CÁCH SỬ DỤNG BLOG NÀY

1. Đối tượng độc giả hướng đến là những bạn trẻ có máu phiêu lưu thích chu du xứ người trong thời gian dài nhưng với số tiền tối thiểu nhất có thể; ngoài ra đối tượng còn là những người có tâm hồn rộng mở, sẳn sàng dẹp cái tôi và quan điểm của mình sang bên để tiếp nhận những quan điểm mới và là người biết tôn trọng công sức của người khác. Nếu không thuộc hai nhóm đối tượng trên thì xin mời qua blog khác hay trang web khác mà chơi. Tôi không cần nhiều độc giả; chỉ cần người đọc có tâm mà thôi.

2. Toàn bộ blog được viết là của cùng một chuyến đi kéo dài vài năm và được viết theo dạng nhật ký nên ý tưởng có đôi lúc lộn xộn. Mong mọi người thông cảm!!! Đa phần nhật ký ghi chép của từng quốc gia nằm trong những mục có tiêu đề "Tôi đi......(tên quốc gia). Những mục khác thì theo chủ đề để cho bạn đọc dễ tra cứu.

3. Do tôi là người viết duy nhất của blog này và lại viết trong quá trình đang đi nên bỏ không ít công sức, thời gian và phải chiến đấu với cả bệnh lười để cập nhật thông tin trên blog nên mong mọi người tôn trọng bằng cách hãy đọc kỹ trước khi quyết định đặt câu hỏi mà hỏi điều gì nhé!!! Thứ nhất là tôi không nhớ thông tin mà trả lời; thứ hai là tôi cũng không có thời gian tra lục lại. Tuy nhiên khi "bí" quá thì có thể hỏi các bạn nhé!!!

4. Câu trả lời cho câu hỏi mà tôi vô cùng căm ghét nhưng nhiều người lại thích hỏi. Câu hỏi: "Khi nào về Sài Gòn / Việt Nam?" Câu trả lời: "Ra đi không hẹn ngày về; Khi chưa hết "máu", chưa về cố hương."

5. Bạn suy nghĩ khác tôi không có nghĩa là bạn đúng, tôi sai hay tôi đúng, bạn sai. Bạn suy nghĩ khác tôi bởi vì tôi và bạn không giống nhau. The meaning of life is not in trying to find out who is right, who is wrong; the meaning of life is in accepting each other's differences.

6. "Với bát cơm ngàn nhà; Một mình muôn dặm xa; Chốn chốn không phải nhà; Chỗ nào cũng là nhà."

7. Blog mới của tôi: http://khongdenkhongdi.blogspot.com/ Những bài liên quan đến Phật Pháp Tăng đã, đang và sẽ được đăng tải trên blog mới này. Bạn nào có quan tâm thì xin mời qua bên ấy đọc nghen! Cảm ơn.

8. Tự do là ung dung trong ràng buộc.
Hạnh phúc là tự tại giữa đau thương.

Science of Mind


THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION

… Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things.

The slightest movement of your dualistic thought will prevent you from entering the palace of meditation and wisdom.

…. The practice of meditation is not a method for the attainment of realization – it is enlightenment itself.

When you have thrown off your ideas as to mind and body, the origin truth will fully appear. Zen is simply the expression of truth; therefore, longing and striving are not the true attitudes of Zen.

To actualize the blessedness of meditation you should practice with pure intention and firm determination. Your meditation room should be clean and quiet. Do not dwell in thoughts of good or bad. Just relax and forget that you are meditating. Do not desire realization since that thought will keep you confused.

Sit on a cushion in a manner as comfortable as possible, wearing loose clothing. Hold your body straight without leaning to the left or the right, forward or backward. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders and your nose in a straight line with your navel. Keep your tongue at the roof of your mouth and close your lips. Keep your eyes slightly open, and breathe through your nostrils.

Before you begin mediation take several slow, deep breaths. Hold your body erect, allowing your breathing to become normal again. Many thoughts will crowd into your mind; ignore them, letting them go. If they persist, be aware of them with the awareness which does not think. In other words, think non-thinking.

Zen meditation is the actualization of truth and wisdom.
In your meditation, you yourself are the mirror reflecting the solution of your problems. The human mind has absolute freedom within its true nature. You can attain your freedom intuitively. Do not work for freedom, rather allow the practice itself to be liberation.

When you wish to rest, move your body slowly and stand up quietly. Practice this meditation in the morning or in the evening, or at any leisure tie during the day. You will soon realize that your mental burdens are dropping away one by one, and that you are gaining an intuitive power hitherto unnoticed.


The Buddha says:

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think
All that we are arises with our thoughts
With our thoughts we make the world
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

Your worst enemy can not harm you
As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.

But once mastered,
No one can help you as much,
Not even your father or your mother.

All beings tremble before violence.
All fear death.
All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?

He who seeks happiness
By hurting those who seek happiness
Will never find happiness.

“Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Life with such thoughts and you live in hate.

“Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Abandon such thoughts, and live in love.

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.

“Develop a state of mind like the earth, Rahula. For on the earth, people throw clean and unclean things, dung and urine, spittle, pus and blood, and the earth is not troubled or repelled or disgusted. And as you grow like the earth, no contacts with pleasant or unpleasant will lay hold of your mind or stick to it.

“Similarly you should develop a state of mind like water; for people throw all manner of clean and unclean things into water and it is not troubled or repelled or disgusted. And similarly with fire, which burns all things clean and unclean, and with air, which blows upon them all, and with space, which is nowhere established.

“Develop a state of mind of friendliness, Rahula; for, as you do so, ill-will will grow less, and of compassion, for thus vexation will grow less; and of joy, for thus aversion will grow less; and of equanimity, for thus repugnance will grow less.


A man approached the Blessed One and wanted to have all his philosophical question answered before he would practice. In response, the Buddha said, “It is as if a man had been wounded by a poisoned arrow and when attended to by a physician were to say, “I will not allow you to remove this arrow until I have learned the caste, the age, the occupation, the birthplace, and the motivation of the person who wounded me. That man would die before having learnt all this. In exactly the same way, anyone who should say, “I will not follow the teaching of the Blessed One until the Blessed One has explained all the multi- form truths of the world.” That person would die before the Buddha had explained all this.”

“Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is
In the very here and now
The practitioner dwells
In stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today
To must until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows
How to dwell in mindfulness
Night and day
‘One who knows
the better way to live alone.’”


Khyentse Rinpoche says:

Maintain the state of simplicity. If you encounter happiness, success, prosperity, or other favorable conditions, consider them as dreams and illusions, and do not get attached to them. If you are stricken by illness, calumny, deprivation, or other physical and mental trials, do not let yourself get discouraged, but rekindle your compassion and generate the wish that through your suffering all beings’ sufferings may be exhausted. Whatever circumstances arise, do not plunge into either elation or misery, but stay free and comfortable in unshakable serenity.

All sentient beings are the same in wishing to be happy and not to suffer….. We should wish others to be happy rather than ourselves, and we should especially wish happiness for those whom we perceive as enemies and those who treat us badly. Otherwise, what is the use of compassion?

