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  • Advice on Meditation...

    Meditation is simply a question of being, of melting, like a piece of butter left in the sun. It has nothing to do ....

  • Vyagghapajja Sutta: The conditions of welfare

    Therefore the Buddha follows up on his advice on material welfare with four essential conditions for spiritual welfare: confidence (in the Master's enlightenment...

  • MAHA GHOSANANDA: PEACE IN EVERY STEP

    The suffering of Cambodia has been deep. From this suffering comes Great Compassion. Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart. ...

May 25, 2010

The two Nibbana-elements

These two Nibbana-elements were made known
By the Seeing One, stable and unattached:
One is the element seen here and now
With residue, but with the cord of being destroyed;
...The other, having no residue for the future,
Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease.

Having understood the unconditioned state,
Released in mind with the cord of being destroyed,
They have attained to the Dhamma-essence.
Delighting in the destruction (of craving),
Those stable ones have abandoned all being.

[Iti 2.17; Iti 38]
(translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland)

His Holines Dalai Lama

"Self-confidence is knowing that we have the capacity to do something good and firmly decide not to give up."

The Buddha

Entangled by the bonds of hate, he who seeks his own happiness by inflicting pain on others, is never delivered from hatred. [Dhp. 290]

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limit time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

Lama Yeshe

"Self-confindence is not a feeling of supriority, but of independence."

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

"Real peace and happiness has to come from the heart, from within. So therefore, to eliminate wars and destroying each other, to eliminate famine, disease and earthquakes, and to eliminate all other disasters an unfavourable experiences, all this can be stopped by having loving kindness toward each other. From having a... good heart with loving kindness, negative action cannot arise."

May 24, 2010

WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU

We were talking - about the space between us all
And the people - who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth - then it's far too late - when they pass away.

We were talking - about the love we all could share - when we find it
To try our best to hold it there - with our love
With our love - we could save the world - if they only knew.

Try to realise it's all within yourself no-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small,
And life flows on within you and without you.

We were talking - about the love that's gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul - they don't know - they can't see - are you one of them?
When you've seen beyond yourself - then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there -
And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you.

~Lyrics; George Harrison, 1967

Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Live with compassion, Work with compassion, Die with compassion, Meditate with compassion, Enjoy with compassion, When problems come, Experience them with compassion.

His Holines Dalai Lama

Every human being has the same potential for compassion; the only question is wether we really take any care of that potential, and develop and implement it in our daily life.

The meaning of life

Some people, I’ve heard
Are mighty confused
They are looking for something
They never did lose
What’s the meaning of life
They cry and they shout
Not looking within
But seeking without
Some say that it’s god
In Heaven on high
Some say that there is none
You just live and die
That no god is scripting
The things that you’re doing
That he is not clapping
And never pooh-poohing
The meaning of life
Is simple and clear
It’s the life that you lead
And the things you hold dear
It’s the things that you do
And the things that you say
The thoughts that you have
That give meaning each day.

[Unknown]

Vijaya Samarawickama

TODAY

This day is a special day, it is yours.
Yesterday slipped away, it cannot be filled anymore with meaning.
About tomorrow nothing is known.
But this day, today, is yours, make use of it.
Today you can make someone happy.
Today you can help another.
This day is a special day, it is yours.

[A Buddhist Reflects on Happy Living, 2004]

Swami Ramakrishnananda

SPIRITUAL LIFE IS A LIFE OF SEARCH

Spiritual life is a life of search...but a true search.
Not to investigate and to seek what you hope to discover,
Not the object of your aspiration,
But what you are.
Meditation is just a search for the meditator.
Enlightenment is to discover...

To discover that there is no discoverer, and there is nothing to discover...
Enlightenment is to be.
To be the most wonderful discovery of what can not be found.
It is to arrive to no where...
To meet no one.
You fail, because of your habit to search only for that which satisfies your needs.

Get rid of all this need.
And you will see...
Get rid of all that you have.
And you will see...
Throw away all that can be thrown.
And you will see...
Give up these words, and what they make you feel
And you will see...
Give up your attempt to give up.
And you will see...
Give up your attempt to see.
Because then you will really see...
The farther the object you search for, the better eyesight you need.
That which is closest to you, you have to be.

