have not heard of a single Buddha, past or present,
who has been enlightened by sacred prayers and scriptures.



Zen teachings are noted for their compact and terse nature.
This is because enlightenment cannot be attained by studying complex scriptures,
enlightenment comes through inner practise.

Dharma Teacher



Buddhas: Not Yet!


Don't expect others to behave like Buddhas,
not even Dharma “teachers” and other “seniors”
simply because reality is that most are far from being Buddhas... as yet.

It is better to oneself strive to be like a Buddha
than to expect anyone else to do so.
A lot of suffering comes from expectations
it's a form of craving, a cause of suffering.

The more you expect others to be like Buddhas,
the further you are away from becoming a Buddha.

Master Shian



Spacious mind


When you meditate,
it is essential to create the right inner environment of the mind.

All effort and struggle come from not being spacious,
and so creating that right environment is vital
for your meditation truly to happen.

When humour and spaciousness are present,
meditation arises effortlessly.

Sogyal Rinpoche



Look at your own acts


Let none find fault with others;
let none see the omissions and commissions of others.

But let one see one's own acts, done and undone.

The Buddha (Dhammapada 50)



No fear


We were not afraid of birth
And thus we were born humans.

We should not be fearful of death
So we may get to Pure Land.

Desmond Chiong



Training the mind


“Training” the mind
does not in any way mean forcibly subjugating
or brainwashing the mind.

To train the mind
is first to see directly and concretely how the mind functions,
a knowledge that you derive from spiritual teachings
and through personal experience in meditation practice.

Then you use that understanding to tame the mind
and work with it skilfully,
to make it more and more pliable,
so that you can become master of your mind and employ it
to its fullest and most beneficial end.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The Pain


The Pain in life
Does give rise
To Wisdom.

At the same time
It is important
To understand
Not to get
Indulgent to
Getting attached
To Pain.

Desmond Chong



The Dharma: bring it to life


As with any other religious teaching or secular philosophy,
the Buddhadharma by itself cannot do anything.

Those dedicated to it are required to bring it to life,
with their thoughts, words and deeds.

Dharma Teacher





Whatever you see, whatever you hear,
leave it as it is, without grasping.

Leave the hearing in the hearing,
leave the seeing in the seeing,
without letting your attachment enter into the perception.

Sogyal Rinpoche



Transformation: Fault and Virtue


To be virtuous, know your faults.
To be truly virtuous, rid your faults.

Dharma Teacher



What is compassion?


It is not simply a sense of sympathy or caring for the person suffering,
not simply a warmth of heart toward the person before you,
or a sharp clarity of recognition of their needs and pain.

It is also and above all a sustained and practical determination
to do whatever is possible and necessary
to help alleviate their suffering.

Dharma Teacher



Experiences and realization


As you continue to practice meditation,
you may have all kinds of experiences, both good and bad.

You might experience states of bliss, clarity, or absence of thoughts.
In one way these are very good experiences,
and signs of progress in meditation.

For when you experience bliss,
it’s a sign that desire has temporarily dissolved.
When you experience real clarity,
it’s a sign that aggression has temporarily ceased.
When you experience a state of absence of thought,
it’s a sign that your ignorance has temporarily died.

By themselves they are good experiences,
but if you get attached to them, they become obstacles.

Experiences are not realization in themselves;
but if we remain free of attachment to them,
they become what they really are
that is, materials for realization.

Sogyal Rinpoche



Overcome the attachment


How can we work to overcome attachment?

Only by realizing its impermanent nature;
this realization slowly releases us from its grip.

Sogyal Rinpoche





Renunciation has both sadness and joy in it:
sadness because you realize the futility of your old ways,
and joy because of the greater vision that begins to unfold
when you are able to let go of them.

This is no ordinary joy.
It is a joy that gives birth to a new and profound strength,
a confidence, an abiding inspiration that comes from the realization,

that you are not condemned to your habits,
that you can indeed emerge from them,
that you can change, and grow more and more free.

Sogyal Rinpoche



An essential message


If you were to draw one essential message from the fact of rebirth,
that would be:

Develop a good heart that longs for other beings to find lasting happiness,
and acts to secure that happiness.
Nourish and practice kindness.

The Dalai Lama has said:

“There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple;
my philosophy is kindness.”

Sogyal Rinpoche





When we see clearly,
we can change.

Ayya Khema


Even when we don't see clearly,
we still change - though usually for the worse.