It is said that good circumstances are more difficult to deal with than bad ones, because they are more distracting. If you have whatever you could wish for – wealth, a comfortable house, clothing – you should view it all as illusory, like possessions obtained in a dream, rather than feeling compulsive attachment to it. If someone gets angry with you or threatens you, it is relatively easy to meditate on patience; or, if you fall sick, to cope with the sickness. Since such things are causes of suffering, and suffering naturally reminds us of the Dharma, in a way it’s easier to integrate these difficult circumstances into your path. But when things are going well and you feel happy, your mind accepts that situation without any difficult. Like oil spread all over your skin, attachment easily stay invisibly blended into the mind; it becomes part of your thoughts. Once such attachment to favourable circumstances is present, you become almost infatuated with your achievements, your fame, and your wealth. That is something very difficult to get rid of.
But someone with true realization is like a mighty mountain that can not be shaken by any wind, or like the unchanging blue sky. Good or adverse circumstances, even in their thousands, will provoke no attachment or aversion, no expectation or doubt at all. It is said in the scriptures that such a person will be no more pleased at having someone on one side of him waving a sandal-wood fan than fearful of someone on the other side ready to strike him with an axe. For such a person, all deluded perceptions are exhausted. The result is that all circumstances whether adverse or favorable, will further his progress on the path.

It is said, “The sign of wisdom is self- control, and the sign of mature spiritual experience is the absence of conflicting emotions.” This means that to the same degree that you become wise and learned, you also become serene, peaceful and subdued – not reckless and bursting with pride and arrogance. Year after year, however much your practice progresses, you will be unconcerned about comfort and discomfort, and will have no pride at all. You will always be at peace, untroubled by outer events, with a  humble mind, beyond hopes and doubts, and indifferent to the sight world concerns – gain and loss, joy and suffering, praise and blame, fame and obscurity. There is a saying that goes: “In spiritual practice, difficulty comes at the beginning, in worldly affairs it comes at the end.” This means that when renouncing ordinary activities and devoting yourself entirely to the practice, you may encounter some outer and inner obstacles, but the more you persevere, the happier you will become. Conversely, worldly activities bring some ephemeral and superficial satisfaction at first; but eventually they result in bitter disappointment.


The whole thrust of the Buddha’s teaching is to master the mind. If you master the mind, you will have mastery over body and speech, and your own and others’ suffering can only come to an end. But if you leave the mind full of negative emotions, then however perfect the actions of your body and the words you speak might seem, you are far from the path.
Mastery of the mind is achieved through constant awareness of all your thoughts and actions. Check your mind over and over again, and as soon as negative thoughts arise, remedy them with the appropriate antidotes. When positive thoughts arise, reinforce them by dedicating the merit they bring, wishing that all sentient beings be established in ultimate enlightenment. Maintaining this constant mindfulness in the practice of tranquility and insight, you will eventually be able to sustain the recognition of wisdom even in the midst of ordinary activities and distractions. Mindfulness is thus the very basic, the cure of all samsara afflictions.



Shantideva says:

All the joy the world contains
Has come through wishing happiness for others.
All the misery the world contains
Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.

Is there need for lengthy explanation?
Childish beings look out for themselves.
Buddha labor for the good of others:
See the difference that divides them.

Bringing joy to beings, then, I please the Buddha also –
Offending them, the Buddha has I offend.

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama says:

Looking at problems from different angles actually lessens the mental burden or mental frustration. From the Buddhist viewpoint, every event has many aspects, and naturally, one event can be viewed from many, many different angles. It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view. Therefore, it is useful, when something happens, to try to look at it from different angles and then you can see the positive or beneficial aspects. Moreover, if something happens, it is very useful immediately to make a comparison with some other event or with the events of other people or other nations. This is also very helpful in sustaining your peace of mind.

Our feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, loss of hope,…are in fact related to all phenomena. If we do not adopt the right outlook, it is possible that anything and everything could cause us frustration…. By bringing about a change in our outlook toward things and events, all phenomena can become friends or sources of happiness, instead of becoming enemies or sources of frustration.
A particular case is that of an enemy. Of course, in our way, having an enemy is very bad. It disturbs our mental peace and destroys some of our good things. But if we look at it from another angle, only an enemy gives us the opportunity to practice patience….. Only those people whom we know and who create problems for us really provide us with a good opportunity to practice tolerance and patience.
Seen from this angle, the enemy is the greatest teacher for our practice.

One of the effective means by which one can overcome the forces of negative emotions like anger and hatred is by cultivating their counter-forces, such as the positive qualities of mind like love and compassion.

…by nature, we are compassionate, that compassionate is something very necessary, and something which we can develop. It is important to know the exact meaning of compassion…. The Buddhist interpretation is that genuine compassion is based on a clear acceptance or recognition that others, like oneself, want happiness and have the right to overcome suffering. One that basis, one develops some kind of concern about the welfare of others, irrespective of one’s attitude to oneself. That is compassion.

Actually, genuine compassion and attachment are contradictory. According t Buddhist practice, to develop genuine compassion, you must first practice the meditation of equalization and equanimity, detaching oneself from those people who are very close to you. Then, you must remove negative feelings toward your enemies. All sentient beings should be looked on as equal. On that basis, you can gradually develop genuine compassion for all of them. It must be said that genuine compassion is not like pity or a feeling that others somehow lower than yourself. Rather, with genuine compassion, you view others as more important than yourself.

BRIEF EXAMPLE OF A BUDDHIST MEDITATIVE TRAINING ON DEVELOPING EQUANIMITY

First, you should think about a small group of people whom you know, such as your friends and relatives, toward whom you have attachment. Second, you should think about some people to whom you feel totally indifferent. And third, think about some people whom dislike. Once you have imagined these different people, you should try to let your mind go into its natural state and see how it would normally respond to an encounter with these people. You will notice that your natural reaction would be that of attachment towards your friends, that of dislike toward the people whom you consider enemies, and that of total indifference toward those whom you consider neutral. Then you should try to question yourself. You should compare the effects of the two opposing attitudes you have toward your friends and your enemies, and see why you should have such fluctuating states of mind toward these two different groups of people. You should see what effects such reactions have on your mind and try to see the futility of relating to them in such an extreme manner….. You should reflect upon this and try to minimize your strong emotions toward these two opposing groups of people. Then, more importantly, you should reflect on the fundamental equality between yourself and all other sentient beings. Just as you have the instinctive natural desire to be happy and overcome suffering, so do all sentient beings; just as you have the right to fulfill this innate aspiration, so do all sentient beings. So on what exact grounds do you discriminate?

PRACTICE OF GIVING AND TAKING

This special training in Buddhist meditation is especially designed to enhance your power of compassion and love toward other sentient beings. It basically involves visualizing taking upon yourself all the suffering, pain, negativity, and undesirable experiences of other sentient beings. You imagine taking these upon yourself and then giving away or sharing with others your own positive qualities, such as your virtuous states of mind, your positive energy, your wealth, your happiness… Such a form of training, though it can not actually result in a reduction of suffering by other sentient beings or a production of your own positive qualities, psychologically brings about a transforming in your mind so effectively that your feeling of love and compassion is much more enhanced.