Venerable Ayya Khema Bhikkhuni

"From contact comes feeling. From feeling comes reaction. This is what keeps us in the cycle of birth and death. Our reactions to our feelings are our passport to rebirth."

The Buddha

All processes are impermanent. When one sees this with understanding, then one is disillusioned with the things of suffering. This is the Path of Purification.[Dhp.277]

The Buddha

There is one thing which, if practised and developed conduces to letting go, giving up, stilling, calming, higher knowledge, awakening and to Nirvana. And what is that one thing? It is the recollection of peace. Anguttara Nikaya I.29

May 23, 2010

Milindapanha 84

The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, which is greater, good or bad?"
"Good is greater, Sire; bad is only small."
"In what way?"
"Sire, someone acting badly is remorseful, saying: 'An evil deed was done by me,' and thus evil does not increase. But someone doing good is not remorseful. Because of freedom from remorse, gladness arises, from gladness comes joy, because of joy the body is tranquil, with tranquil body one is happy, and the mind of one who is happy is concentrated. One who is concentrated sees things as they really are, and in this way good increases."

Venerable Ajahn Chah

Hurtful actions and reprisals are different but closely related. Actions once done are finished with, there's no need to answer with revenge and hostility. This is called "action" (kamma). "Reprisal" (vera) means to continue that action further with thoughts of "you did it to me so I'm going to get you back." There's n...o end to this. It brings about the continual seeking of revenge, and so hatred is never abandoned. As long as we behave like this the chain remains unbroken, there's no end to it. No matter where we go, the feuding continues.

Venerable Ajahn Chah

The Buddha taught us to give up all forms of evil and cultivate virtue. This is the right path. Teaching in this way is like the Buddha picking us up and placing us at the beginning of the path. Having reached the path, whether we walk along it or not is up to us. The Buddha's job is finished right there. He shows the ...way, that which is right and that which is not right. This much is enough, the rest is up to us.

The Buddha

A person with good eyes, encountering a treacherous, uneven place, would try hard to avoid it. A wise person, in the world of life, should avoid evil deeds. [Ud 5.3]

The Buddha

This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a "self,"
for by whatever means it construes [anything],
...that becomes otherwise from that.
Becoming otherwise,
the world is
held by becoming
afflicted by becoming
and yet delights
in that very becoming.
Where there's delight,
there is fear.
What one fears
is stressful.
This holy life is lived
for the abandoning of becoming.

[Ud 3.10 PTS: Ud 32 ]

The Buddha

Bound round with delusion, the world only appears to be competent. Bound with acquisitions, foolish, surrounded by darkness, it seems eternal, but for one who sees, there is nothing. [Ud 7.10 PTS: Ud 79]

Venerable Ajahn Chah

This world "Liberation" is itself just a convention, but it refers to that beyond conventions. Having achieved freedom, having reached liberation, we still have to use convention in order to refer to it as liberation. If we didn't have convention we couldn't communicate, so it does have its use.

May 22, 2010

Anonymous

All living beings have the same basic wish to be happy and avoid suffering, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering. [Buddhist]

Anonymous

Happiness and suffering are states of mind, and so their main causes cannot be found outside the mind. [Buddhist]

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Be careful with being flattered, be mindful with being praised and be thoughtful with being blamed - our mind will be free from pride and resentment.

The Buddha

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

The Buddha

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Anger creates danger. Kill anger, we live happier.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Sympathetic Joy is the unique medicine to cure the disease of Jealousy.

Anonymous

"Because Buddhism is a religion of self-help, the first and foremost duty of a Buddhist is to understand the supreme position of the human being and one's responsibility toward both oneself and fellow sentient beings. "

Venerable Ajahn Chah

Doctors prescribe medicine to eliminate disease from the body. The
Teachings of the Buddha are prescribed to cure disease of the mind, to
bring it back to its natural healthy state. So the Buddha can be
considered to be a doctor who prescribes cures for the ills of the mind.
He is, in fact, the greatest doctor in the world.

The Buddha

One whose heart is overwhemed by unrestrained covetousness will do what he should not do and neglect what he ought to do. And through that, his good name and his happiness will come to ruin.[AN 4:61]

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Mind produces everything, do not let your mind produces destructive thoughts.

