Wisdom for Today

Words of wisdom from the world of Buddhism and beyond, 
updated each weekday.

The supreme thing to know is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to learn is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to practice is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to meditate on is bodhicitta.
 — Khunu Rinpoche. 17 September 2021

My real dwelling has no pillars, and no roof either. So rain cannot soak it, and wind cannot blow it down! — Ikkyū Sōjun. 16 September 2021

Happiness Does Not Just Fall from the Sky: Focus on the present and do your best to make the most of each day. A happy future lies in the accumulation of each day you live to the fullest. — Venerable Pomnyun Sunim. 15 September 2021

The creations of the mind are more numerous than specks of dust in a ray of sunlight. — Milarepa. 14 September 2021

Among deep mountains the heart's moon shines pure, and I see within that mirror the whole world, enlightened. — Saigyō Hōshi. 13 September 2021

All you have to do is decide that wherever you are is the best place there is. Once you start comparing one place to another, there's no end to it. — Sodō Yokoyama. 10 September 2021

The optimist says the glass is half-full. The pessimist says the glass is half-empty. The Buddhist says the glass is already broken. When we reflect on the glass as being already broken, we can use it without attachment. We make the most intelligent use of the glass while never forgetting its temporary nature. When it does eventually break, we are not surprised and we don’t suffer. — Ajahn Jayasāro. 9 September 2021

Every cell in the body is continuously changing. Thoughts and emotions rise and fall away unceasingly. When we’re thinking that we’re competent or that we’re hopeless – what are we basing it on? On this fleeting moment? On yesterday’s success or failure? We cling to a fixed idea of who we are and it cripples us. Nothing and no one is fixed. — Pema Chödrön. 8 September 2021

The entire cosmos is a cooperative. The Sun, the Moon and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees and soil. Our bodily parts function as a cooperative. When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise, that human beings are all mutual friends in the process of birth, old age, suffering, and death, then we can build a noble, even heavenly environment. If our lives are not based in this truth, then we shall all perish. — Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. 7 September 2021

The true you is without six senses. But the six senses use you, so you ask ten thousand questions. You must return to your true self. Then you will understand. — Seung Sahn Sunim. 6 September 2021

If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. If you and your friends do not despise the small work, a million people will remove a lot of suffering. That is the secret. Start right now. — Sister Chan Khong. 3 September 2021

Look at appearance-emptiness forms, Listen to sound and emptiness sounds, Rest in mind’s nature, clarity-emptiness, And when your thoughts free themselves, Laugh, oh laugh, “Ha ha! Hee hee!” — Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. 2 September 2021

You can go and meet a really skilled doctor, hold his hand, smile at him but you can’t get well from that; you have to take the medicine. It is the same with the Dharma—we have to practice the Dharma if we want it to transform us. — Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche. 1 September 2021

For sentient beings, no matter how attached they are to love and hatred, or how foolish and evil they are, Amitabha's deliverance remains unchanged. For sentient beings, no matter how heavy their karmic obstructions are, or how furious their afflictions are, Amitabha's deliverance remains unchanged. — Master Huijing. 31 August 2021

Again and again, we meet with situations in life where we cannot force issues. But there are ways of mastering the vicissitudes of life and conflicts of mind without application of force. Non-violent means may often succeed where attempts at coercion, internal or external, fail. Such a non-violent way of mastering life and mind is satipaṭṭhāna. By the methodical application of bare attention, the basic practice in the development of right mindfulness, all the latent powers of a non-coercive approach will gradually unfold, with their beneficial results and their wide and unexpected implications. — Nyanaponika Thera. 31 August 2021

When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or the destination. Everything is changing. — Ajahn Chah. 27 August 2021

One is a Buddhist if he or she accepts the following four truths: All compounded things are impermanent. All emotions are pain. All things have no inherent existence. Nirvana is beyond concepts. ― Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. 26 August 2021

If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice? — Preah Maha Ghosananda. 25 August 2021

If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. 
If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both.
 — Bodhidharma. 24 August 2021

A person who is ethical, wise, self-developed, 
becomes immersed in samādhi, loving absorption, mindful,
who’s gotten rid of and given up all sorrows, 
with defilements ended, they bear their final body.
That’s the kind of person they call ethical. 
That’s the kind of person they call wise.
 — Nandana Sutta. 23 August 2021

Meditation is solely maintaining your mind just as it is, without creating anything. — Tsele Natsok Rangdröl. 20 August 2021

Let none deceive another, 
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings.
 — Karaṇīyamettā Sutta. 18 August 2021

In spiritual matters, we should not allow ourselves to be too easily content, because truly there is no limit to our spiritual potential. All of us—any of us—can develop infinitely; and any of us can attain buddhahood. The mind we possess right now, though it may presently be full of ignorance and suffering, can eventually become the mind of an enlightened being, of a buddha. — His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 18 August 2021

In life we should accumulate all the merit of nembutsu so that when death comes, we will be welcomed by Amida Buddha into the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. In essence, if we recite nembutsu believing that, no matter what comes or goes there is no anxiety in this life, we will be free from the worry of birth and death. — Hōnen Shonin. 17 August 2021

The most important aspect of karma relates to the state of our mind. At some point, whether we meditate or not, we learn that certain activities disturb the mind. When we apply awareness to cause and effect, we cultivate recognition of subtle shifts in mental behavior, and we become more sensitive to how an agitated mind affects other activities. — Mingyur Rinpoche. 16 August 2021

We all have our difficulties and problems. Our sufferings in life. But we learn how to dig those in and turn them into the beautiful flowers of compassion and the beautiful fruit of wisdom. — Ajahn Brahm. 13 August 2021

Once we have realized the nature of our mind, it is no longer necessary to search for the guru outside. If the view of the mind is maintained beyond meditation and postmeditation, the guru is present beyond meeting and parting. — Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. 12 August 2021

Emptiness is the “knowing of one that frees all.”
Emptiness is the supreme king of medicines.
Emptiness is the nectar of immortality.
Emptiness is spontaneous accomplishment beyond effort.
Emptiness is enlightenment without exertion.
 — Nyoshül Khen Rinpoche. 11 August 2021

There are three kinds of Dharma practitioners: Firstly, there are those who look like practitioners outwardly, but inwardly they are not real practitioners; Secondly, they are those who talk very high, but have no realization at all; Thirdly, there are those who do not look like practitioners outwardly, but who are in fact genuine practitioners inside. — Chatral Rinpoche. 10 August 2021

Trying to achieve something in the spiritual world is just as foolish as trying to achieve something in the material world. There's nothing to achieve. There's only letting go. As we let go, more and more, of ego identifications, desires, and support systems, bliss will arise. — Ayya Khema. 9 August 2021

We cannot hate you, you who have thrown grenades and killed our friends, because we know that men are not our enemies. Our only enemies are the misunderstanding, hatred, jealousy, and ignorance that led us to the act of violence. — Sister Chan Khong. 6 August 2021

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