Book “Commentary on the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva” by Tenzin Gyatso – His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

It is a mistake to pursue the goals of happiness and the avoidance of suffering by deceiving and humiliating other people.  We must try to achieve happiness and eliminate suffering by being good-hearted and well-behaved.

THE THIRTY SEVEN PRACTICES OF A BODHISATTVA

ONE:
… It is the practice of the Bodhisattvas to listen,
contemplate and meditate day and night to free
themselves and others from the ocean of samsara.

TWO:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattvas to renounce their homelands
Which condition desire like water, wavering towards relatives;
Anger like fire, spreading towards enemies, and ignorance creating a
Cloudiness in the mind so one forgets what to accept and discard.

Attachment, hatred and ignorance increase alongside each other when we stay in our fatherland. We form attachments not only to our relatives and friends but also to our ancestors. These attachments arise inappropriately, as do hatred and anger.  Even if we wish to practice and recite some mantras, our time is occupied with taking care of our relatives and friends and countering the aims of our enemies. We show a nice face and kow-tow to those of higher authority, we bully those who are downtrodden and deceive those of the same status with our wealth. These actions all arise from staying in a place where there are so many objects of attachment and anger.

… Therefore, abandoning one’s fatherland is known as the practice of a Bodhisattva.

THREE:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to remain in remote places where
Afflictions gradually diminish by abandoning disturbing locations,
Where wholesome deeds naturally increase by being undistracted, and
Where clear – mindedness gives rise to conviction in the Dharma.

… The main purpose of leaving our fatherland is to have less occasion for the arising of attachment, hatred and ignorance… We can relax in a place where there is pure water and air, we have simple clothes and there’s no stress in our mind from having to take care of our belongings. From the time we get up in the morning, there is nothing to distract us from Dharma practice, so we should focus on the Dharma in such a setting….The sign of a monk is that when he abruptly arises from his seat, there is nothing he needs to gather up from that place. If several people have to help him carry his luggage when he is shifting from one location to another, then I do not think he represents the monkhood well.

FOUR:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to renounce this life, since
Relatives and friends of long-standing must part, wealth and material goods
Accumulated with great effort must be left behind and the body,
Like a guest-house, must be discarded by the guest of consciousness.

… Not being attached to friends, the body, wealth and possessions is the practice of the Bodhisattvas.

FIVE:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to abandon non-virtuous friends
Who, when associated with, cause the three poisons to increase,
The actions of listening, contemplating and meditating to diminish,
And love and compassion to become non-existent.

The kind of bad or non-spiritual friend we have to forsake is one in whose company we find there is a spontaneous increase in the three afflictions of attachment, hatred and ignorance. Naturally, we are unable to practice the Dharma through listening, contemplating and meditating when in the company of such a friend.

SIX:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to hold excellent
Spiritual friends as even more dear than their own bodies.
When relying on these excellent spiritual friends, faults decrease and
Good qualities increase like the waxing of the moon.

Before tomorrow arrives to do Dharma practice,
There’s a danger of death arriving today,
So not deceiving your own mind yourself,
If you want to do Dharma practice, do it from today.

SEVEN:
How can a worldly god, himself imprisoned in the jail of samsara,
Be able to protect anyone? It is the practice of
Bodhisattvas to go for refuge to the Triple Gem, which
Will never deceive the person who takes refuge in it.

EIGHT:
It has been said by Muni that the unbearable sufferings
Of the lower realms are the results of negative karma.
Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas never to create
Negative karma, even at the cost of their lives.

NINE:
The happiness of the three worlds, like dewdrops on the tip of a
Blade of grass, has the nature of vanishing in a moment.
Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to strive
For the excellent state of changeless liberation.

TEN:
What is the use of our own happiness when all mothers who have been
Kind to us since beginningless time are suffering?
Therefore, it is the practice of bodhisattvas to generate
Bodhicitta in order to liberate all sentient beings.

ELEVEN:
As all sufferings are born out of desiring one’s own happiness,
And the Buddhas are born out of the mind which benefits others,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to engage in the actual
Exchange of their happiness for the sufferings of others.

All the sufferings in the world
Arise out of wanting happiness for self
All the happiness in the world
Arise out of wanting happiness for others.

The root of all happiness lies in wanting others to be happy. The source of all obstacles lie in wanting happiness for oneself alone.

TWELVE:
If someone, under the power of strong desire, robs or
Forces others to steal all one’s belongings,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to delicate their body,
Wealth and the virtues of the three times to them.

A practitioner of the Bodhisattva’s way of life should do when robbed is that we should not only give up our belongings willingly to the one who robs us, but we should also wholeheartedly delicate to him our body and all our wholesome actions.

Gyalsas Thogmed Zangpo was robbed of all his possessions while en route for Sakya. He requested the feeling robbers to stop for a moment. Seeing him looking so calm and relaxed, unlike most people who have just been robbed, they stopped in their tracks and he approached them, saying: “Please wait a moment. Just now, when you took my belongings, I didn’t get the chance to dedicate them. Now I’d like to do the dedication.” Having said this, he dedicated his belongings to the robbers and then he said to them: “If you follow this route, you’ll pass by my patron who lives in the valley and he will recognize these things as mine. So you’d better not go this way. Instead, follow that narrow, winding path,” and he showed them the safe path. He’s known to have actually done this and thus put the words of his text into practice.

THIRTEEN:
Even if someone were to cut off one’s head,
Without any fault within oneself, it is
The practice of Bodhisattvas to take on all that person’s
Negativities with the power of compassion.

The words of this stanza are very difficult to put into practice. Even if we are virtually free of faults, other people, acting out of negative thoughts such as ignorance, jealousy and envy, may approach us with the intention of doing us serious harm, even going as far as to cut off our head. It says here that we should feel compassion rather than anger towards them. We should practice taking on all their negativities accumulated through their hatred and anger, with a spirit of compassion. This reveals the part of the giving anf taking practice which relates to taking.

FOURTEEN:
Even if someone were to shout different types of insults
At oneself throughout the three thousand worlds,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas still to speak
Of that person’s good qualities with a loving mind.

FIFTEEN:
Even if someone were to uncover one’s most intimate faults and say harsh words in the
Center of a crowd of many people, it is the practice of
Bodhisattvas to bow humbly to that person,
With the thought that he is a spiritual master.

… We are not aware of all our weaknesses, so this person is like our spiritual master in pointing them out to us. Even though he is acting out of ill-will, we should think of him as being very kind and should not feel anger towards him.

It is said that we should see the lama’s instructions as highlighting our negative aspects…., so should we consider the ordinary person who talks about our weaknesses as equal to a spiritual master and should dwell on his kindness.

It is bad to be praised and good to be despised.
Our own weakness is directly pointed out when we are despised. So, as it says here, rather than enjoying being praised, we should be glad to be despised. Why? Because the disadvantage of receiving praise is that our pride is increased. But if someone despises us, we try our best to overcome the faults of which we are accused. By being confronted with our faults, we feel ashamed of them and adopt an attitude of trying to avoid them in the future.

It’s bad to be happy and good to suffer; when we suffer we remember the holy Dharma. When we are happy, we exhaust our previously accumulated merit.

