One Mongolian leader became a very, very brutal dictator and eventually became a murderer. Previously, he was a monk, and then he became a revolutionary. Under the influence of his new ideology, he actually killed his own teacher. Pol Pot's family background was Buddhist. Whether he himself was a Buddhist at a young age, I don't know. Even Chairman Mao's family background was Buddhist. So one day, if the Dalai Lama becomes a mass murderer, he will become the most deadly of mass murderers.
When I speak in Christian terms or Buddhist terms I'm simply selecting for the moment a dialect. Christian words for me represent the comforting vocabulary of the place I came from hometown voices saying more than the language itself can convey about how welcome and safe I am what the expectations are and where to find food. Buddhist words come from another dialect from the people over the mountain. I've become pretty fluent in Buddhist it helps me to see my home country differently but it will never be speech I can feel completely at home in.
Mary Rose O'Reilley
I read of a Buddhist teacher who developed Alzheimer's. He had retired from teaching because his memory was unreliable, but he made one exception for a reunion of his former students. When he walked onto the stage, he forgot everything, even where he was and why. However, he was a skilled Buddhist and he simply began sharing his feelings with the crowd. He said, "I am anxious. I feel stupid. I feel scared and dumb. I am worried that I am wasting everyone's time. I am fearful. I am embarrassing myself." After a few minutes of this, he remembered his talk and proceeded without apology. The students were deeply moved, not only by his wise teachings, but also by how he handled his failings. There is a Buddhist saying, "No resistance, no demons.
By god the Buddhist means that from which the universe was born, the unborn of the Buddhist scriptures, and by soul that factor in the thing called man which moves towards enlightenment. Why need more be said of it, at any rate those who are not content with scholarship, but strive to attain that same enlightenment?
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.
You've got a lifetime to mull over the Buddhist understanding of interconnectedness." He spoke every sentence as if he'd written it down, memorized it, and was now reciting it. "But while you were looking out the window, you missed the chance to explore the equally interesting Buddhist belief in being present for every facet of your daily life, of being truly present. Be present in this class. And then, when it's over, be present out there," he said, nodding toward the lake and beyond.' ~Dr. Hyde, pg 50
Where is fate and who is fate? We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none else has the praise. We make our own destiny. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. Each must assimilate the spirit of other religion and yet preserve his individuality and follow his own law of growth.
Most people think that an enlightened Buddhist Teacher is a fireman; His job is to put the fire out so that you can live in your home safely. But seeker beware! A fully enlightened Buddhist teacher is an arsonist! His job is to set your spirit on fire...by feeding the flames of your soul with love.
Ko Un's poems evoke the open creativity and fluidity of nature, and funny turns and twists of Mind. Mind is sometimes registered in Buddhist terms - Buddhist practice being part of Ko Un's background. Ko Un writes spare, short-line lyrics direct to the point, but often intricate in both wit and meaning. Ko Un has now traveled worldwide and is not only a major spokesman for all Korean culture, but a voice for Planet Earth Watershed as well.
In the fall of 1988, I worshipped God in a Buddhist temple. As the smell of incense filled the air, I knelt before three images of the Buddha, feeling that the smoke could carry my prayers heavenward. It was for me a holy moment for I was certain that I was kneeling on holy ground....I will not make any further attempt to convert the Buddhist, the Jew, the Hindu or the Moslem. I am content to learn from them and to walk with them side by side toward the God who lives, I believe, beyond the images that bind and blind us.
John Shelby Spong
I make a distinction between Buddhism with a Capital 'B' and buddhism with a small 'b'. Sri Lanka has the former, in which the state uses Buddhism as an instrument of power, so there are even Buddhists monks who say the Tamils should be eliminated. Thai Buddhists are not perfect either. Some Thai Buddhist monks have compromised with the kind and possess cars and other luxuries. In many Buddhist countries, the emphasis is on being goody-goody, which is not good enough. I am for buddhism with a small 'b' which is non-violent, practical and aims to eliminate the cause of suffering..
And this is a Buddhist country?' said Matt, 'This is a country of lovingkindness and compassion? Hah. I think the Americans would call this 'tough love.' ' 'That is the paradox of Buddhism, ' said Ranjit, 'As a young doctor I would see these violent things and wonder why they happened, knowing that it was not something that Buddhists should do. Then I realized we are not born Buddhist. All the focus on channeling anger and dealing with hardship did not emanate from these people... It was a lesson to these people. We are a land of Buddhists because we need to hear the lessons of Buddha, not because we follow Buddha.' -spoken by Ranjit, the surgeon, after an episode of violence...
Misunderstanding may arise by confusing the Buddhist and scientific definitions of death. Within the scientific system you spoke quite validly of the death of the brain and the death of heart. Different parts of the body can die separately. However, in the Buddhist system, the word death is not used in that way. You'd never speak of the death of a particular part of the body, but rather of the death of an entire person. When people say that a certain person died, we don't ask, "Well, which part died?"