Those who only read books cannot understand the teachings and, what’s more, may even go astray.
But those who try to observe the things going on in the mind, and always take that which is true in their own minds as their standard, never get muddled. They are able to comprehend suffering, and ultimately will understand Dharma.
The entire cosmos is cooperative. The sun, the moon, and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees, and soil. Our bodily parts function as a cooperative.
When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise, that human beings are all mutual friends in the process of birth, old age, suffering, and death, then we can build a noble, even heavenly environment.
If our lives are not based on this truth, then we shall all perish.
One of the things that the Buddha advocated as an antidote to sensual desire is moderation in eating. […] Moderation in eating does not mean eating nothing. It is eating enough to keep the body healthy. But this is a sensual desire that is easily gratified and one that arises again and again. For some people four, five, six times a day!
If we can put a fence up against one of our desires, we are going to be able to put a fence up against some more. One fence can keep out many desires. So, the one that is so easily gratified and arises so often is the one to start with.
Throughout this and countless lives, we are and have been intimately related to all other living entities —we have been their servants, their masters, their children, their parents, their friends, and their lovers. They have served us in innumerable ways, and provided for our livelihood and comfort. They have fed us, clothed us, housed us, and extended us every kindness.
Our so-called enemies have given us the opportunity to learn and to grow. Those who have harmed us have reinforced our determination; those who have deceived us have deepened our insight; those who have hurt us have reduced our karmic obstacles; those who have abandoned us have taught us to be less dependent; those who have made us stumble have strengthened our ability; those who have denounced us and betrayed us have increased our wisdom and concentration; those who have made us suffer have made us firm and resolute.
At the very least, all other living entities have provided the conditions or even the raw materials necessary for our continued existence. Whether we accept rebirth or not, and whether we are friends or enemies now, it matters little. Our fate is intertwined with the fate of all other beings. We are part of the whole; if the whole is happy, we also will be happy. —TN
Amazing! These precious freedoms and endowments of a precious human life are rare as a daytime star; even when found, like a candle flame in the wind, they could vanish in an instant! […]
The root of practice is renunciation. So, if you don’t use the key points of mind training to till the soil of your mind, hardened toward liberation, when death comes and you beat your chest with regret, it will be too late!