The Buddha

Having understood the unconditioned state, Released in mind with the cord of being destroyed, They have attained to the Dhamma-essence. Delighting in the destruction (of craving), Those stable ones have abandoned all being. [Itivuttaka]

His Holines Dalai Lama

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.

Venerable Nyanaponika Thera

Beings, sunk in ignorance, lost in delusion, hasten from one state of suffering to another, not knowing the real cause, not knowing the escape from it. This insight into the general law of suffering is the real foundation of our compassion, not any isolated fact of suffering.

The Buddha

When in contact with pleasure or pain in village or forest, one should blame neither oneself nor others. Contacts make contact dependent on a sense of acquisition. Where there's no sense of acquisition, contacts would make contact with what? [Ud 2.4]

The Buddha

If you gain a mature companion, a fellow traveler, right-living & wise, overcoming all dangers go with him, gratified, mindful.[Snp 1.3]

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Encouragement is the sacred power pushing ones to reach their destination. Even though, none in the world encourages you, but you should encourage yourself with strong determination and self-confidence.

Venerable Ajahn Sumedho

We can contemplate: Why is it that we still feel discontented, even when we have the best of everything? We are not completely happy even if we have a beautiful house, a car, the perfect marriage, lovely bright children and all the rest of it - and we are certainly not contented when we do not have all these things!.......If we don’t have them, we can think, ‘Well, if I had the best, then I’d be content.’ But we wouldn’t be. The earth is not the place for our contentment; it’s not supposed to be. When we realise that, we no longer expect contentment from planet earth; we do not make that demand.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

It is easy for us to say anything as much as we want to say, but not many things are easy to do. However, do not give up your effort. Through hardship we are stronger, through hardship we are wiser. The Buddha said " Effort leads to the extinction of suffering."

The Buddha

Monks, one can never repay two persons, I declare. What two? Mother and father. Even if one should carry about his mother on one shoulder and his father on the other, and they meanwhile should even void their excrements (as urine or feces) upon him, and so doing should live a hundred years, attain a hundred years; --ev...en so could he not repay his parents. Moreover, monks, if he should establish his parents in supreme authority, in the absolute rule over this mighty earth abounding in the seven treasures, --not even thus could he repay his parents. What is the cause of that? Monks, parents do much for their children: they bring them up, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. Moreover, monks, whoso incites his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in morality; whoso incites his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in generosity; whoso incites his foolish parents (with a wrong view), settles and establishes them in wisdom (with a right view), --such an one, just by so doing, does repay, does more than repay what is due to his parents.'

The Buddha

By resolution and attention, by discipline and self-control, a clever man may build himself an island that no flood can overthrow. [Dhp.25]

The Buddha

Don't indulge in careless behaviour. Don't be the friend of sensual pleasures. He who meditates attentively attains abundant joy. [Dhp.27]

The Buddha

It is good to restrain one's mind, uncontrollable, fast moving, and following its own desires as it is. A disciplined mind leads to happiness.[Dhp. 35]

His Holines Dalai Lama

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.

Venerable Ajahn Chah

"Don’t think that only sitting with the eyes closed is practice. If you do think this way, then quickly change your thinking. Steady practice is keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing or lying down. When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you ...are only changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will have peace. Wherever you are, you will have this attitude of practice with you constantly. You will have a steady awareness within yourself."

The Buddha

"Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as condition there is feeling. What one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one thinks about. What one thinks about, that one mentally proliferates. With what one has mentally proliferated as the... source, perceptions and notions tinged by mental proliferation beset a person with respect to past, future, and present forms cognizable through the eye." (source)

The Buddha

"Even the gods hold him dear,
Whose senses are subdued
Like horses trained well by a charioteer,
...Whose pride is destroyed,
And who is free from corruptions." [Dhp.94]

The Buddha

"Bhikkhus, non-dhamma should be understood, and so too dhamma should be understood. Harm should be understood, and benefit should be understood. Having understood all this, one should practice in accordance with dhamma, in accordance with benefit."

Hor Hen

The Buddha said there is no one in this world who has never been a friend or relative in our past lives. If we believe the Buddha’s words, then those we are helping are none other than our own flesh and blood.