SIXTEEN:
Even if a person whom one has cared for lovingly
Like one’s own son were to regard one as an enemy,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to show greater kindness,
Like a mother to her son who is stricken by an illness.

… We may nurtue and support someone like our own son, with such loving concern that we deserve to be repaid, yet find that he chooses to abuse us to treat us as his enemy instead of repaying our kindness.

Someone who behaves badly because of being possessed by a demon
Will not evoke anger in the doctors looking after him.
Just so, Muni sees affliction as the enemy rather than
The person who acts out of the affliction.

The mother whose son is possessed by a demon and threatens her with a knife does not become angry. Similarly, if someone I have helped and nurtured with kindness turns around and insults me, instead of generating anger towards him I should sincerely try to eliminate his afflictions.

The son who is afflicted by devils may scold his loving mother,
But she continues to show him love and concern.
Similarly, when these migratory beings of the degenerate era abuse you,
You the compassionate one regard them with loving kindness.

SEVENTEEN:
Even if a person of the same or lower status than oneself
Were to attempt to insult one out of arrogance,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas respectfully to take
That person, like a guru, on the top of their heads.

When such a person arouses our anger and that anger remains with us for one or two days, it’s a good idea to visualize that person in front of us and recite the following words:

Whenever I associate with others,
May I, from the depths of my heart,
Think of myself as the lowest of all
And of all others as supreme.

When reciting these words and visualizing the person in front of us, we should touch our head to his feet with the thought, “I am lower than you. Compared to me, you are supreme in such-and-such knowledge and for this reason and that reason, you are higher than me.”

Thinking in this way will benefit our mind, by making it calmer. After some time we will find that the fierce anger in our mind towards him reduces in intensity and becomes powerless. If we feel some loss of dignity in this process, we can keep this to ourselves and, when we meet him, simply act naturally. We should treat him like our lama in our visualization practice, respecting him and prostrating him, with the purpose of achieving calmness in our mind.

It is said that the greatest hindrances in the practice of dharma arise either when we are extremely weak or extremely powerful / successful. .. We must be vigilant at these times.

EIGHTEEN:
Even if one has a poor livelihood, is always insulted by people
And is afflicted by a very severe illness or evil spirits,
It is still the practice of Bodhisattvas undauntedly to take on
The negativities and sufferings of all living beings.

Thinking: “May this suffering of mine represent and purify all the sufferings of sentient beings.”

NINETEEN:
Even if one is famous, respected by many and with the
Wealth of Vishravana (the guardian king),
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas, having seen
The essencelessness of the glory and wealth
Of worldly existence, to remain without pride.

Being humble and taking a low position results in blissful happiness, and is extremely important. If we try to maintain a high position, we will experience unhappiness later if things do not work out as we had hoped; whereas we will not have to experience any sense of loss from choosing to adopt a lowly position…..

TWENTY:
If outer enemies are destroyed while not restraining
The enemy of one’s own hatred, the outer enemies will increase.
Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to conquer
Their own minds with the powerful army of love and compassion.

Al the external enemies we vanquish will endlessly be replaced by others if we do not tame the hatred within us. It is said in the Bodhicharyavatara (‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’):

Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (wearing) leather just on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it.

The meaning is:
Unruly beings are as (unlimited) as space.
They can not possibly all be overcome.
But if I overcome thoughts of anger alone,
This will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes.

How can we subdue all our enemies in this mundane realm of three thousand worlds? It is impossible. However, taming the inner enemy of anger is equivalent to taming all external enemies.
We have to tame our inner enemy by adopting the armour of love and the immense power of compassion…. It only makes matters worse if we retaliate with anger when others show their anger to us, just as stirring up muddy water makes it more murky and of no use to anyone. But behaving politely defuses anger after some time. Bouts of rage serve no purpose other than to increase people’s anger, pride, jealousy and competitiveness.

Making strong divisions between ourselves and our own side as against others and their side increases the likelihood of spontaneous outbursts of anger. In the face of anger, we should give a reasoned explanation if the other person is receptive. But if he /she doesn’t want to listen, then leave it for the time being.

Anger is an unstable emotion. It arises without warning and fades after a while…..

TWENTY ONE:
Sensual pleasures, like salt water, increase desire
No matter how much they are enjoyed.
So the practice of Bodhisattvas is immediately to abandon
All objects that generate a desire towards them.
This refers to the objects of desire such as form, sound, smell, taste and touch. However much we enjoy the pleasures of these objects of desire, it is as if we were drinking salty water, which only increases our longing for more water. Likewise, indulging in the pleasures of desire only serves to increase passion….

TWENTY TWO:
Whatever appears is (the manifestation of) one’s own mind;
The nature of mind itself is primordially free from fabrication.
Knowing this, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas
Not to conceive the signs of object and subject.

It is because phenomena lack inherent existence that a transformation occurs dependent upon their conditions, so that various aspects of phenomena can appear to us " appearance does not negate emptiness, nor does emptiness negate appearance.

We need to have a well-established familiarity with this view in our minds in order to apprehend appearance and emptiness without contradiction and in a complementary relationship to each other. We need to develop conviction in both the emptiness aspect, which is non-inherent existence, and in the appearance aspect of phenomena.

If an object existed by itself without relying upon the mind, it would have to appear and exist in a unique way. But we find that it does not exist in any unique fashion when we investigate it. The fact that it does not actually exist like this arises convincingly in the depths of our mind and at this time the concrete existence of the object may dissolve, as if we have truly understood the nature of reality.

In addition, we should be able to rest our minds on that understanding with tranquility. Without good stability of mind, we will find it difficult to rest our minds for long without losing touch with that understanding we have gained.
… Not seeing (in a deluded way) is the supreme seeing.

TWENTY THREE:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to renounce
Clinging attachment when meeting with pleasant objects;
For although they appear beautiful, like a rainbow in summer,
They should not be seen as truly existent.
… There are 2 ways to go about abandoning attachment-seeing the ugliness of a once beautiful object, and seeing attractive objects as lacking true existence. There is a difference in power between these two. Meditating on ugliness as an antidote to attachment has less power in uprooting attachment than does generating a strong conviction in non-inherent existence. Employing both methods is extremely effective, and understanding reality in this way is a marvelous step on the road to attaining nirvana.

TWENTY FOUR:
The various sufferings are like the death of a son in a dream.
There is weariness due to holding illusive appearances as real.
Therefore, when meeting with unfavorable conditions it is the practice of
Bodhisattvas to view them as illusory.

This explains how to view both the hatred – inducing object and suffering as a dream. Various aspects of suffering can be seen as deceptive and illusory, like the death of a son in a dream.

TWENTY FIVE:
If it is necessary to give up even one’s body when seeking enlightenment,
What need is there to mention giving up external objects?
Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to be
Generous without hoping for reward or ripening merit.
We should be generous with the sole intention of benefiting others, and the results accrued by such generous acts should be dedicated, from the depths of our heart, to the welfare of others. One practicing this kind of generosity does not expect to be repaid nor to gain good ripening results, such is the generosity practiced by a Bodhisattva.

TWENTY SIX:
If through lacking moral discipline, one can not achieve one’s own purpose,
It is laughable to want to benefit others. Therefore,
It is the practice of Bodhisattva, who have no craving
For worldly pleasure, to preserve moral discipline.

