Quotes and Reflections

Page Three




Pure love is to give without conditions
and to receive without greed.

Both the giver and the receiver
are free from attachment.

Master Cheng Yen



There's no Buddhsim if we live in isolation
or practice only for one's own realization.

Des - Dharma Teacher



Do not just memorize sayings, recite words,
and discuss Zen and the way based on books.

The Zen way is not in books.
Even if you can recite the teachings of the whole Canon
And all the masters and philosophers,
they are just useless words of no avail
when you are facing death.

Master Chien-ju



Sometimes it is better for your teacher to be mean,
so you don't attach to him.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



Here from the very beginning, there is this One Thing,
constantly lucid and mysterious,
it has never been born and it has never died.
It cannot be named or depicted.

One in All, All in One - if only this is realized,
no more worry about your being perfect!

Sosan - Korean Son Master (1520-1604)



All of this taught in a silence
More eloquent than a thousand words.
Each day I honour my teacher
When I walk slowly through
The dark coolness of the forest.

So, learn what you can from others,
But to truly learn you must return
To the wordless Teaching of the Self-Evident;

The trees, the streams, the sky;
Teachers abound if you would become their lessons.

Tales of change and flow



When we are practicing,
we do not think of either good or evil.

As soon as any mental formation arises, we stop;
when meeting with conditions, we stop.

The ancients said:

Be like a strip of unbleached silk cloth.
Be like cool, clear water,
Be like an incense burner in an old shrine.

Then you can cut through the spool of silk
And leave behind all discrimination.

This is the method of extinguishing delusion through stopping.

Master Chinul



Changing the mind, changes the senses.

A change in the mind can change the senses
and thus change the Universe we see.

There is no need to change the Universe.
Only the mind within.

Dharma Teacher



“Meditate the stress away”

Calming Your Anxious Mind
It's the natural fruit of being mindful.

Dharma Teacher



Like the water of the ocean

It is like the water of the ocean:
even without wind there are waves everywhere.

Suddenly knowing of the waves all around
is the gross within the subtle;

letting go of knowledge in the midst of knowing
is like the subtle within the subtle.

This is the sphere of the enlightened.




Internal and external are all the same essence

This means that when we are practicing,
the mountains and rivers of the great earth,
the sun, the moon, the stars, and the constellations,
the internal body and the external world,
as well as all dharmas,
are all viewed as being the same essence of the true mind.

That essence is clear, empty and bright,
without a hair’s breadth of differentiation.
The world systems of the chiliocosm, as numerous as the grains of sand,
have fused into one whole: where would the deluded mind be able to arise?

Dharma Master Seng-chao said,

“Heaven and earth and I have the same root.
The myriad things and I have the same essence.”

Master Chinul (1205)



The Way transcends any aspect
Of going or coming,
Movement or quiescence.

So one cannot realize awakening
By waiting for it.

Daito (1282-1334)



If you understand the first word of Zen
You will know the last word.

The last word or the first word,
Is not a word.




Whatever you do,
don't shut off your pain;
accept your pain and remain vulnerable.

However desperate you become,
accept your pain as it is,
because it is in fact trying to hand you a priceless gift:

the chance of discovering, through spiritual practice,
what lies behind sorrow.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The practice of no-mind

“Do not fear the arising of thoughts;
only be concerned lest your awareness of them be tardy.”

“There is no need to search for truth;
you need only put all views to rest.”

This is the method of extinguishing delusion through attention.

Chinul (1205)



You are never satisfied

You follow desire,
and you are not satisfied.

Again you follow desire,
And again you are not satisfied.

Again you try,
and again you are not satisfied.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
"Transforming Problems Into Happiness"



Your notion that thoughts arise
Leads to a notion that you
Must prevent them
From arising.

These conflicting ideas
Are both wrong.

Look well at the source
Beyond activity of mental consciousness.

Daito (1282-1334)



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.)



Never obey anyone's command
unless it is coming from within you also.

There is no God other than life itself.
Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.




Men are disturbed not by things that happen,
but by their opinions of the things that happen.

Dharma Teacher



The demons aren't the noise.
They are our aversion to the noise.

The demons aren't the impatience;
they're our attachment, our aversion,
our impatience with our impatience.

Stephen Levine



The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth,
because our suffering has the capacity
of showing us the path to liberation.

Embrace your suffering,
and let it reveal to you the way to peace.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching (1998)



Self-confidence is not a feeling of superiority,
but of independence.

Lama Yeshe



There are no mistakes, no coincidences.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross



If the doors of perception were cleansed
Everything would appear as it is, infinite.

William Blake



When things aren't going very well,
the mind tends to think,
'I want them to get better than this.'

So suffering arises
wherever there is this grasping of desire.

Ajahn Sumedho



When my master and I were walking in the rain,
he would say,

'Do not walk so fast, the rain is everywhere'.

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



If people are quiet,
They can be quiet anywhere.
If people aren’t quiet,
They won’t be quiet in the mountains.

Everything depends on you.
Life is transient,
Like a flash of lightning in a dream.
Before we receive this form,
We had another face.

