Wisdom for Today

Studying Buddhism is like an olive: it will be sweet after the bitterness and sourness. Practicing the Buddhist teachings is like drinking ice water: it will be pure and refreshing after the coldness. — Master Hsing Yun. 29 March 2017.

In Pure Land teaching, the certain deliverance of Amitabha Buddha provides us with an absolute sense of security. This conviction of safety is so strong that even death cannot take it away. A sutra says, “To all fear-ridden beings I shall give great peace.” Once we establish this trusting relationship with the Buddha, it is only natural that our relationships with other people are peaceful, honest, charitable, and loving—without discrimination. — Master Jingzong. 28 March 2017.

I will practice mindful breathing and walking to recognize and look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and the other person. — Thich Nhat Hanh. 27 March 2017.

We can color our whole life with kindness, transforming our everyday activities and suffusing our everyday ways of being with human warmth. This can happen. Our life can be translated into love. — The 17th Karmapa. 24 March 2017.

People often ask me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is—just be a little kinder. — Aldous Huxley. 23 March 2017.

You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara. — The Buddha. 22 March 2017.

There are times when it behooves us to be serious: What we say and do has to match our station in life. For example, a father should be kind to his children, and a son should be filial towards his parents and grandparents. In short, we should act with propriety in all our relationships. At other times, we should not take this business of names too seriously: We all have different names in different circumstances. One may be a son to his parents, and simultaneously a parent to his sons. As all names are without genuine substance, we should be flexible according to circumstances and avoid being hanged on a single tree. — Master Jingzong, "Don't Be Hanged On a Single Tree." 21 March 2017.

We who are like senseless children shrink from suffering, but love its causes. We hurt ourselves; our pain is self-inflicted! Why should others be the object of our anger? — Shantideva. 20 March 2017.

The Buddha is omniscient: his mind is like the sky. He does not show anything: what appears is a reflection. If sentient beings have direction, it is reflected. If sentient beings have a time, it is reflected. — Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. 17 March 2017.

No matter which Dharma practice you engage in, from Ngöndro to offering a single candle, always do it with the intention that your practice will benefit all sentient beings. In this context, “benefit” does not only mean giving practical help, such as offering food or medicine, or feeding people’s emotions, egos and delusions. Here, “benefit” includes aspiring to be instrumental in the enlightenment of all sentient beings; without such an aspiration, it is easy for Dharma practice to become self-serving. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. 16 March 2017.

The plants and flowers
I raised about my hut
I now surrender
To the will
Of the wind.

— Ryokan. 15 March 2017.


With respect to the purpose of studying Buddhism, why do we study Buddhism? With respect to the purpose of life, what is the purpose of being born to be human beings? There is only one answer, which is same for all human races and all the times—that is to liberate ourselves and others from reincarnation of birth and death, and to realize the original “self”—that is the innate Buddha-nature. Due to this Buddha-nature, all sentient beings are able to become Buddhas. In other words, rediscovering and retrieving our original Buddha-nature is the purpose of life, and also the purpose of studying Buddhism. — Master Huijing. 14 March 2017.

The only difference between meditation and the ordinary, everyday process of thinking, feeling, and sensation is the application of the simple, bare awareness that occurs when you allow your mind to rest simply as it is without chasing after thoughts or becoming distracted by feelings or sensations. — Mingyur Rinpoche. 13 March 2017.

Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. — Thich Nhat Hanh. 10 March 2017.

Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places? Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own heart. — Ryokan. 9 march 2017.

Like a child at the cinema, we get caught up in the illusion. From this comes all of our vanity, ambition, and insecurity. We fall in love with the illusions we have created and develop excessive pride in our appearance, our possessions, and our accomplishments. It’s like wearing a mask and proudly thinking that the mask is really you. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. 8 March 2017.

Those fortunate enough to learn of Amitabha’s deliverance sometimes quarrel vociferously over their own opinions about good and evil, right and wrong. Aren’t such people as foolish as the men arguing in a burning house? . . . Amitabha Buddha is here to save us, not to act as a mediator judging the rights and wrongs of fools in a burning house. — Master Jingzong, "Fools in a House Aflame." 7 March 2017.

Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea. — Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. 6 March 2017.

We consider our worldly possessions crucial to our lives, the very source of our happiness. Even if we do not think like this consciously, in the background of our mind, our unconscious attitude holds on to all these worldly things as if our happiness truly depended on them. — His Holiness the Karmapa. 3 March 2017.

Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. — Alan Watts. 2 March 2017.

If you neglect to protect your mind, you can neither close the door to suffering nor open the door to happiness. — Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 1 March 2017.

Since all things are in the process of change, how should we deal with the causative karma of persons and things in a positive, steady manner? The key is to handle changing conditions with a changeless love. No matter how people or things change, always respond with steadfast love. — Master Jingzong, "Of Change and Changelessness." 28 February 2017.

Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure. — The Dhammapada. 27 February 2017.