The self-benefiting mind acts out of desire for the pleasures of cyclic existence, preserving morality in order to avoid rebirth in the lower realms and to attain a higher rebirth. A Bodhisattva, on the other hand, preserves morality not with these intentions but rather to attain a higher rebirth in order to benefit others. Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to challenge their inner afflictions with greater determination even than the hearers and solitary realisers do.

TWENTY SEVEN:
To Bodhisattvas, who desire the wealth of virtue, all agents of harm
Are like a precious treasure. Therefore, cultivating
The patience that is free from hatred and animosity
Towards all is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

Patience is the main practice of a Bodhisattva. To the Bodhisattva who longs for the accumulation of wholesome deeds, all the three kinds of people – low, middle and high-ranked – who inflict harm are like the source of precious treasure. Interacting with them causes the practice of patience to develop.

… When we are belittled by someone in a position of authority, we may tell others that we are practicing patience in the face of such humiliation. But actually we have no alternative but to practice patience in this instance, since we are in the inferior position. The real practice of patience, however, is towards those lower than ourselves, because we are able to retaliate but we choose not to do so.

TWENTY EIGHT:
If even Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, working for self-gain,
Are seen to make efforts as if their heads were on fire,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to benefit all beings by
Expending joyous effort, the source of all good qualities.

Even hearers and solitary realisers, who practice out of self-concern, exert tremendous effort as if their heads had caught fire. So Bodhisattvas, who intend to lead all migratory beings to the supreme state of Buddhahood, must practice joyous effort – which is the source of all knowledge – more fervently even than these hearers and solitary realisers.

TWENTY NINE:
Through having realized that calm biding in combination with
Special insight completely destroyed afflictions,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to train in the
Concentration which surpasses the four formless stages.

In this text, it refers to the typre of concentration found in the union of special insight and calm abiding of the mind which realizes emptiness, which uproots cyclic existence and goes beyond the path of the four states of absorption. So it is said that we must train single-pointedly in such concentration in order to achieve it.

THIRTY:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to train in the
Wisdom supported by method that does not
Conceptualizes the three spheres; without wisdom one will be unable
To achieve complete Buddha-hood by means of the five perfections.
Lacking wisdom is like lacking eyes to focus with. We won’t derive much benefit even from the sincere practice of everything from generosity to contemplation if our mind is obscured and without wisdom, nor will we create the cause for enlightenment. Therefore, we should practice the development of wisdom. Wisdom is not referred alone, but wisdom supported by method and method upheld by wisdom. These two should not be separated. Based on these we have to practice the two accumulations of merit and wisdom supported by method, we should realize the non-inherent existence of the doer, the deed itself and the recipient of the deed. Practicing the wisdom which understands this non-inherent existence is said to be the practice of a Bodhisattva.

THIRTY ONE:
With (merely) the external appearance of a practitioner, if one does not
Examine one’s own mistakes, one may act in opposition to the Dharma.
Therefore, it is the practice of Bodhisattvas always
To examine one’s own mistakes and abandon them.

THIRTY TWO:
If, due to the power of afflictions, one were to discuss
The faults of other Bodhisattvas, one would degenerate.
Therefore, not speaking of the faults of others who
Abide in the Mahayana is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

Sutra of Self-Liberation:
We must examine right and wrong within ourselves,
And the level of our own awareness,
Rather than examining the faults,
Deeds and misdeeds of others.

…pointing out others’ drawbacks and hiding our own faults is not Dharma. This is particularly important for those who practice Mahayana Dharma with faith and live in a place where these teachings flourish; if we point out others’ failings, we may unknowingly be speaking about Bodhisattvas, since it can be difficult to recognize them. Discussing the faults of Bodhisattvas leads to the downfall of those involved in such negative talk. Those who engage in Mahayana practice and do not discuss others’ faults are following the practice of the bodhisattvas.

Je Gedun Drup also speaks of the need for a pure outlook:

In general, contemplate the kindness of all sentient beings,
And in particular train your mind in pure thoughts
About all who practice the Dharma.
There is an enemy inside you; subdue your delusion.

It is the responsibility of Mahayana practitioners generally to recognize the kindness of all sentient beings and to contemplate that kindness, just as it is improper to harbour thoughts of clinging or hatred.

When scholars make critiques and various assertions, using logic and texts, for the sake of upholding, protecting, promoting and refining their own Dharma, these are not made out of hatred or attachment. Rather, they are stated in order to clear up confusions and for the purpose of thorough investigation, just as gold is tested by cutting, rubbing and burning it….
We should train our mind in a pure outlook towards every Dharma practitioner. We may feel we have certain skills and talents, but we should not flaunt these in front of others; we should use them instead to subdue the inner enemies of our delusions.

“……..My only wish is to be reborn in this impure realm so that I can benefit flawed sentient creatures as much as I can.” (JeGedun Drup) These are the words of a Bodhisattva.

THIRTY THREE:
Material offerings and gifts cause arguments among people, and degenerate the
Actions of listening, contemplating and meditating.
So it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to abandon
Attachment to the households of friends and patrons.

People become embroiled in conflicts while attempting to please their patrons and seeking to fulfill some aim or to attain privileges and rank. Dharma activities like hearing, contemplating and meditating degenerate in the process, giving rise to anxiety and discontent in the practitioners themselves and the community around them. This is a direct result of the disadvantages of the practitioner being linked with several families and one or more patrons and developing a close relationship with these people.

Bodhicharyavatara:

Those whom you have known well for some time must be acknowledged when you meet them. After that, remain neutral towards them.

This may seem rude, but there’s a good chance that we will end up in trouble if we chase after our patron like a dog chases the “Glud” (food)

THIRTY FOUR:
Using harsh words disturbs the minds of others and causes the character of
Bodhisattvas to degenerate. Therefore, it is the
Practice of Bodhisattvas to abandon abuse
Directed at others which is unpleasant to hear.

THIRTY FIVE:
Habitual afflictions are hard to reverse with an antidote.
So it is the practice of Bodhisattvas to destroy afflictions,
Such as attachment and others, as soon as they appear,
By bearing the antidotal sword of mindfulness and introspection.
We must blow out a fire when it is small; or, we must dam the water while it is still merely a small stream.

THIRTY SIX:
In brief, wherever one is and wherever one’s behavior,
One should always possess mindfulness and introspection
To examine the condition of one’s own mind. In that way,
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to achieve benefit for others.

Our mind is accessible to us and so we should assess its state wherever we are and at all times. We should investigate to see whether an inappropriate thought has arisen, particularly a thought which harbours ill-intent, or whether we are being hypocritical- saying one thing and thinking another – and also whether our physical actions are wholesome or not.

THIRTY SEVEN:
It is the practice of Bodhisattvas to dedicate the virtue
Achieve by endeavouring in this way to Enlightenment,
In order t eliminate the sufferings of limitless migratory beings,
With the wisdom of the purity of the three spheres.

We should take all the wholesome activities which we have accomplished through our sincere efforts to follow the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva, and rather than dedicating these wholesome deeds to our own long life and freedom from sickness, we should dedicate them to the endless and infinite numbers of migratory beings who have fallen into suffering. In this way, we dedicate our positive merit to help others eliminate all suffering and its cause, knowing by our wisdom the non-inherent existence of the dedicator, the act of dedication and the recipient of the dedication. From this viewpoint, it is said we should go ahead and make the dedication.