Dharma Teacher



The easy Way


When the mind’s as is,
Circumstances also are as is.

There’s no real
And also no unreal.

Giving no heed to existence
And holding not
To nonexistence,
You’re neither saint nor sage,
Just an ordinary person
Who has settled their affairs.

Easy, so easy.

Layman P’ang



The Layman practice


Well versed in the Buddha way,
I go the non-Way.

Without abandoning my
Ordinary man’s affairs,
The conditioned and
Name-and-form all
Are flowers in the sky.

Nameless and formless,
I leave birth-and-death.

Layman P’ang



Right practice


Calm yourself, quiet yourself,
Master your senses.

Look right into the source of mind,
Always keep it shining bright,
Clear and pure.

Do not give rise to an indifferent mind.

Master Hongren (602-675)



The vision of the sage


Danger is born from craving and delusions,
politic society gives birth to passion, aversion, and delusion.

Free from craving,
free from politics:
such is the vision of the sage.

Sutta Nipata - 1.12



Right attitude towards sagehood


Don’t love sagehood;
sagehood is an empty name.
There is no special truth,
but this radiant spiritual openness,
unobstructed and free.

It is not attained by adornment
and cultivated realization.

From the Buddhas to the Zen masters,
all have transmitted this true teaching,
by which they attained liberation.

Master Te-shan (d. 867)



Wrong perception


The original pure nature is absolute.
However, once the mind is polluted,
the original nature will be hidden.

The absolute then becomes,
in our wrong perception, the relative.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Right concentration


The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral,
Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness,
Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge.

How pitiful are they who cling strongly to concrete reality:
Turn your attention within, my heart friends.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche





This one word “awareness” is the source of all wonders.
Because of delusion concerning this awareness, the marks of self arise.

When it is assumed that there is “I” or “mine,”
liking and disliking automatically appear.

Master Chinul



Practicing the Way


People who practice the Way should not seek externally.
The essence of mind has no defilement;
it is originally complete and perfect of itself.

Just detach from illusory objects,
and it is enlightened to suchness as is.

Master Chinul (1158-1210)



Identity Crisis


Which is your real identity?
Your body when you were a babe,
or when it is a corpse,
or as it is now?

Why is one more real than the other?
Why cling to any one?

Which is your real identity?
Your mind when you were a babe,
or when you are dead,
or as it is now?

Why is one more real than the other?
Why cling to any one?

Master Shiqin



The insight of Buddhism


The still revolutionary insight of Buddhism
is that life and death are in the mind, and nowhere else.

Mind is revealed as the universal basis of experience
the creator of happiness and the creator of suffering,
the creator of what we call life and what we call death.

Rigpa Glimpse



Your only treasure


The mind that is not always
caught up in details
is your only treasure.
Stop chasing details
and become still to feel it.

The mind that sees details clearly,
but is not caught up by them
is like a vast borderless mirror.

Ji Aoi Isshi



Teaching the questions


The Buddha wasn't the sort of teacher who simply answered questions.
He also taught which questions to ask.

He understood the power of questions:
that they give shape to the holes in your knowledge and force that shape
— valid or not — onto the answers you hope will fill up those holes.

Even if you use right information to answer a wrong question,
it can take on the wrong shape.
If you then use that answer as a tool,
you're sure to apply it to the wrong situations
and end up with the wrong results.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu





One of the chief reasons we have so much anguish in facing death
is that we ignore the truth of impermanence.

In our minds, changes always equal loss and suffering.
We assume that permanence provides security
and impermanence does not.

But in fact impermanence is like some of the people we meet in life
difficult and disturbing at first,
but on deeper acquaintance far friendlier
and less unnerving than we could have imagined.

Rigpa Glimpse



True nature of your mind


When you have fully recognized
that the nature of your mind is the same as that of the master,
from then on you and the master can never be separate.

Because the master is one with the nature of your mind,
always present, as it is.

Rigpa Glimpse



I simply am


When I am in the nature of mind,
the ordinary mind is no longer there.

There is no need to sustain or confirm a sense of being:
I simply am.

A fundamental trust is present.
There is nothing in particular to do.

Lama Thubten Yeshe



Meditative mind


Without the meditative mind and experience,
the Dhamma cannot arise in the heart,
because the Dhamma is not in words.

Master Ayya Khema



Like a mountain


Magnanimous Mind is like a mountain,
Stable and impartial.