The Buddha

Blest to have friends when one is in need, Blest contentment with whatever is, Blest is merit when life is at an end, Abandoning all dukkha is blessedness.

The Buddha

How do you construe this, Rahula: What is a mirror for? For reflection, Sir. In the same way, Rahula, bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts are to be done with repeated reflection. Whenever you want to perform a bodily act, you should reflect on it: ‘This bodily act I want to perform – would it lead... to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results? If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction … it would be a skillful bodily act with happy consequences, happy results, then any bodily act of that sort is fit for you to do.
(... Similarly with verbal acts and mental acts) Majjhima Nikaya 61:8-9 (Ambalatthikarahulavada Sutta – Advice to Rahula at Ambalatthika)

S.N. Goenka

Come, men and women!
Let us walk the path of Dhamma.
On this path walk holy ones,
on this path walk saints.

The path of Dhamma is the path of peace,
the path of Dhamma is the path of happiness.
Whoever walks the path of Dhamma
makes an end of suffering.

This path is the source of well-being,
this is the path of welf...are.
Whoever walks upon this path
finds a storehouse of happiness.

Everyone talks about Dhamma
but no one understands it.
Practicing purity of mind—
this is true Dhamma.

The Buddha

Mother and father are called
"Brahma," "early teachers"
And "worthy of veneration,"
Being compassionate towards
Their family of children.

Thus the wise should venerate them,
Pay them due honor,
Provide them with food and drink,
Give them clothing and a bed,
Anoint and bathe them
And also wash t...heir feet.

When he performs such service
For his mother and his father,
They praise that wise person even here
And hereafter he rejoices in heaven

{Iti 4.7; Iti 109}

Venerable Ajahn Chah

"In its natural state, the mind is the same - in it, there exists no loving or hating, nor does it seek to blame other people. It is independent, existing in a state of purity that is truly clear, radiant and untarnished. In its pure state, the mind is peaceful, without happiness or suffering - indeed, not experiencing... any vedana (feeling) at all. This is the true state of the mind."

Venerable Dr. K Sri Dhammananda Mahathero

Tolerance must be practised if peace is to come to this earth. Force and compulsion will only create intolerance. To establish peace and harmony among mankind, each and everyone must first learn to practise the ways leading to the extinction of hatred, greed and delusion, the roots of all evil forces. If mankind can er...adicate these evil forces, tolerance and peace will come to this restless world.

Aphaya:...Fearless

Aphaya Dana - Giving of non-fear, truest, warmness, tolerance. In the consideration of the Gifts, when one gives space and allowance for others to move and time to think, or does not belittle their capabilities or show up their weakness, one is considered as giving non-fear.
In Anguttara Nikaya, the b...ook of the three, verse 172, the Buddha said that one should give in such a way that the donee does feel humiliated, belittled or hurt. One should give with due consideration and respect, and make the donee feel warmly welcomed and glad to return.
Personal involvement in the act of giving - such as giving with our own bare hands and promoting the rapport through our caring, willingness and concerned attitude towards the donee - will most definitely enhance the quality our aphaya-dana.
This will be even more so if we give things that are good, choice, useful and appropriate, and not things which are only fit to be thrown away. [By Mahindarama Suday Pali School]

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Start your work with concentration and you will finish it with the best result.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

We were born with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing. Only the steam of wholesomeness and unwholesomeness brings us to the next existence. Wholesomeness gives us happiness, this lfe and the next. Let's cultivate it.

The Buddha

This is foremost for those with faith,
For those who know the foremost Dhamma:
Having faith in the Buddha as foremost,
Worthy of offerings, unsurpassed;

Having faith in the Dhamma as foremost,
The peace of detachment, bliss;
Having faith in the Sangha as foremost,
A field of merit unsurpassed.

Distributing gifts ...among the foremost,
Foremost is the merit that accrues;
Foremost their life and beauty,
Fame, reputation, happiness, and strength.