Our original face:
We can’t see it with our eyes.
We can only know it with wisdom.




Meditation on the mountain

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
Until only the mountain remains.

Li Po (701–762)



Every time a problem arises,
the essential thing is to immediately become aware
that the problem comes from our selfish mind,
that it is created by self-cherishing thoughts.

As long as you put the blame outside yourself,
there can be no happiness.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
"Transforming Problems into Happiness"



Without impermanence,
life would not be possible.

How could we transform our suffering
if things were not impermanent?

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



The universal body of reality (Dharmakaya)
Is so subtle that you do not hear it
When you deliberately listen for it,
And you do not see it when you look at it.

As for the pure knowledge
That has no teacher,
How can it be attained by thought or study?




This is work that is alive,
Effervescent, free, liberated,
Gloriously enlightened,
True, and great.

Do you think it can be attained
By people who shut the door
And sit quietly with blank minds?

Liu I-Ming



Right View

You must discern the result in the cause,
and discern the cause in the result.

Master Ta-sui



Accomplish the Enlightened Mind

The Buddha could accomplish the enlightened mind
because its very nature was already there.

That is why buddhahood-enlightenment is possible.
If there were no such nature or potential,
it would be impossible.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama
"Imagine All The People"



It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives,
whether good or bad, that we find happiness,
not by trying to look for it directly.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi



When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend.
And when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.

Seng T'san, the third Chan Patriarch
translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke

People pass away,
And the truth of the passing world
Impresses me now and then.

But otherwise my dull wits
let this truth too pass.

Saigyo (1118-1190)



Constantly be aware,
Without stopping.

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

Tao-hsin (580-651)



Once the human mind goes astray,
Truth, the true pattern of the Tao,
Is lost.

Once the human mind is gathered in,
The true pattern of the Tao,
Is there.

Hu Juren (1434-1484)

Buddhist practice does not prevent anything,
it does not shield us from anything.

It softens and opens us to meet everything that comes to us.

Sandy Boucher



The mighty ocean has but one taste,
The taste of salt.

Even so, the true way has
But one savor,
The savor of freedom.

Majjhima Nikaya



Experience Chan! It's not a lot of questions.
Too many questions is the Chan disease.

The best way is just to observe the noise of the world.

The answer to your questions?
Ask your own heart.

Master Xu Yun



If one wishes to obtain purity of mind,
then one must diligently cultivate no-mind.

To have no mental reflections high and low,
this more than anything else is the marvellous!

One will know the Dharma through non-knowing,
as this non-knowing will know the essentials.

Niutou Fajung



The moon is a house
In which the mind is master.

Look very closely:

Only impermanence lasts.
This floating world, too, will pass.

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)



It is often though that the Buddha's doctrine teaches us
that suffering will disappear if one has meditated long enough,
or if one sees everything differently.

It is not that at all.
Suffering isn't going to go away;
The one who suffers is going to go away.

Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies”



If we wish to enjoy some nice things,
We have to work hard and buy them.

If we wish to enjoy all nice things,
We have to stop wishing.




Over the ages you have followed objects,
Never once turning back to look within.

Time slips away;
Months and years are wasted.

Kuei-Shan (771-854)



Meditation is like a single log of wood.
Insight and investigation are one end of the log;
calm and concentration are the other end.

If you lift up the whole log, both sides come up at once.
Which is concentration and which is insight?

Just this mind.

Ajahn Chah, "Still Forest Pool"



I sought Zen from temples and teachers,
Then found it along the way of Tsao His
Inside this moment forever.

When walking now, I walk Zen.
When sitting, I sit Zen.
Talking, quiet; moving, stillness,
The calm within.

Hsuan Chyuen (655-713)



Cookie of Childhood

When I was four years old,
my mother used to bring me a cookie every time she came home from the market.

Eating mindfully is a most important practice of meditation.
We can eat in a way that we restore the cookie of our childhood.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.

Thich Nhat Hanh - Peace is Every Step



Here it is -- the here and now.
Start thinking about it and you miss it.




The thought of enlightenment has many names,
but they all refer to one and the same mind.

Nagarjuna said,

“The mind that fully sees into the uncertain world of birth and death
is called the thought of enlightenment.”

Thus if we maintain this mind,
this mind can become the thought of enlightenment.

Dogen (1200-1253)



Mind does not exist,
Its expression is clarity.




If you are a Buddhist and have practiced
there is no such thing as “to be or not to be”.

A Buddhist has overcome the to be or not to be.

Dharma Teacher



Protect Buddhism within yourself

The Buddhism outside
is impermanent.

Protect the Buddha within
it's the duty for every Buddhist body.

Dharma Teacher



Our Original Mind is pure and clear
And cognises things with no judgement,
And is commonly called Buddha nature in Chan or Zen.

Dharma Teacher



Though different forms are perceived, they are in essence empty;
yet in the emptiness one perceives forms.

Though different sounds are heard, they are empty;
yet in the emptiness one perceives sounds.

