Wisdom for Today

Buddhist and Buddhism-related words of wisdom, updated each weekday.

Samsara is not the planet, the planet is perfectly in sync, it’s the minds of the beings that inhabit the planet that make it samsara or nirvana. When you enter nirvana you don’t suddenly disappear. You’re still living on the same planet but the planet itself has transformed because the mind has transformed. — Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. 21 February 2020

Bodhicitta is the supreme medicine that quells the world’s disease. — Shantideva. 20 February 2020

Ask a cloud: “What is your date of birth? Before you were born, where were you?” — Thich Nhat Hanh. 19 February 2020

Those who deeply believe the Pure Land is a realm of unconditioned joy will never retrogress or lose their determination. — Master Shandao. 18 February 2020

Let the profound Dharma sink into your mind. Now that you have obtained this excellent life, so hard to find, now that you have the freedom to practice the teachings, don’t waste your time. — Dudjom Rinpoche. 17 February 2020

At the very moment of sitting, what is sitting? Is it an acrobat’s graceful somersault or the rapid darting of a fish? Is it thinking or not thinking? Is it doing or not doing? Is it sitting within sitting? — Dōgen Zenji. 14 February 2020

Self-mastery entails self-discipline, but neither self-mastery nor self-discipline is a matter of applying superior force. It is not like a parent pushing a child to do her homework long enough that she finally grudgingly does it to avoid being scolded by her parents. — His Holiness The Karmapa. 13 February 2020

Those who love others will always be loved. Those who respect others are always respected.— Confucius. 12 February 2020

Sacred or ordinary beings, good or bad persons, monastics or householders, practitioners or non-practitioners, people who are pure or impure of mind—all are targets of Amitabha’s deliverance. — Master Huijing. 11 February 2020

You are your own master; you are the gardener in your own garden. We are relying on you to take good care of your garden, so that you can help your beloved to take care of hers. — Thich Nhat Hanh. 10 February 2020

The Buddha often compared natural mind to water, which in its essence is always clear and clean. Mud, sediment, and other impurities may temporarily darken or pollute the water, but we can filter away such impurities and restore its natural clarity. — Mingyur Rinpoche. 7 February 2020

There is no problem: You are miserable because you are constrained by your own thoughts, like a silkworm making a cocoon around itself. If you let go of your thoughts, your problems will vanish, like the silkworm moth that emerges from the cocoon and flies away. — Pomnyun Sunim. 6 February 2020

Very beautiful situations have developed using chaos as part of the enlightened approach. There is chaos of all kinds developing all the time: psychological disorder, social disorder, metaphysical disorder, or physical disorder, constantly happening. If you are trying to stop those situations, you are looking for external means of liberating yourself, another answer. But if we are able to look into the basic situation, then chaos is the inspiration, confusion is the inspiration. — Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. 5 February 2020

Ten recitations of Amitabha’s Name, as mentioned in the passage on the lowest level in the low tier, are the karmic cause of rebirth in the Land of Bliss. However, each recitation can fully accomplish rebirth. It is not restricted to the number “10.” — Master Huijing. 4 February 2020

Without the mind, nothing can have any meaning for us. Our mind does not create and direct everything in existence, but we can only make sense of the world through the mind and the mind is all we have to work with. There is nothing else. We need to train our mind because it is the mind which makes us suffer. — Ringu Tulku. 3 February 2020

We have to study with our warm heart, not just with our brain. — Shunryu Suzuki. 31 January 2020

There are over three hundred muscles in your face. When you are angry or fearful, these muscles tense up. The tension in these muscles creates a feeling of hardness. If you know how to breathe in and produce a smile, however, the tension will disappear—it is what I call “mouth yoga.” — Thich Nhat Hanh. 30 January 2020

To ease loneliness we first need to find friends within ourselves. We can start by connecting with our own positive qualities, such as love and compassion. We can learn to treasure and value these inner qualities and draw our strength from them first and foremost. These qualities are our inner conditions for interdependence and are our closest and most reliable allies in negotiating the outer conditions of our interdependence. — His Holiness The Karmapa. 29 January 2020

In empty mind, is there a you? Is there an I? — Seung Sahn. 24 January 2020

As you learn to love more and more widely, your love will motivate you to act to benefit not just the few people in your inner circle, but your whole society, and eventually, the whole world. — His Holiness The Karmapa. 23 January 2020

Empty minds, empty bodies, empty emotions, but not nothingness. — Mingyur Rinpoche. 22 January 2020

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