Better, Higher, Holier

847ab54bfa5a7f50146b8f0a223ff198Because all sentient beings have Buddha Nature, all we need for liberation and enlightenment are peace and clarity. Peace is the absence of afflicted emotions; clarity is the empty luminosity of the mind.

Enlightenment is not a supernatural state; it does not make us better, higher, or holier. It is our essential reality. There is no “secret way”, no “most powerful practice”. All practices –“high” and “low”– are simply methods to release afflicted emotions and rest the attention on luminous clarity. They are skillful means.

In truth, they are merely descriptions of what happens spontaneously when we recover our natural state. The “higher practices” are not something “we” do.

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Violent Consequences

Bd3Those who inflict violence on defenseless beings, and offend those who are inoffensive, will soon come upon one of these ten states:

sharp pains, disaster, bodily injury, serious illness, derangement of mind, government persecution, grave charges, loss of relatives, loss of wealth, or houses destroyed by ravaging fire.

Upon dissolution of the body, those ignorant ones are born into extreme suffering.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga

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Nothing Compares

1e520e26f620e5b5dcbce5500e3f3462--kyoto-japan-religious-artSeek fame and followers, and both body and mind grow weary.

Accumulate merit for your own benefit, and your desires and ambitions increase.

Nothing can compare with remaining free, without external attachments.

Nothing surpasses reciting the Name* and casting off all concerns.

—Ichi Hijiri Kuya

*namu amida butsu, om amideva hrih, namo amituofo

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Be Here Now???

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Let go of the past,

let go of the future,

let go of the present,

and cross over beyond existence.

 —Buddha, Dhammapada, Ch 24, v 348

 

Wherever there is ‘here’, there is ‘there’.

Whenever there is ‘now’, there is ‘then’.

“Be Here Now” is not the Buddha’s teaching.

It is a bumper sticker.

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Aspiration

image002May no living creature suffer, commit evil or ever fall ill.

May no one be afraid or belittled, with a mind weighed by depression.

May the blind see forms and the deaf hear sounds.

May those who are worn with toil be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing and the hungry find food.

May the thirsty find water and delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth and those weak with sorrow find joy.

May the forlorn find courage, constant happiness and prosperity.

May all who are sick and ill quickly be freed from their ailments.

Whatever illness there is in the world, may it never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid and those bound be freed.

May the powerless find power and may all sentient beings wish to benefit each other.

Just like space and the great elements, such as earth,

may I always support the life of all the boundless beings.

And until they pass away from pain,

may I also be the source of life for all the realms of varied beings

that reach unto the ends of space.

—Shantideva

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Happy

BudSerenoHappy indeed we live, friendly amidst the hostile.

Amidst the afflicted, we dwell free from hatred.

Happy indeed we live, content amidst the afflicted by craving.

Amidst the afflicted, we dwell free from craving.

Happy indeed we live, free from avarice amidst the avaricious.

Amidst the afflicted, we dwell free from avarice.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga

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No anger

153e73cde88132ec7f50da18c6f6a5d9--gautama-buddha-buddhismConsidering the harm that others do to us as the result of our own previous deeds, may we not come to anger.

May we act such that further suffering will not be generated and our faults will disappear.

Without hope of reward, may we provide help to others, bear our pain alone, and share our pleasures with those who suffer.

—Nagarjuna

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