…tame your mind and to discriminate between good and bad, abandon the bad and adopt the good things. Choosing between kindness and unkindness, try to act always with a kind heart and forsake cold-heartedness.


Book “Food for the Thinking Mind” by K Sri Dhammananda

The human mind is like an umbrella- functions best when open.(Walter Gropins)

A wise man will be the master of his mind
A fool will be its slave                                                   (Publius Syrus)

A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.      (Bill Bethel)

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.     (Shakespeare)

Most of the sorrows of the earth, humans cause for themselves. (Jack Kornfield)

You need two good weapons;
A heart that is pure,
A will that is ready,
To do and endure!

A mind that is fast is sick.
A mind that is slow is sound.
A mind that is still is divine.                                         (Meher Baba)

Very intelligent men and really stupid men both do not change their minds.      (Confucius)

Do not hate your enemies for they will reveal your faults.

Two kinds of fools: Those who abuse their intellect are called intellectual fools and those who develop emotional kindness without reasoning are called kind-hearted fools.

Buddha also says that there are 2 kinds of fools: those who undertake unnecessary burdens and those who do not undertake necessary responsibilities.

In Buddhism, there can be no real morality without knowledge, no real knowledge without morality; both are bound up together like heat and light in a flame.

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless t seek it elsewhere. (La Rochefoucauld)

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.

Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.

Instead of saying that man becomes an animal, or an animal becomes man, it would be more correct to say that the karmic force, which manifests in the form of man, may manifest itself in the form of an animal.

The animal nature in the man’s mind and human behaviour in the animal’s mind are the causes of those occurrences.

Most of the sorrows of the earth, humans cause for themselves. (Jack Kornfield)

Kindness, honesty and patience without common sense are fertile grounds for cunning people to take advantage of those who possess such good qualities. Some people regard them as kind-hearted fools.

Many people perform evil because of ignorance rather than wickedness by nature. As such, they need guidance rather than punishment.

In Buddhism, there can be no real morality without knowledge, no real knowledge without morality; both are bound up together like heat and light in a flame.

To understand yourself
Is the beginning of wisdom
You must try to know
Who you are without depending on others.

Education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.                                                        (John Ruskin)

The quiet man is not necessarily wise,
But usually the wise man is quiet.

A student acquires a quarter of his knowledge from his teacher, another quarter from his own intelligence, the third quarter from his co-students and the last quarter in course of time from experience.     (Mahabharata)

Philosophy deals mainly with knowledge and is not concerned with practice, whereas Buddhism lays special emphasis on practice and realization based on understanding.

Therefore, the concern of philosophy is to know and that of Buddhism is to practice.

A man is but the product of his thoughts;
What he thinks, he becomes.                                        (Mahatma Gandhi)

Wisdom is not knowledge. We do gain knowledge after listening, reading, and observing many things in this world but it is not wisdom in the real sense. Wisdom only appears in the mind when mental hindrances, obstructions and other impurities are not active in the mind.

There are many learned people all over the world that, no doubt, have wonderful knowledge, but unfortunately, some lack proper wisdom. They are intelligence but their behaviour is questionable. They may be hot-tempered, egoistic, emotional, jealous, greedy and temperamental.

On the other hand, there are others who are very kind, patient, tolerant and have many other good qualities. However, they lack wisdom and can be easily misled by others: If we develop generosity without proper knowledge, we could get into trouble when people take advantage of us. Knowledge and good qualities must, therefore, go together.

Knowledge is of 3 kinds:
·        that acquired by learning,
·        that acquired by thinking, and
·        that acquired by meditation.

A great truth, sometimes, appears so simple that it fails to make an impression and therefore, takes a long time to be realized.                                                        (Spanish proverb)

Patience is the compassion of wisdom.                       (St. Augustine)

The softest thing in the world can overcome the hardest thing in the world.

A handsome man attracts a woman.
An intelligent man interests her.
A humorous man amuses her.
An attentive man flatters her.
A generous man pleases her.
An honest man surprises her.
The thoughtful man wins her.

To acquire knowledge, one must study, but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.       (Marilyn Savant)

Learning can increase ignorance.

The more we learn about things existing in the world, the more we create our own concepts and fantasies, which are the products of our limited way of thinking and shaped by our limited senses. Instead of gaining wisdom, we increase our ignorance.

People who claim to know many things only develop their egoism and skeptical views, which create more confusion and disturb the peace and confidence in their minds.

The knowledge and attitude they maintain often create more misunderstanding and conflict instead of generating harmony and goodwill.                                (A French Scholar)

There is a foolish corner even in the brain of a wise. (Aristote)

No one knows everything.
No one knows nothing.
Everything knows something.

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.                      (Samud Coleridge)

Answering the question by knowing the questioner’s mind.
A man, who had never seen a train, visited the railway station one day. Having seen the train engine running, he asked, “How can that one run without a horse? Where is the horse?” His friend knowing his mentality told him, “The horse runs inside the train.” “No wonder, that is why I could not understand how the train runs.”

Advantage of other’s jealousy
When someone is jealous of you, he is paying you a compliment, though in an unpleasant way.
It is as if he is saying: “Look, you have something, which I do not have, I would like to have and I feel helpless at the thought that I can not have it.”

It was the Buddha who taught that man could gain his own salvation by his own exertion without depending on God or meditating priest.
Buddhists do not take refuge in the Buddha seeking salvation directly through him, but to gain guidance and confidence for salvation.

How to gain salvation?
Do not depend on others for your salvation
Develop your self-confidence to gain it.                     (Buddha)

Among the founder of all religions in this world, I respect only one man – the Buddha. The main reason was that the Buddha did not make statements regarding the origin of the world. The Buddha was the only teacher who realized the true nature of the world.
But, while many others made unjustifiable claims based on rather simplistic logic on how the world originated, the Buddha did not commit himself to any statement about a beginning. This was because he knew his listeners did not have the proper intellectual training and understanding of the physical world to comprehend what he himself had discovered.             (Bertrand Russell)

This Dharma is for one who wants little, not for one who wants much.
This Dharma is for the contented, not for the discontented.
This Dharma is for the secluded, not for one who wastes time in the society.
This Dharma is for the energetic, not for the lazy.
This Dharma is for the mindful, and not for the unmindful.
This Dharma is for the composed, not for the flustered.
This Dharma is for the wise, not for the universe.                         (Buddha)

The aim of Buddhism is to release human beings from worldly suffering within the cyclic of birth and death and guide them to achieve this liberation, without becoming slaves to certain beliefs and practices that people uphold in the name of religion.

Buddhism can eliminate the darkness of ignorance and liberation the human being from the danger of his unconscious illusion and religious slavery. It can help man to become his own master.

Man can free himself from all evil if he can understand the nature of his own mind. In modern times, entertainments have been introduced to satisfy human emotions and relax the mind. They have become like drugs to create more excitement and restlessness in mind arousing the hidden animal nature of the man.

The main purpose of religion is to calm the mind to reduce tension, excitement and fear from the mind.