Exemplifying the ocean,
It is tolerant and views everything
From the broadest perspective.

Master Dogen (1200-1253)



Buddha nature


Whatever our lives are like, our Buddha nature is always there.
And it is always perfect.

We say:

"Not even the Buddhas can improve it in their infinite wisdom,
nor can sentient beings spoil it in their seemingly infinite confusion."

Rigpa Glimpse





Action is being truly observant of your own thoughts, good or bad,
looking into the true nature of whatever thoughts may arise,
neither tracing the past nor inviting the future,
neither allowing any clinging to experiences of joy,
nor being overcome by sad situations.

In so doing, you try to reach and remain in the state of great equilibrium,
where all good and bad, peace and distress, are devoid of true identity.

Dudjom Rinpoche



Buddhist psychology


To achieve freedom from attachment is a very difficult thing,
especially in a materialistic society.

But even though it's difficult,
you need to check how Lord Buddha's psychology
offers you perfect mental health, free of extremes of this or that.

Lama Yeshe



Mental presence


Live in every moment,
as you do your task, do it completely;
as you drive, drive mindfully;
as you speak, speak with care.

This is not difficult, but it does take practice.
Sometimes you will be there, sometimes not.
It's OK, just do.

Harvey So Daiho



Everything is interrelated


Everything is inextricably interrelated:
We come to realize that we are responsible
for everything we do, say, or think.

Responsible in fact for ourselves,
everyone and everything else,
and the entire universe.

Rigpa Glimpse





In observing the principles of morality
a Buddhist should not only regard his own self,
but also should have a consideration for others,
animals not excluded.

Morality in Buddhism is not founded on any doubtful revelation
nor is it the ingenious invention of an exceptional mind,
but it is a rational and practical code based on verifiable facts
and individual experience.

Master Narada Mahathera



Pure presence


When you are practicing meditation,
it’s important not to get involved in mental commentary,
analysis, or internal gossip.

Do not mistake the running commentary in your mind, like:
“Now I’m breathing in, now I’m breathing out”.

For mindfulness; what is important
is pure presence.

Rigpa Glimpse



The Way of Transformation


Viewing from another angle,
one may turn grievances into strength.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



The Middle Way


In all things we should live in the middle.
Extremes are a serious problem.

Cutting off the heads of our enemies,
is not the act of spiritually based people.

The Middle Way is neither black nor white.
We practice the Middle way by serene reflection.

Allow things to rise and fall away,
we enjoy the moment for what it is.

Harvey So Daiho



Master of your own bliss


Everything can be used as an invitation to meditation.
A smile, a face in the subway, the sight of a small flower,
the way the sun lights up flower pots on a window.

Be alert for any sign of beauty or grace.
Be awake at all moments.
Slowly, you will become a master of your own bliss.

Rigpa Glimpse



A calm wanderer


Let there be nothing behind you;
leave the future to one side.

Do not clutch at what is left in the middle;
then you will become a calm wanderer.

Sutta Pipata





Worrying is like a rocking chair:
it gives you something to do,
but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Dharma Teacher



The practice of karma


Karma is not something complicated or philosophical.
Karma means watching your body,
watching your mouth, and watching your mind.

Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible
is the practice of karma.

Lama Thubten Yeshe



What Dharma asks


The Dharma of the Buddha does not require a person
to go into homelessness or to resign from the world,
unless he or she feels called upon to do so.

The Dharma asks every person
to free themselves from the illusion of self,
to cleanse one’s heart,
to give up one’s thirst for pleasure, and lead a life of balance.




Mind and perceptions


Just realize that,
although mind is manifested in perceptions,
it is neither part of them nor separate from them.

You shouldn't try to analyze these perceptions,
or think about them at all;
but you shouldn't seek the one mind apart from them.

Don't hold on to them or leave them behind,
or dwell in them or reject them.

Above, below, and all around you,
all things spontaneously exist,
because there is nowhere outside the Buddha mind.

Master Huang-po



Awareness (Understanding) cannot be practiced


Awareness cannot be practiced.
There has been some confusion between awareness and mindfulness.
They are related, but distinct.

Sati, or mindfulness,
implies there is action of the mind.
We purposely set ourselves to pay attention to our minds.
We exert effort.

Awareness is different.
Awareness is devoid of any action.
The mind simply "awares."

There is no action here,
only a collected and spontaneous awareness that just "sees."
Here, mindfulness is the cause,
and awareness is the effect.
You cannot practice or train the effect.
You can only practice something that will cause it.