All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind. — The Dhammapada. 24 February 2017.

The insight of inter-being will help remove discrimination, fear, and the dualistic way of thinking. We inter-are—even suffering and happiness inter-are—and that is why the insight of inter-being is the foundation of any kind of action that can bring peace and brotherhood, and help remove violence and despair. — Thich Nhat Hanh. 23 February 2017.

The Buddha told his disciple Ananda to see impermanence, to see death with every breath. We must know death; we must die in order to live. — Ajahn Chah. 22 February 2017.

We learn not for the sake of knowledge or scholarship, but to develop our faith - and to understand and imbibe the compassion of Amitabha Buddha. — Master Jingzong, "On Learning." 21 February 2017.

It is because our way of observing things is deeply rooted in our self-centered ideas that we are disappointed when we find everything has only a tentative existence. But when we actually realize this truth, we will have no suffering. — Shunryū Suzuki. 20 February 2017.

The more deeply we examine our minds, the less possible it becomes to find a clear distinction between where our own mind ends and other’s begin. As this begins to happen, the sense of difference between “self” and “other” gives way to a gentler and more fluid sense of identification with other beings and with the world around us. — Mingyur Rinpoche. 16 February 2017.

We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. — Alan Watts. 15 February 2017.

We should take the Buddha’s intent as ours, understand it fully, experience it and comply with it . . . Any gains or losses are the responsibility of the initiator of the flow. — Master Jingzong, "Going With the Flow." 14 February 2017.

Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious. — Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums. 13 February 2017.

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. — Pema Chödron. 10 February 2017.

We deal with our mind from morning till evening, and it can be our best friend or our worst enemy. — Matthieu Ricard. 9 February 2017.

By prizing heartfulness above faultlessness, we may reap more from our effort because we're more likely to be changed by it. — Sharon Salzberg. 8 February 2017.

As year follows year, the wheel of time never stops; the cycle of rebirth unfolds endlessly. If we want decisively to shatter the fetters of reincarnation, we must recite the name of the Buddha of Infinite Life. Amitabha-recitation is the best New Year’s wish. In the coming year, may we thrive in Amitabha’s infinite light. — Master Jingzong, "Amitabha-recitation is the best New Year's Wish." 7 February 2017.

From the very beginning, awareness has never been established as being material and having characteristics that can be conceptualized, because its essence is primordially pure, sublime, all-pervasive emptiness. — Dudjom Rinpoche. 6 February 2017.

We are all, by nature, clearly oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others' generosity to meanness. And who is there among us who does not prefer tolerance, respect and forgiveness of our failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment? — The Dalai Lama. 3 February 2017.

Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught us that sort of home is not our real home. It’s a home in the world and it follows the ways of the world. Our real home is inner peace. — Ajahn Chah. 2 February 2017.

Someday I'll be a weather-beaten skull resting on a grass pillow, Serenaded by a stray bird or two. Kings and commoners end up the same, No more enduring than last night's dream. — Ryokan. 1 February 2017

Wisdom and good fortune are virtually unattainable for the foolish person who lacks merit and ability. ... Superior persons are distinguished by one thing only: their ability to draw support from others.. — Master Jingzong, "Wisdom and Good Fortune". 31 January 2017.

There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away from, which follows you everywhere. And there is the suffering you face directly, and so become free. — Ajahn Chah. 27 January 2017.

Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self. — Dogen Zenji. 26 January 2017.

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. — Thich Nhat Hanh. 25 January 2017.

We cannot completely safeguard against financial loss, but we can do our utmost to retain a clear, guilt-free conscience. . . . An upright mind is the source of good fortune and all blessings. — Master Jingzong, "Of Money and Conscience." 24 January 2017.

When we fall on the ground it hurts us, but we also need to rely on the ground to get back up. — Kathleen McDonald. 23 January 2017.

Natural, reckless, correct skill; Yesterday's clarity is today's stupidity The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven. — Ikkyu. 20 January 2017.

The fundamental purpose of all the teachings of the Buddha to help beings understand the truth. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. 19 January 2017.

You are not here to change the world. The world is here to change you. — Shantideva. 18 January 2017.

Teaching by personal example entails the master’s public commitment to living a recitation-saturated life. Through such an example, recitation and daily life are shown to be inextricably linked and, in fact, indistinguishable. Life is recitation and recitation is life. — Master Jingzong, "The Master’s Means of Instruction." 17 January 2017.

While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves. We can become the world’s greatest experts on anger, jealousy, and self-deprecation, as well as on joyfulness, clarity, and insight. Everything that human beings feel, we feel. — Pema Chödron. 16 January 2017.

Suppose that you are searching for your friend and you see him in a distant field. When you approach, you discover that you have mistaken a scarecrow for your friend. You are bound to be disappointed. It is not as if either the mischievous scarecrow or your friend tried sneakily to mislead you, it is your own ignorance that betrayed you. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. 13 January 2017.

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