If you can understand the nature of your own mind, you can easily understand what Buddhism is. You may go round the world in search of Buddhism, but only when you concentrate and reflect on yourself, you will be able to find it. This is the method prescribed by the Buddha for self – realization.

Three aims of practicing Buddhism:
·                   To gain peace and happiness in this life,
·                   To have a contented and fortunate life hereafter,
·                   To achieve the ultimate aim of life: everlasting happiness and supreme bliss.

Zen master Dogen said, “To study Buddhism is to study yourself, to study yourself is to forget yourself, and to forget yourself is to perceive yourself as all things.”
Then you come to know that the concept of self is an illusion.

For Buddhists, purification of the mind is the ultimate goal.

What is Nirvana?
The destruction of greed and lust (lobha),
The destruction of ill – will and hatred (dosa),
The destruction of delusion and ignorance (moha),
That friend, is called Nirvana                                                           (Buddha)

Why I could not catch you

One day, the Buddha went to meet Angulimala, a murderer who terrorized the whole country. When Angulimala saw the Buddha, he was very happy because he could kill the last person to compete the number of people he needed to kill to fulfill his vow.
With sword in his hand, he ran at the Buddha to catch him. He ran and ran until he became very tired, but he still could not reach the Buddha. Finally, he shouted to the Buddha, “Stop!”
The Buddha said, “I have already stopped long ago.”
Angulimala said, “But you were walking.”
The Buddha then said, “The meaning of ‘Stop’ is that I have stopped committing evil deeds.”
The Angulimala asked, “Why, I could not catch you after running such a long distance?”
The Buddha replied, “You could not catch me because you ran. If you stop running, you can catch me.”
Angulimala asked again, “What do you mean?”
The Buddha said, “The meaning of the word ‘run’ means you are committing evil deeds for you to suffer for a long time in your life.”
Angulimala then decided to give up his cruel act of killing and followed the Buddha to become one of his disciples.

Who is a sinner? " It’s a sin to call a man a sinner.

Like the bee gathers honey from different flowers, the wise ones sees only the good in all religions and accepts the essence of the different teachings.
                                            
Why Religion is so important to man?
Human beings do not know what to do
With their lives and how to use it properly
Religion gives them the answer.
Life without religion is like a ship
Without anchor or navigator.

Science without religion is lame.
Religion without science is blind.                                (Albert Einstein)

Theory without practice is empty.
Practice without theory is blind.

A man who puts aside his religion because he is very busy in society is like one taking off his shoes because he is able to walk upon thorns.

Some people do not like religion because religion asks them not to do many things that they like to do and to do many things that they do not like to do.

If we neglect our intellectual ability and believe in rites, rituals, ceremonies and dogmas, we no longer seek the truth but engage in window-shopping.

Only by leading a respectable, noble and harmless or blameless pure life, can one gain true salvation.

The purpose of religion is to help man to think correctly, to raise him above the level of the animal, to help him understand his relation with the universe and to live in harmony with it so that he reaches his ultimate goal of supreme happiness and fulfillment.

Before God, we are all equally wise – equally foolish.     (Albert Einstein)

The duty of philosophy and religion
Philosophy is to understand the nature of the world.
Religion is to understand the worldly conditions and to live according to such conditions.

Cows are of many colors but the color of the milk is always the same. Therefore, the aim of religion is the same as the colour of milk.

The main purpose of religious education today is not to impose our thoughts and way of life on others, not to replace one religion with another, but to discover what others are doing, and to help them live their lives peacefully.(Dr. Radhakrishanan)

God is not interested in what the mouth says.
He is interested in what the heart says.                               (Vision)

A holy man is one who never considers himself superior to any single creature on earth and who has renounced all the pleasure of life.                                       (Mahatma Gandhi)

Karma and the electric light:
Just as an electric light is the outward manifestation of invisible electric energy, even so are living beings the outward manifestation of invisible karmic energy. The bulb may break and the light may be extinguished, but the current remains and the light may be reproduced in another bulb. The bulb can be compared to the parental cell of the body and the electric energy to the karmic energy.
In the same way, the karmic force remains undisturbed by the disintegration of the physical body, and the passing away of the present consciousness leads to the arising of a fresh one in another birth.

All our material properties remain behind when we depart from this world. Our relatives and relatives follow us up to the grave yard only.
Only the good and bad actions (karma) that we have committed during our lifetime follow us into the next life either to support us or to disturb us.
Gems, bacteria and viruses of the physical body never go with our body when we die.
However, the gems such as greed, hatred and ignorance that we have harboured in our mind never remain behind but follow with our consciousness even after death.

For the good to do what is good is easy,
For the bad to do what is good is difficult,
For the bad to do what is bad is easy,
For the noble to do what is bad is difficult.                  (Buddha)

The branches that bear most hang lowest
There is no true holiness without humility.

Simplicity of a leader:     
Mahatma Gandhi, a leader of India always traveled third – class in a train.
Somebody once asked, “You are a leader of this country, why do you travel third class?”
Mahatma Gandhi’s reply was, “I travel third –class because there is no fourth-class.”

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does. (J.M.Barrie)

No action is right simply because it is commended and no action is wrong simply because it is condemned.

No person was ever honoured for what he received: honour has been the reward for what he gave.

Learn how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, and how to acquire without meanless.  (G.Sand)

Four courses of action:
Those who go from darkness to darkness – while leading miserable life, they commit more evil.
Those who go from light to darkness – while enjoying pleasurable lives due to previous good karma, they commit evil deeds.
Those who go from darkness to light – knowing that they are suffering in this life for their previous bad karma, they try to cultivate nobility in their lives for their future happiness.
And those who go from light to light – while experiencing a pleasurable life, do more meritorious deeds to gain more happiness in their future lives.                    (Buddha)

The best thing you can do for the poor is not to be one of them.

The man who learns something from every man is wise.
The man who overcomes his passion is strong.
The man who is content with his fate is rich.
The man who honours his fellow men is honoured.                       (Jewish Saying)

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.   
(Winston Churchill)

Nobody can give you wiser advise than yourself; you’ll never err if you listen to your own suggestions.                                                                                         (Cicero)

An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation.
As you grow wiser, it will avoid you.

You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.                                                               (Abraham Lincoln)

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.

There are 2 things you must forget – the good you do to others and the wrong others do to you. (Sai Baba)

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.       (Confucius)

Every noble work is at first impossible. (Thomas Carlyle)

Respect is an important ingredient in life.
If we do not respect others
We may not treat them well
Every one deserves respect and to be treated well.

Words can bring us gain or loss, praise or blame, good repute or ill-will, happiness or misery. A gentle word, at times, can melt the hardest heart. The Buddha tamed many vicious and unrefined men by kind and gentle words.

Diplomacy is the art of knowing what not to say.              (Mathew Trump)

If you can give people positive ideas, they will mature and learn to stand on their own legs…….in everything we must point out not the mistakes that people are making in their thoughts and actions, but the way in which they will gradually be able to do these things better. Pointing out mistakes wounds a man’s feelings.

Why criticism is bad:
Criticism with bad intentions is futile because it puts a man on the defensive, and usually makes him strive to justify himself. It is dangerous because it damages a man’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses his resentment. Let’s realize that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself, and condemn us in return.