The wise one who gives to the foremost,
Concentrated on the foremost Dhamma,
Whether he becomes a deva or a human,
Rejoices in his foremost attainment.
{Iti 3.41; Iti 87}

Lily de Silva

Buddhism advocates a gentle non-aggressive attitude towards nature. According to the Sigalovada Sutta a householder should accumulate wealth as a bee collects pollen from a flower. The bee harms neither the fragrance nor the beauty of the flower, but gathers pollen to turn it into sweet honey. Similarly, man is expecte...d to make legitimate use of nature so that he can rise above nature and realize his innate spiritual potential.

Venerable Lee Dhammadharo

"Don't cut down a tree that gives you shade." Give it fertilizer and look after it so that it will grow. Don't forget the people who have helped you. Find some way of doing good to repay them. If you can't do it with your words or actions, then at least do it with your thoughts.

The Buddha

The good renounce everything. The pure don't babble about sensual desires. Whether touched by pleasure or pain, the wise show no change of temper. [Dhp. 83]

Venerable Lee Dhammadharo

Don't be complacent. Remind yourself that we're allbeing chased out ofthe world day by day. In otherwords, aging rears up, illness roars, and death runs up the score. So don't be oblivious, partying around with your defilements. Associate with the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha until your mind develops Rig...ht Concentration. That way you won't have anything to fear from the dangers of the world.

Venerable Lee Dhammadharo

You have to develop power within yourself, like stocking up on gunpowder. If a gun has no gunpowder, it can't be used to destroy anything. People who have to be servants are the ones who lack the power to be anyone else's boss. As for the people who have that power, all they have to do is point their fingers, and other... people will jump up and run. If we don't develop our own powers, we'll have to be servants — slaves to defilement — throughout time. ~

Lily de Silva

Moderation in speech is considered a virtue, as one can avoid four unwholesome vocal activities thereby, namely, falsehood, slander, harsh speech, and frivolous talk. In its positive aspect moderation in speech paves the path to self-awareness. Buddhism commends speaking at the appropriate time, speaking the truth, spe...aking gently, speaking what is useful, and speaking out of loving-kindness; the opposite modes of speech are condemned.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Even though we have only one minute living on earth, we should do somethings that bring ourselves and others to be happy and prosperious!

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Being humble does not mean you don't know anything, but it means you understand what should and should not be done.

The Buddha

He who experience the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Good deed will never die even though the good doer can die in any second.

Venerable Saloeurm Savath

Mental defilement keep our mind busy with complicated thoughts. Every moment, we should be mindful to clean it up, then we will be free from the internal complicated world.

His Holines Dalai Lama

'It is not good to begin many different works, saying 'This looks good; that looks good', touching this, touching that, and not succeeding in any of them. If you do not generate great desires but aim at what is fitting, you can actualise the corresponding potencies and become an expert in that. With success, the power ...or imprint of that practice is generated.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.

Venerable Ajahn Chah

It is only natural that when we put on dirty clothes and our bodies are dirty, that out minds too will feel uncomfortable and depressed. However, if we keep our bodies clean and wear clean, neat clothes, it makes our minds light and cheerful. So too, when morality is not kept, our bodily actions and speech are dirty, a...nd this is a cause for making the mind unhappy, distressed and heavy. We are separated from right practice and this prevents us from penetrating in the essence of the Dhamma in our minds. The wholesome bodily actions and speech themselves depend on mind, properly trained, since mind orders body and speech. Therefore, we must continue practice by training our minds. ~Phra Bodhinyana Thera (Ajanh Chah)

The Buddha

He who has profound knowledge, who is wise, skilled in discerning the right or wrong path, and has reached the highest goal — him do I call a holy man. [Dhp.403]

The Buddha

Good is restraint in the body; good is restraint in speech; good is restraint in thought. Restraint everywhere is good. The monk restrained in every way is freed from all suffering.[Dhp. 361]

Venerable Ajahn Chah

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. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

The Buddha

When a man is resolute and recollected, pure of deed and persevering, when he is attentive and self-controlled and lives according to the Teaching, his reputation is bound to grow.[Dhp.24]

The Buddha

Journey over, sorrowless, freed in every way, and with all bonds broken -- for such a man there is no more distress.[Dhp.90]

The Buddha

All fear violence, all are afraid of death. Seeing the similarity to oneself, one should not use violence or have it used. [Dhp.12]

Nagarajuna

There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, But to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasure in worldly desire, But to be without desires is more pleasurable still.

