Not Even The Thought

Let the Three Jewels be my witness!

In the past, ignorance and habit have led me to eat the flesh of beings. 

From today on, may the thought of eating meat never even enter my mind!

Nyala Pema Dündul (1816-1872)

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Skillful Virtues

Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, freedom from remorse as their reward. Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward. Joy has absorption as its purpose, absorption as its reward.

Absorption has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward. Serenity has bliss as its purpose, bliss as its reward. Bliss has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward.

Concentration has knowledge and vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge and vision of things as they actually are as its reward. Knowledge and vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward.

Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward. Dispassion has knowledge and vision of release as its purpose, knowledge and vision of release as its reward.

In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of liberation.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Kimattha Sutta

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Labels

Attachment is labelling somebody or something and then strongly believing in that label. As soon as we try to fix something or someone with a label, to put them into a box, then we create the possibility for hurt and disappointment if we lose it, if that person changes, or we can no longer afford it. 

Gyalwang Drukpa

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Right Now

It is very important to practice right now, because we never know if we’ll have the opportunity to practice in the future.

H.H. Sakya Trichen

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Not Two

Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.

Emptiness is no other than form;

form is no other than emptiness.

—Avalokiteshvara, Heart Sutra

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Benefits

The short-term benefits of meditation are more than mere peace of mind, because our physical health as well depends to a great extent upon our state of mind. Therefore, if you cultivate a state of mental contentment and peace, then you will tend not to become ill, and you will tend to heal easily if you do become sick.

The reason for this is that one of the primary conditions that brings about illness is mental agitation, which produces a corresponding agitation or disturbance of the channels and energies within the body.

Thrangu Rinpoche

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The Sources

Leisure and fortune are hard to find, and death strikes quickly,

actions and their effects do not deceive, and there’s no happiness in samsara.

I take refuge in the Three Jewels, the sources of protection,

and generate love, compassion, and the mind of bodhicitta.

—Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol, A Short Song of Practice

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Selfless

If the self performs actions, how can we say it is eternal? If it is eternal, how can it do good at one time and evil at another?

If it does good or evil at different times, how can we say that it is wise? If the self is wise, why would it practice evil things?

If the self can neither be the doer or the knower, how can one doubt about the selflessness of beings?

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Mahaparinirvana Sutra

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5 Benefits

There are five benefits of walking meditation. What five? You get fit for traveling; you strive in meditation; you become healthier; what’s eaten, drunk, chewed, and tasted is properly digested; and concentration gained while walking lasts long. These are the five benefits of walking meditation.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Caṅkamasutta

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What Will You Do?

Our life’s work is to use what we have to wake up. If there were two people who were exactly the same — same body, same speech, same mind, same mother, same father, same house, same food, everything the same — one of them could use what he has to wake up and the other could use it to become more resentful, bitter, and sour.

It doesn’t matter what you have, whether it’s physical deformity, enormous wealth or poverty, beauty or ugliness, mental stability or mental instability, or life in the middle of a madhouse or life in the middle of a peaceful, silent desert. Whatever you have can wake you up or put you to sleep.

That’s the challenge now: What are you going to do with what you have already — your body, your speech, your mind?

Pema Chödron

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