Much talking is a source of danger
Through silence, misfortune is avoided
The talkative parrot in a cage is shut,
While birds that can not talk fly freely.                              (Tibetan Yogi)

If you want people to think well of you, do not speak ill of others.

One who knows does not talk much.
One who does not know talks a lot.                                     (Lao Tze)

People blame others for their silence. They blame those who talk much or in moderation.
There is, therefore, no one in the world who is not blamed.
There never was, nor will be, nor is there now, anyone who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.        (Buddha)

A wise man talks from his heart.
The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.
(Benjamin Franklin)

We have 2 ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.  (Deogenes)

The ability to speak effectively is an acquirement rather than a gift.
(William Jennings Bryan)

Great ones observe silence:
Brooks make so much noise while the great river flows in silence.        (Buddha)

When you are arguing with a fool, you also become a fool.
Two things indicate our weakness – to be silent when it is proper to speak, and to speak when it is proper to be silent.

Discussion is an exchange of intelligence; argument is an ex-change of ignorance.
(Washington Post)

It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

The fool can cover up his stupidity until he opens his mouth.      (Sanskrit Saying)

They that govern the most, make the least noise.               (John Seldon)

Wise men talk because they have something to say;
Fools because they have to say.                                                       (Plato)

A great man shows his greatness by the way that he treats his poor fellow beings with compassion. 

The Buddha and Jesus both have said that man’s life is not made impure by the things that go into the body through the mouth, but the things that come out from their mouths.

See a good man, look well at him and try to emulate him;
See a bad man, look well also, not at him but at yourself.             (Confucius)

Different ways of facing anger:
·        There are 3 kinds of people in the world. The first are those who are like letters carved in rock; they easily give way to anger and retain their angry thoughts for a long time.
·        The second are those who are like letters written on sand; they give way to anger also, but their angry thoughts quickly fade away.
·        The third are those who are like letters written in running water; they do not retain their passing thoughts; they let abuse and un-comfortable gossip pass by unnoticed; their minds are always pure and undisturbed.

When I was 18, I thought what a fool my father was. Now that I am 28, I am surprised how much the old man has learned in 10 years! Actually, it is not the father who has learned, but the youth that has learned to see things in a mature way.

A long life may not be good enough; but a good life is long enough.
(Benjamin Franklin)

Six basic fears which diminish self-confidence (Napoleon Hill):
·        The fear of poverty
·        The fear of old age
·        The fear of criticism
·        The fear of loss of love of someone
·        The fear of ill health
·        The fear of death

Man fools himself. He prays for a long life, but he fears old age.
(Chinese proverb)

The one who never fails, is the one who never tried.

The world is made up of people; people make up the world. If you change the people, you are changing the world.
And you start with yourself. After all, are you also not one of the people in the world? (Bhikkhu Visuddhacara)
The lion is regarded as the king of the beasts in the jungle although no one has appointed the lion as the king, but all animals in the jungle respects the lion as their head. It seems that, to be a head in a place, the appointment is not the important thing but the person’s behaviour, character and attitude are the important points.

The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. Do not be afraid of mistakes providing you do not make the same one twice.(Roosevelt)

The best lesson of tolerance is to tolerate intolerance.

Do not believe everything you hear;
Do not do everything that you desire to do;
Do not tell all you know;
Do not use all you have;
Do not buy everything you see; then you’ll always be happy.
(Martin Luther)

Sacrifice your pride, you will find inner peace and true happiness.

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. (P.J. Macintyre)

Four human characteristics:
Those who try to seek their own faults, however small these may be, try to correct these faults and only look at the good others do.
Those who look at the good in themselves and the good in others.
Those who only look at the good in themselves and only at the faults in others (and try to demean the one making the fault.)
Those who consider all their negative qualities as positive factors and condemn the good that others do. (Everyday Human Values)

There are no lazy men. What may appear to be a lazy man is only an unfortunate person who has not found the work for which he is best suited. (Napoleon Hill)     

The secret of happy successful living is to do what needs to be done now, and not worry about the past or the future.

We never gain through selfishness:
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.

Three ingredients for success:
Service, sacrifice and self-control are 3 words, which must be well understood by the person who succeeds in doing something that is of help to the world.

The medicine, which cures one man’s sickness, can become a poison to another. In the same manner, one man’s method for spiritual development can become a nuisance to another person.

Failures are but the pillars of success.
To learn from our failures is to achieve success.
Never to have failed is never to have won.
Unless we experience failure and its bitterness,

We will never appreciate the sweetness of victory;
Failures not only help us to succeed,
They make us energetic, enthusiastic,
And rich in experience.

They  who provide much wealth for their children but neglect to improve them in virtue, do like those who feed their horses high, but never train them to be useful.
(Socrates)

Success is getting what you want.
Happiness is wanting what you get.                                     (W.P.Kinsella)

Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
(Albert Einstein)

We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse and keep.

Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know that they have met them.
The only preparation to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to what each day brings.      (A.E.Dunning)

Try to harmonize with others:
If we do not know how to live up to the expectation of others, how can we expect others to live according to our expectations!

Buddhism says, the worries and suffering that we experience are nothing but a clash between our selfish desire and changing worldly conditions. One who develops one’s mind to understand this can overcome worries and suffering.

Calmness is the nature of a cultured mind: Calmness is not weakness. A calm attitude at all times shows a man of culture.

To experience sensual pleasure, there must be external objects or participants but gaining mental happiness does not depend on these.

It is not your position that makes you happy or unhappy; it is your disposition.

Peace in the heart conquers all opposing. Peace is gained only by overcoming our selfishness and helping the world with acts of love.

When I meet a man, I never think of his race, colour and religion but feel that I have met another member of my human family.                                                                              (Dalai Lama)

Pride makes us do things well.
But it is love that makes us do them perfectly.

By becoming angry, one is like a man throwing dust against the wind – he only soils himself.

When anger is killed, all our enemies are killed.

Suspicion destroys love: At the gate at which suspicion enters love goes out.
(Thomas Fuller)

Never reprimand the errors of others;
Never expose the personal affairs of others;
Never remember past bad relations with others;
With these, we can cultivate our values and avoid disasters.
(Hong Tze Tzen)

By being angry with another, you may or may not make him suffer, but you are certainly suffering now.                                                                                         (Bhikkhu Visuddhacara)

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. (Chinese proverb)

For every minute, you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Darkness can not be dispelled by darkness
But by brightness
Hatred can not be overcome by hatred
But by loving kindness     (Buddha)

Let us overcome the angry man with gentleness,
The evil man with goodness; the miser with generosity.
The liar with truth.                                                                             (Buddha)

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. (Theodore M. Hasburgh)

One can’t gain happiness by destroying others’ happiness, but by giving happiness and peace to others. (Everyday Human Values)

When anger begins burning out of control like a raging fire, protect yourself and do not let it consume you. Like a thief, this fire will take away everything you have. There is nothing worse than anger. (Sutra of Bequeathed Teachings)

When we reduce selfishness, we become useful to others.

The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule…
(Albert Einstein)

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
(Mahatma Gandhi)