The Buddha

"If anyone were to give you a blow with the hand, or hit you with a clod of earth, or with a stick, or with a sword, even then you should abandon those urges and thoughts which are worldly. There, Phagguna, you should train yourself thus: 'Neither shall my mind be affected by this, nor shall I give vent to evil words;... but I shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and I shall not give in to hatred.' This is how you should train yourself. [MN 21, Acharya Buddharakkhita translated]

The Buddha

"Where is anger for one freed from anger,
Who is subdued and lives perfectly equanimous,
Who truly knowing is wholly freed,
Supremely tranquil and equipoised?
...He who repays an angry man in kind
Is worse than the angry man;
Who does not repay anger in kind,
He alone wins the battle hard to win.
He promotes the weal of both,
His own, as well as of the other.
Knowing that the other man is angry,
He mindfully maintains his peace
And endures the anger of both,
His own, as well as of the other,
Even if the people ignorant of true wisdom
Consider him a fool thereby."

His Holinest Dalai Lama

To develop genuine devotion, you must know the meaning of teachings. The main emphasis in Buddhism is to transform the mind, and this transformation depends upon meditation. in order to meditate correctly, you must have knowledge.

The Buddha

"Just as if there were a pool of water in a mountain glen — clear, limpid, and unsullied — where a man with good eyesight standing on the bank could see shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting, and it would occur to him, 'This pool of water is clear, limpid, and unsullied. Here a...re these shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also these shoals of fish swimming about and resting.' In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. He discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are mental fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.' This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime. And as for another visible fruit of the contemplative life, higher and more sublime than this, there is none." [DN 2]

The Buddha

"'This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not for one who is self-aggrandizing.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk, being modest, does not want it to be known that 'He is modest.' Being content, he does not want it to be known that 'He is content.' Being reclusive, he do...es not want it to be known that 'He is reclusive.' His persistence being aroused, he does not want it to be known that 'His persistence is aroused.' His mindfulness being established, he does not want it to be known that 'His mindfulness is established.' His mind being centered, he does not want it to be known that 'His mind is centered.' Being endowed with discernment, he
does not want it to be known that 'He is endowed with discernment.' Enjoying non-complication, he does not want it to be known that 'He is enjoying non-complication.' 'This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not for one who is self-aggrandizing.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said." [AN 8.30]

Dhammavadaka

Despite all apprearances, non one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather than blame and condemnation.

His Holines Dalai Lama

If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue.

Jennifer Edwards

The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change. So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger, but in wisdom, understanding and love.

Kahlil Gibran

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.

Umberto Eco

I have come to believe that the whold world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is mad terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

Samuel Smiles

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often dicover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never mad a mistake never mad a discocvery.

The Buddha

Few are those among men who have crossed over to the other shore, while the rest of mankind runs along the bank. However those who follow the principles of the well-taught Truth will cross over to the other shore, out of the dominion of Death, hard though it is to escape. [Dhp.85, 86]

How to deal with jealousy?

Wish others the best of happiness. They want it as deeply as everybody does. And whatever good you don't do, say or think today, you may never have a chance to repeat. (Diamond Way Buddhist Network)

Why is it so important to establish Western Buddhism?

Buddhism originated in India 2500 years ago and always changed in expression to fit peoples needs when inspiring new countries. Indians and Tibetans are very different and also in our western world today nothing exotic or foreign will really grow. As the highest teachings on the nature of mind are like a diamond, transparent and indestructible, they also reflect the colour of which ever society they are introduced into. Today Buddhism is also taking a style more appropriate to the educated and independent minds of the West. This does not mean that anything new is invented or added to the teachings. With 84,000 teachings to choose from that isn't necessary.

The monastic way of renunciation is less attractive to modern people, who tend to view Western attempts at this as a means of avoiding life's fullness and as a sign of weakness. This view, however, is not applied to visiting Tibetan monks. People see these robes and rituals as ways of preserving their heritage. Buddha gave countless methods to benefit beings and in the west today the most united frame is that of lay practitioners and yogis.

