The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.
For those struggling in midstream, in great fear of the flood, of growing old and of dying for all those I say, an island exists where there is no place for impediments, no place for clinging: the island of no going beyond. I call it nirvana, the complete destruction of old age and dying.
Samsara-the Wheel of Existence, literally, the "Perpetual Wandering"-is the name by which is designated the sea of life ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous process of ever again and again being born, growing old, suffering, and dying. (It) is constantly changing from moment to moment, (as lives) follow continuously one upon the other through inconceivable periods of time. Of this Samsara, a single lifetime constitutes only a vanishingly tiny fraction.
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Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu - or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it.
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Dependent Origination is the teaching (that life) is not the mere play of blind chance, but has an existence that is dependent upon conditions. That, precisely with the removal of these conditions, those things that have arisen in dependence upon them-thus also all suffering-must perforce disappear and cease to be.
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One may desire a spurious respect and precedence among one's fellow monks, and the veneration of outsiders. "Both monks and laity should think it was my doing. They should accept my authority in all matters great or small." This is a fool's way of thinking. His self-seeking and conceit just increase.
I, ever knowing the living beings Who tread the Path and those who do not In response to those who may be saved Preach to them a variety of dharmas, Each time having this thought: 'How may I cause the beings To contrive to enter the Unexcelled Path and quickly to perfect the Buddha-body?'
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending each other. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness- the children, the aged, the unprotected- be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
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They are not following dharma who resort to violence to achieve their purpose. But those who lead others through nonviolent means, knowing right and wrong, may be called guardians of the dharma. Those who really seek the path to Enlightenment dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination.
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... Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will for seven days appear to you in their benign and peaceful aspect. Their light will shine upon you, ... Wonderful and delightful though they are, The Buddhas may nevertheless frighten you. Do not give in to your fright! Do not run away! Serenely contemplate the spectacle before you! Overcome your fear, and feel no desire! Realize that these are the rays of the grace of the Buddhas, who come to receive you into their Buddha-realms. Pray to them with intense faith and humility, ...
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Surely if living creatures saw the results of all their evil deeds, they would turn away from them in disgust. But selfhood blinds them, and they cling to their obnoxious desires. They crave pleasure for themselves and they cause pain to others; when death destroys their individuality, they find no peace; their thirst for existence abides and their selfhood reappears in new births. Thus they continue to move in the coil and can find no escape from the hell of their own making.
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Better than a thousand hollow words Is one word that brings peace. Better than a thousand hollow verses Is one verse that brings peace. Better than a hundred hollow lines Is one line of the dharma, bringing peace. It is better to conquer yourself Than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, Not by angels or by demons, Heaven or hell.
Monks, one thing, if practiced and made much of, conduces to great thrill, great profit, great security after the toil, to mindfulness and self-possession, to the winning of knowledge and insight, to pleasant living in this very life, to the realization of the fruit of release by knowledge. What is that one thing: It is mindfulness centered on the body.
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There is no satisfying the senses, not even with a shower of money. "The senses are of slight pleasure and really suffering." When a wise man has realised this, he takes no pleasure, as a disciple of the Buddhas, even in the pleasures of heaven. Instead he takes pleasure in the elimination of craving.
In the end it is nothing other than the loving kindness with which the woman cares for her child that makes the difference. Her concern concentrates on one thing just like the Buddhist practice of concentration. She thinks of nothing but her child, which is similar to Buddhist compassion. That must be why, although she created no other causes to bring about it, she was reborn in the Brahma heaven.
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What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering will follow him as the wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart. If a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him as his own shadow.
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The number of those endowed with human life is as small as the amount of earth one can place on a fingernail. Life as a human being is hard to sustain--as hard as it is for the dew to remain on the grass. But it is better to live a single day with honor than to live to 120 and die in disgrace.
Pain in life is inevitable but suffering is not. Pain is what the world does to you, suffering is what you do to yourself [by the way you think about the 'pain' you receive]. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. [You can always be grateful that the pain is not worse in quality, quantity, frequency, duration, etc]
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. It can be argued that peace and happiness comes from the subjective internalised perspective of realizing things could be worse and being grateful they aren't. The alternative view that peace and happiness comes from the objective external perspective of having more and better things than at present, while important for growth, can be a never-ending source of jealousy, dissatisfaction and disappointment. A balance of the two, where people are grateful for what they have while striving for more seems the best blended perspective.
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You are as the yellow leaf. The messengers of death are at hand. You are to travel far away. What will you take with you? You are the lamp To lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry. When your light shines Without impurity or desire You will come into the boundless country. Your life is falling away. Death is at hand. Where will you rest on the way? What have you taken with you? You are the lamp To lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry. When your light shines purely You will not be born And you will not die.
Suppose a man threw into the sea a yoke with one hole in it, and the east wind carried it to the west, and the west wind carried it to the east, and the north wind carried it to the south, and the south wind carried it to the north. Suppose there were a blind turtle that came up once at the end of each century. What do you think, bhikkhus? Would that blind turtle put his neck into that yoke with one hole in it?" "He might, venerable sir, sometime or other at the end of a long period." "Bhikkhus, the blind turtle would sooner put his neck into that yoke with a single hole in it than a fool, once gone to perdition, would take to regain the human state, I say. Why is that? Because there is no practising of the Dhamma there, no practising of what is righteous, no doing of what is wholesome, no performance of merit. There mutual devouring prevails, and the slaughter of the weak.
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It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way. [Sutra of 42 Sections]