We have to start with mindfulness
so that awareness may arise in us.

Thynn Thynn, in Living Meditation, Living Insight
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book



Thousand Kinds of Clever Talk


If you want to seek too much, it may hinder the way.
For your part, can you say your work is done?

If not, then a thousand kinds of clever talk
do not enhance your mind.

What is the reason for ten thousand kinds of thought?

Master Chih-men



What to do


So here's what to do: nothing.
Doing nothing is always best.

Just as there is thunder in silence, so there is peace in vast emptiness.
Let the voices rant, be peace in the rage.
Smile a lot. Smiling helps. Bow a lot.
Humility is always a good thing.

In a placid pond,
stones are swallowed whole.

Be well.

Harvey So Daiho



Importance of Mindfulness


Mindfulness is the root of Dharma.
Mindfulness is the body of practice.
Mindfulness is the fortress of the mind.

Mindfulness is the aid to the wisdom
of innate wakefulness.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche



Buddha and ordinary mind


Almost all people are carrying a big board,
so they cannot see the other side.

They think they are just the ordinary mind,
but if they take the board off they will understand,

“Oh, I am Buddha too!
How can I be both Buddha and ordinary mind? It is amazing!”

That is enlightenment.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Practicing equanimity


The Buddha said that when you practice equanimity,
what you get is nothing at all.

Nothing at all is something wonderful.
Nothing at all, that means you don't need anything.

You already have everything.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Understanding, Goodness, and Beauty


The belief that you have within yourself,
basic Understanding, basic Goodness, and basic Beauty,
is so essential to the practice of Buddhist meditation.

Usually we believe that we are not worth much.
That is why we seek in another person what we think we lack.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Equanimity Vs Differentiation


Equanimity without differentiation is bad equanimity.
Differentiation without equanimity is bad differentiation.

To have equanimity
is to have neither attachment nor aversion
to this or that.

To have differentiation
is to know what is appropriate or inappropriate
for this or that.

Zen Saying





If we are interdependent with everything and everyone,
even our smallest, least significant thought, word, and action
have real consequences throughout the universe.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The true path


The true path is clearly before your eyes,
But the ignorant who are deluded
And confused cannot recognize it.

It is in one seed of the consciousness.
So why search for it somewhere else?

Master Pao-chih



The obstacle is part of the path


Obstacles do not obstruct the path.
To cross them is to advance on the path.

Zen saying



A busy life


So, you are busy.
Too busy to take good care of yourselves.
And then you die.

Whatever you were busy with no longer matters a whole lot.

Dharma Teacher So Daiho



A little bit of reality


Whether you are an innocent beginner or seasoned adept,
you must show some spirit!

Don’t vainly memorize other people’s sayings:
a little bit of reality is better than a lot of illusion.

Otherwise you’ll just go on deceiving yourself.

Master Yunmen (864-949)



Empty 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

Sitting Meditation


What is it in this teaching we call
“Sitting in meditation?”

In this teaching, “sitting” means
Not to activate thoughts.

“Meditation” is internally to see the original nature
And not become confused.

Patriarch Hui-neng



What is sitting meditation?


To remove ourselves from all external distractions
and quiet the mind is called “sitting.”

To observe the inner nature in perfect calmness
is called “meditation.”

Patriarch Hui-neng



Controlling your mind


Many people will imagine that control of the mind
is some kind of tight, restrictive bondage.
Actually, control is a natural state.
But you're not going to say that, are you?

You're going to say that the mind is uncontrolled by nature,
that it is natural for the mind to be uncontrolled.
But it's not.

When you realize the nature of your uncontrolled mind,
control comes as naturally as your present uncontrolled state arises.
Moreover, the only way to gain control over your mind
is to understand its true nature.

You can never force your mind,
your internal world, to change.
Nor can you purify your mind, by punishing yourself physically,
by beating your body.

That's totally impossible.
Impurity, sin, negativity or whatever else you want to call it is psychological,
a mental phenomenon, so you can't stop it physically.

Purification requires a skillful combination of method and wisdom.

Lama Thubten Yeshe





Do not believe anything
on the mere authority of teachers or priests.

Accept as true and as the guide to your life
only that which accords with your own reason and experience,
after thorough investigation.

Accept only that which contributes to the well-being of yourself and others.

Lord Buddha



The only hindrance


Every sentient being is ready
To be enlightened at every moment.

