Feb 13, 2009
A sign-board at the parting of roads, for instance, indicates directions, and it is left the wayfarer to tread along the way watching his steps. The board certainly will not tek him to his desired destination.
A doctor diagnoses the ailment and prescribes; it is left to the patient to test the prescription. The attitude of the Buddha towards his followers is like that of an understanding and compassionate teacher or a physician.
The highest worship is paid to the best of men, those great and daring spiritd who have, with their wide and penetrating frasp of reality, wiped out ignorance, and rooted out defilements. The men who saw Truth are true helpers, but Buddhists do not pray to them. They only pay reverence to the revealers of Truth for having pointed out the path to true happiness and deliverance. Happiness is what one must achieve of oneself; nobody else can make one better or worse. "Purity and impurity depend on oneself. One can neither purify nor defile another".
[...] Though we can call the teaching of the Buddha 'Buddhism', thus including it among the 'isms' and 'ologies', it does not really matter what we label it. Call it religion, philosophy, Buddhism or by any other name you like. These labels are of little significance to one who goes in search of truth and deliverance.
The timeless message, by Ven Piyadassi Thera, in Gems of Buddhist Wisdom, The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, 1996
Feb 8, 2009
Once you know that the purpose of life is simply to walk forward and continually to use your life to wake you up rather than to put you to sleep, then there's that sense of wholeheartedness about inconvenience. (...) Comfort orientation murders the spirit. Opting for coziness, having that as a prime reason for existing, becomes a continued obstacle to taking a leap and doing something new, doing something unusual, like going as a stranger into a strange land. (...) But in wholeheartedly practicing and following that path, this incovenience is not an obstacle. It's simply a certain texture of life, a certain energy of life. (...) It's like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don't know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart.
in The Wisdom of No Escape, Shambala Publications, Boston-London 2001
Feb 2, 2009
In the midst of winter
I find in myself at last
in Endless Vow - The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa, Shambala Publications, 1996
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