Europeans are very conscious of the superficiality that can arise from mixing different cultures and traditions. Those who trust only what they can analyse logically and who are embarrassed by exotic lifestyles can identify with the transparency and effectiveness of the Buddhist practices, when they are presented without cultural trappings. It is always a pity when people end up with Nihilism, political correctness or drugs because they cannot find a spiritual way they can trust. (Diamond Way Buddhist Network)

Do buddhist teachers give advice concerning relationships?

Yes, especially the lay and yogic ones who have practical experience. Whether the main reason for a relationship is physical attraction, an inner feeling that one shares the same interests or a deep identification, there is much to learn. If one works intelligently with what is there, ever more complete human growth will materialise. As this is only possible in a relaxed atmosphere, it is important to avoid expectation and competition in relationships. Supporting one another when working in the world is very meaningful, and this happens best when thinking »we« or »us«, not »me« and »her« or »him«.

Though both partners will usually share some ups and downs, happiness and suffering will always depend on each one's view. Thus, if one partner has a special quality, one can decide to make it a shared richness.

To avoid losing this openness, it is important to be aware that men tend to separate survival and fun, while women see life as a totality. Men may be rough during work, and often don`t remember to change their tone when women are around. At night however, all this is forgotten. Then their mind is on love and fun. If the woman was not treated nicely during the day, however, she simply will not »yield much warm water« at night. As both parties can be very thin skinned in this field, this is something to be mindful of.

Women who have had few or no children should avoid the impulse to educate their men instead, and also the men who think of their women as investments should be glad to have growing ones. In both cases, trying to control others is a painful waste of time. Both should know that each moment may be the last one and be aware that a partner who loves from a state of surplus and confidence is much more exciting than one who does so out of fear and loneliness or to avoid trouble. (Diamond Way Buddhist Network)

Is a business career compatible with being a Buddhist?

Buddhist teachings and meditations will help you to think more clearly which of course is very beneficial in all fields. Your concentration will also improve. You will be able to deal more effectively with human beings, whether they are colleagues, business partners, or clients. There is no problem with competition as a Buddhist as long as you are fair. When you win you can share your success with all beings by letting them take part in your achievements. (Diamond Way Buddhist Network)

How to control anger?

Anger is the only luxury one cannot afford. Good impressions gathered over lifetimes are mind's capital and the only source of lasting happiness. These may be burnt away in no time through fits of hot or cold rage. Buddha said that avoiding anger is the most difficult and most beautiful robe one can wear, and he gave many means to obtain this goal.

One very useful method is to be aware of the impermanent and conditioned nature of every experience, knowing that the difficult situation will change, and our anger will pass. Another beneficial approach is to remember cause and effect. If an enemy provokes us, we should know that they are creating bad Karma for themselves, which will surely return to them. Instead of getting involved and creating even more negativity, we can feel empathy towards them. One may also use mantras, which allow unwanted emotions to pass without letting them reinforce any bad habits. By simply being aware of the feeling without acting upon it, the unwanted emotion is not given any energy. It will come less frequently and eventually stay away.

A good antidote to anger is patience, a quality one definitely requires to effectively work with the mind. Without enemies or difficult situations, there would be no chance to develop patience, and without patience, there would be no enlightenment. Therefore, we should try to be thankful for these opportunities. Reacting without anger to whatever appears will set free the timeless wisdom of body, speech, and mind. (Diamond Way Buddhism Network)

What is the nature of dreams?

All conditioned experience can be compared to a dream. The outer world, experienced through one's senses seems so real and solid and consists of minute particles which can be split until they disappear. It is continually shared with others and involves body, speech and mind. What we experience at night is a private dream involving mainly one's mind.

Buddha likened the outer and inner worlds to dreams because nothing in them lasts. All mental and physical phenomena appear, change and then disappear. Mood, education, upbringing and background colour one's view. Furthermore we only experience the vibrations our senses can pick up and therefore do not perceive things as they are. For example, if we feel happy, everything seems beautiful and nice, and during unhappy states, everything turns terrible and difficult. Our perception is therefore both determined by outer conditions and by changing states of mind.

There is a certain wisdom in the dream state, because in it we are more aware of the unreal nature of things. The ease with which we gain or loose a million dollars in a dream, or are able to travel anywhere, actually shows a deep wisdom in the understanding of the nature of our mind.

