Vigorous Women

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When the Dharma is about to disappear, women will become vigorous and will frequently do deeds of virtue, while men grow lax and no longer study the Dharma.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Shurangama Sutra

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Even Then

Even when the Dharma is about to perish, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Arhats will reverently and diligently cultivate immaculate virtue.

They will be respected by all and their teachings will be fair and impartial.

These cultivators of the Way will have compassion for the poor, they will be mindful of the aged, and they will rescue and give counsel to those in difficult circumstances.

They will at all times exhort others to reverence and protect sutras and images of the Buddha.

They will do meritorious deeds, be resolute and kind, and never harm others. They will make sacrifices for others’ benefit. They will hold no great regard for themselves and will be patient, yielding, humane, and peaceful.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Shurangama Sutra

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The Way of Fiends

Related imageAfter I enter nirvana, when the Dharma is about to perish, during the evil age of the five corruptions, the way of fiends will flourish.

Demonic beings will become monastics and will pervert and destroy my teachings. […]

They will use intoxicants, eat meat, kill other beings, and they will indulge in their desire for succulent food.

They will lack compassion and they will bear hatred and exhibit jealousy even among themselves.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Shurangama Sutra

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The Minimum

Image result for gautamaWhat should worldly men and women do?

First, they should be filial and respectful to their parents.

Next, they should reverently trust the Three Jewels.

Third, they should refrain from killing, and liberate the living.

Fourth, they should eat pure food and practice giving.

These acts will enable them to plant seeds in the field of blessings for their future lives.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra of Cause and Effect

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With Kindness

Related imageThe Five Precepts, the Ten Good Acts, the Six Paramitas, the Ten Thousand Conducts, the Four Unlimited Minds, the Four Ways of Gathering, Wisdom, and Skillful Means must all be practiced with vigor.

Then even though you may not meet with a Buddha in the world, renouncing samsara and practicing the Way will not be in vain.

You should make your original mind tranquil and impartial. With compassion, respect all beings and treat them with kindness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra of the Changes to Come

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No Turning Back

Image result for arya nagarjunaI take upon myself the burden of all suffering. I am resolved to do so, I will endure it.

I do not turn or run away, I do not wince, I am not terrified, nor afraid. I do not turn back or despond. […]

All beings I must set free. The whole world of living beings I must rescue from the terrors of birth, aging, disease, death and rebirth; of all kinds of moral transgression; of all states of woe; of the whole cycle of birth-and-death; of the jungle of false views; of the loss of wholesome doctrine; of the concomitants of ignorance; from all these terrors I must rescue all beings.

—Nagarjuna, Precious Garland

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Necessary

Related imageIf your mind is harmonious, you can attain the Way.

If you are impetuous about the Way, your impetuousness will tire out your body; and if your body is tired, your mind will become afflicted.

If your mind becomes afflicted, then you will retreat from your practice.

If you retreat from your practice, your transgressions will certainly increase.

You need only be pure, peaceful, and contented, and you will not lose the Way.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra in Forty-Two Sections

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