THE SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA
Practice the Six Perfection: Generosity, morality, efforts, patience, mindfulness and wisdom.
Observe the Five Precepts: Not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to lie, and not to take intoxicating liquor.
Cultivate the Four Sublime States: Loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity.
Cultivate compassion for those who are suffering, joy for those who have happiness, and a feeling of equanimity towards all beings.
One who practices the six perfection is one’s best protector, who else could be the protector? With oneself well-controlled one obtains a sound protection which is difficult to obtain.
All men shake at punishment, all men fear death. Comparing others with oneself, one should not harm or kill others.
All men tremble at punishment, all men cherish life. Comparing others with oneslf, one should not hurt or kill others.
He, who seeks his own happiness and does not cause harm or injury to any living beings who also long for happiness, will find true happiness after death.
Do not speak harshly out of anger to anybody; those who are spoken to will respond you in the same way. Angry speech brings trouble, and you will receive blows for blows.
As a cowherd with his staff drives his cows to pasture, so do Old Age and Death drive the life of men.
Not to blame, not to strike, to live restrained under the precepts to be moderate in eating, to sleep and sit alone, and to dwell on lofty thoughts, this is the teaching of the Awakened.
There is no satisfying lusts even by a shower of ten thousand gold-pieces; he who knows that lusts have a short taste and it will bring suffering in life is wise.
Even in heavenly pleasures he finds no delights; the follower of the Enlightened One delights only in the elimination of every craving.
Men driven by fear go to many a refuge, to mountains and forests, to shrines and graves and sacred trees.
But that is not a safe refuge, that is not the best refuge; a man is not delivered from all sufferings after having gone to that refuge.
He who takes refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha; he who with clear understanding sees the Four Noble Truths, is delivered from all sufferings after having gone to this refuge. (Note: The Four Noble Truths are: 1.The presence of suffering; 2. The cause of suffering; 3. To transform, heal and end the suffering; and 4.The Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering.)
Let us live happily then, free from fears among the suffering. Among men who are suffering, let us live free from fears.
Let us live happily then, free from greed among the greedy. Among men who are greedy, let us live free from greed.
Let us live happily then, free from hate among the hateful. Among men who hate, let us live without hatred.
Let us live happily then, though we call nothing our own. We shall be like the virtuous man nurturing on true happiness.
There is no fire like lust. There is no grip like hatred. There is no net like delusion. There is no stream like craving.
There is no fire like lust; there is no losing throw like hatred; there is no pain like this body, there is no happiness higher than peace.
Victory brings about hatred, for the defeated one is unhappy. He who has given up both victory and defeat lives a carefree and peaceful life.
Hunger is the greatest affliction, the body is the chief of sorrow. One who knows this truly realizes that Nirvana (peace) is the highest happiness.
Health is the best blessing, contenment is the greatest abundance, trust is the best of relationships, and Nirvana (peace) is the supreme and utmost happiness.
He who has tasted the sweetness of solitude and tranquility, is free from fears and worries, while he drinks in the nectar of the Law.
He who makes friend with wicked people suffers a long and painful journey. He who is in company with good, righteous people is pleasant like meeting good relatives.
Therefore, one should follow the good, the wise, the intelligent, the righteous, and the dutiful; as the moon follows the paths of the stars.
He who gives himself to vanity and does not give himself to meditation and mindfulness; and who forgets the real meaning of life and grasping at the pleasurable, will come to envy the wise man who has made efforts in practicing meditation and mindfulness.
Meditation is a particularly focused form of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the only way to deliverance. With mindfulness, things will slowly and naturally come to wise equilibrium.
A calm and joyful mind can heal the temporary ills of our life and awaken the Buddha Nature we all have inherited.
There is only one moment in time when it is essential to awaken. That moment is now.
Any of us can awaken and be enlightened. Awakening is inside us and we are inside it.
The awakening is not just an individual matter. We are all in this world together. May we are all awakening and enlightened together.
With awareness of our state, we don’t react wildly compelled by unconscious impulses; instead we respond with much more accuracy and kindness.
Let no man cling to things that are pleasant or to those that are unpleasant. Not to see what is pleasant is pain, and it is also pain to see what is unpleasant.
From lust comes grief, from lust comes fear; he who is free from lust neither sorrows nor fears.
From craving comes grief, from carving comes fear; he who is free from craving neither suffers nor fears.
He who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot is a real driver; other people are but holding the reins.
Let a man overcome anger by loving-kindness, let him overcome miser by generosity, the liar by truth.
There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man who is always blamed, or a man who is always praised.
Be aware of bodily anger, and control the body. Leave the misdeeds of the body and cultivate virtue with the body.
Be aware of the anger of the tongue and control the speech. Leave the bad speech and cultivate virtue with the tongue.
Be aware of the anger of the mind and control the mind. Leave the negative thoughts and cultivate virtue with the mind.
Amidst gain and loss, fame and defame, praise and blame, happiness and suffering, let us try to maintain a controlled and balanced mind.
As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise man does not waver before blame or praise.
Even if the water falls drop by drop, it will fill the pot.
Not to blame, not to strike, to be moderate in eating, to sleep and sit alone, and to dwell on the highest thoughts — this is the teaching of the Awakened.
You yourself must make the effort. The Buddhas are only teachers.
By these three steps you will come near to the enlightened ones: Speak the truth; do not yield to anger; give even though you have but a little to give.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, as a shadow that never leaves him.
First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words; Second, rely on the teachings, not the personality of the teacher; Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation; and Fourth, rely on the essence of your pure mind, not a judgemental perceptions.
As a beautiful flower that is full of hue but lacks fragrance, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not practice it.
An evil deed, like freshly drawn milk, does not turn sour at once.
He who has tasted the sweetness of solitude and tranquility becomes free from fear and free from evil deed.
Though a man goes out to battle a thousand times against a thousand men, if he conquers himself he is the greatest conqueror.
Health, contentment, and trust are your greatest possessions, and freedom your greatest joy.
(Spring Liao, 2/5/09)