If during a dream the awareness arises that one is actually dreaming, it is possible to spread the radiant clarity into the past and the future, thus becoming enlightened. Usually, this experience can't be held and upon waking up, it is forgotten. It is important, however, that if we become able to control our dreams, we may also be able to control our death. Resting in mind's clear essence during the process of dying offers the best chance for enlightenment. The Buddhist meditations aim directly at this. They produce the power to remain in mind's essence as naked awareness.
(source: Diamond Way Buddhism Network)

May 21, 2010

Is Buddhism scientific?

By Venerable Dhammika

Before we answer that question it would be best to define the word 'science'. Science, according to the dictionary is: "knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws, a branch of such knowledge, anything that can be studied exactly". There are aspects of Buddhism that would not fit into this definition but the central teachings of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, most certainly would. Suffering, the First Noble Truth, is an experience that can be defined, experienced and measured. The Second Noble Truth states that suffering has a natural cause, craving,which likewise can be defined, experienced and measured. No attempted is made to explain suffering in terms of a metaphysical concept or myths. Suffering is ended, according to the Third Noble Truth, not by relying on upon a supreme being, by faith or by prayers but simply by removing its cause. This is axiomatic. The Fourth Noble Truth, the way to end suffering, once again, has nothing to do with metaphysics but depends on behaving in specific ways. And once again behaviour is open to testing. Buddhism dispenses with the concept of a supreme being, as does science, and explains the origins and workings of the universe in terms of natural law. All of this certainly exhibits a scientific spirit. Once again, the Buddha's constant advice that we should not blindly believe but rather question, examine, inquire and rely on our own experience, has a definite scientific ring to it. He says: "Do not go by revelation or tradition,do not go by rumour, or the sacred scriptures, do not go by hearsay or mere logic, do not go by bias towards a notion or by another person's seeming ability and do not go by the idea 'He is our teacher'. But when you yourself know that a thing is good, that it is not blameble, that it is praised by the wise and when practised and observed that it leads to happiness, then follow that thing."

So we could say that although Buddhism in not entirely scientific, it certainly has a strong overtone and is certainly more scientific than any other religion. It is significant that Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the twentieth century said of Buddhism:

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."

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May 20, 2010

Vincent van Gogh

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.

William Hastie

Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather, achevement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.

Vincent van Gogh

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

The Buddha

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

The Buddha

Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge; there is no other refuge. Make truth your island, make truth your refuge; there is no other refuge. [DN 16]

The Buddha

He who has profound knowledge, who is wise, skilled in discerning the right or wrong path, and has reached the highest goal — him do I call a holy man.[Dhp.403]

The Buddha

Good is restraint in the body; good is restraint in speech; good is restraint in thought. Restraint everywhere is good. The monk restrained in every way is freed from all suffering.[Dhp. 361]

The Buddha

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of...your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

The Buddha

"Striving is most helpful for the final arrival at truth. If one does not strive, one will not finally arrive at truth; but because one strives, one does finally arrive at truth. That is why striving is most helpful for the final arrival at truth. [Majjhima Nikaya 95:22-33 (Canki Sutta)]

The Buddha

Killing living beings is unwholesome, abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome, abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome, abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; false speech is unwholes...ome, abstention from false speech is wholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome, abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome, abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; gossip is unwholesome, abstention from gossip is wholesome; covetousness is unwholesome, uncovetousness is wholesome; ill will is unwholesome, non-ill will is wholesome; wrong view is unwholesome, right view is wholesome. In this way ten things are unwholesome and the other ten things are wholesome. [Majjhima Nikaya 73:5 (Mahavacchagotta Sutta]

Venerable Ajahn Chah

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. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

The Buddha [Dhp.24]

When a man is resolute and recollected, pure of deed and persevering, when he is attentive and self-controlled and lives according to the Teaching, his reputation is bound to grow.

The Buddha [Dhp.90]

Journey over, sorrowless, freed in every way, and with all bonds broken -- for such a man there is no more distress.

The Buddha [Dhp.12]

All fear violence, all are afraid of death. Seeing the similarity to oneself, one should not use violence or have it used.

Nagarajuna

There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, But to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasure in worldly desire, But to be without desires is more pleasurable still.