Also different thoughts arise; they are empty,
yet in the emptiness one perceives thoughts.

Dudjom Rinpoche



Even if you are a monk,
if your practice of the Way is not intense,
if your aspiration is not pure,
how are you any different from a layman?

Again, even if you are a layman,
if your aspiration is intense
and your conduct wise,
why is this any different from being a monk?

Zen Master Hakuin



In this Void, both Mind and things are one,
All the myriad phenomena contained in both.

If you do not distinguish refined and coarse,
How can you be for this or against that?

The Hsin-hsin-ming




You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.

I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.

I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.

Dhyana Master Thich Nhat Hanh



We follow our ancient path.
For the Way of the sword is folded two;

Like the rose we have thorns,
And like the rose, we unfold.

Dharma Teacher



To realize Mind,
Begin by looking
For the source of your thoughts.

Whether asleep or working,
Standing or sitting,
Intensely ask yourself,

"What is my mind?"

Bassui Tokusho



The eye sees it,
But no hands can take hold of it.

The moon in the stream:
This is the secret of this school.

Shinkage-ryu school



I expected to see only pink blossoms,
But a gentle spring snow has fallen
And the cherry trees are wearing white coats.

Ryokan (1758-1831)



How can we ever lose interest in life?

Spring has come again
And cherry trees bloom in the mountains.

Ryokan (1758-1831)



All existences are like the leaves on the tree:
fed by the one root.

Origin and end come from the same source, empty.
Origin and end alike
go back to that.

Taisen Deshimaru



You can neither look for the truth,
nor find the truth, nor lose the truth;
for all the time you are the truth.

To live in the truth is to be newly born at each instant.




It is nonsense to insist that we cannot achieve enlightenment
without learned and pious teachers.

Because wisdom is innate,
we can all enlighten ourselves.

Hui-neng (638-713)




Disciple: "Feelings... nothing more than feelings..."

Master: "Wrong! Changes, nothing more than changes!"

Chan Master



A Christian missionary found a Chinese priest chanting in a temple. When the Chinese had finished, the missionary asked him: "To whom were you praying?"

"To no one," replied the Chinese priest.

"Well, what were you praying for?" the missionary insisted.

"Nothing," said the Chinese.

The missionary turned away, baffled. As he was leaving the temple the Chinese added, kindly:

"And there was no one praying, you know!"

Beginning Insight Meditation And Other Essays by Dorothy Figen



The sound
Of water
What I think.

Chuang Tzu



Just come to see that everything is passing on,
That nothing in your mind remains
The same for even the span of a breath.

If you see like that for even a moment,
Then for that moment you are free.

Ji Aoi Isshi



At the sound of the bell
in the silent night,
I wake from my dream
in this dream world of ours.

Gazing at the reflection
of the moon in a clear pool,
I see, beyond my form, my real form.




Who wrote this play in which we have to laugh,
cry, and exit according to the script?

No God can write it, nor can Buddha.
Only your own mind can write it.

Jae Woong, "Polishing the Diamond"



In the stillness by the empty window
I sit in formal meditation.

Navel and nose in alignment,
Ears parallel with shoulders.

Moonlight floods the room;
The rain stops, but the eaves drip and drip.

Perfect this moment;
In the vast emptiness, my understanding deepens.

Ryokan (1758-1831)



Like the little stream
Making its way
Through the mossy crevices,

I, too, quietly
Turn clear and transparent.

Hakuin (1686-1768)



The earth and myself are of one mind.
The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same...

Joseph, Nez Perce



I remember a short conversation between the Buddha and a philosopher of his time.

"I have heard that Buddhism is a doctrine of enlightenment.
What is your method? What do you practice every day?"

"We walk, we eat, we wash ourselves, we sit down."

"What is so special about that? Everyone walks, eats, washes, sits down..."

"Sir, when we walk, we are aware that we are walking; when we eat, we are aware that we are eating....
When others walk, eat, wash, or sit down, they are generally not aware of what they are doing."

Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Keys



I could fill the page
with names of God
and still have only begun
the initial pen-touch
of the first letter,

but of all the names of gods,
goddesses, and godliness,
the god I write with,
the god I live by
and am loved in,
my favorite one
is you.




Inscribed on the Wall of a Hut by a Lake

If you want to be a mountain dweller,
No need to trek to India to find one.
I've got a thousand peaks
To pick from, right here in the lake.

Fragrant grasses, white clouds,
To hold me here.
What holds you there,
World dweller?

Chiao Jan (730-799)



Emptiness is a name for non-self,
A name for impermanence,
A name for the mountains, rivers, the whole earth.
It is also called "the real substance".

In the green of the pines,
The twist of the brambles,
There is no going and coming;

In the red of the flowers
And the white of the snow,
There is no birth and no death.




These days I am not bothering about
Getting enlightenment all the time.

And the result is that
I wake up in the morning feeling fine!




The "anatta" teaching is not a doctrine of no-self,
but a not-self strategy,
for shedding suffering by letting go of its cause,
leading to the highest, undying happiness.

Des - Dharma Teacher







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