The only hindrance is not recognizing
The purity and limitlessness of Buddha nature.

We may have inklings of our limitless quality,
But we don’t fully recognize it,
So we become focused on the relative I, the self.

The Twelfth Tai Situpa



Discrimination and perception


Because of discrimination
we regard matters being ugly or beautiful
and good or bad.

Absolute fairness does not exist in the world.
What is important is to be content.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Even Buddha died


His death was a teaching to shock the naive,
The indolent, and the complacent,
to wake us up to the truth that everything is impermanent
and death an inescapable fact of life.

As he was approaching death, Buddha said:

Of all footprints
That of the elephant is supreme.
Of all mindfulness meditations
That on death is supreme.

Lama Thubten Yeshe



The insuperable meditation


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.

Master Hakuin (1686-1769)



Clear brightness


The field of boundless emptiness
Is what exists from the very beginning.

You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away
All the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits.

Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.

Master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157)



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.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



Mind is like water


Not fixed in space and time,
The mind is everywhere.

The Original Mind is like water
Which flows freely,
The deluded mind is like ice.

There is a passage in the Diamond Sutra that says,
“The mind should operate without abiding anywhere.”

Master Takuan



The wisdom of awakening


When Buddhas don’t appear
And their followers are gone,
The wisdom of awakening
Bursts forth by itself




Real action


We need to drink the water to know how cold or how hot it is.

Likewise, spiritual cultivation needs real actions
for us to understand Dharma.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Three principles


To transcend the suffering of death,
keep to the three principles:

1. never seek death,
2. never fear death,
3. never wait for death to come.

Chan Master Sheng Yen



Live the Way


Follow the truth of the Way.
Reflect on it.
Make it your own.
Live it.

It will always sustain you.
Do not turn away what is given you,
Nor reach out for what is given to others,
Lest you disturb your quietness.




Growth and fall


We grow with self-awareness,
And fall with self-satisfaction.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen





We should use principles to handle matters,
not to use matters to haggle over principles.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen





Death and life are looked on
As but transformations.

The myriad creation is all of a kind,
There is a kinship through all.

Huai Nan Tzu (2nd century B.C.)



Your Teacher


Wherever you go you will find your Teacher,
as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Enlighten others


To be a Bodhisattva,
one must first cultivate a decent character.

One can enlighten others
only after succeeding in self-cultivation.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Safe and sound


We should keep in mind peace and kindness
as our routine training.

Therefore, we can be safe and sound
even in case of disasters.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Fools, enlightened and Bodhisattvas


On one side we are all fools,
but when we realize this our true nature,
we are enlightened.

And when we make efforts in the face of it,
we are Bodhisattvas.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



The point of the practice


The important point of spiritual practice
is to never try to escape your life.

But to face it
exactly and completely.

Dainin Katagiri Roshi



Others' weakness


To watch others' weakness
is to collect trash in our minds.

Most people can see others' weakness,
but not their own trash.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen



Deep listening is the way


Listen in order to give the other person relief,
a chance to speak out,
to feel that someone finally understands him or her.

If you keep compassion alive in you while listening,
then anger and irritation cannot arise.
Otherwise, the things he says, the things she says,
will touch off your irritation, anger, and suffering.

Compassion alone can protect you
from becoming irritated, angry or full of despair.

Loving speech will rescue us.
Compassionate listening will rescue us.
This is a miracle performed by us.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



The power of Precepts


The precepts are enormously powerful.
For instance, not to tell an untruth in any circumstance,
alone could be one's whole and total practice.

In fact, as soon as one becomes totally honest,
automatically the wisdom of unselfishness arises.

Jack Kornfield





To be angry
is to let others' mistakes punish yourself.

To forgive others
is to be good to yourself.

Master ChengYen



The real meaning and essence of the Dharma


The real meaning of the Dharma
must be directly experienced.


The true essence of the Buddha's teachings
should be practiced and realized;
not merely studied or agreed with.

Dharma Teacher





Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha,
but a meaningful state of mind.

It means we have to be here now, in this very moment,
and we have to know what is happening internally and externally.

It means being alert to our motives and learning
to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones.

Mindfulness is a mental activity
that in due course eliminates all suffering.

Master Ayya Khema



Your only concern


Above all don’t wish to become a future Buddha.

Your only concern should be,
As thought follows thought,
To avoid clinging to any of them.

Master Dogen





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