THE SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA
The Best of Paths is the Noble Eightfold Path, the Best of Truths is the Four Noble Truths, non-attachment is the best of mental states, and the Enlightened One is the best of Men.
The Noble Eightfold Path, which is the Middle Path, leads to tranquility, realization, enlightenment and Nirvana (peace). The Noble Eightfold Path are: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
The Four Noble Truths are: the presence of suffering; the cause of suffering; to transform, heal and end the suffering; the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of the suffering.
A Buddhist should not pray to be saved but should rely on himself and strive on with diligence and mindfulness to be free from the fear and suffering, and to obtain purity and peace.
In stead of praying, one should practice meditation and mindfulness that promote self-discipline, self-control, self-purification, and self-enlightenment.
As an elephant in the battle field withstands the arrows shot from a bow; patiently I endure abuse because most people are undisciplined.
Excellent are the trained mules, so are the thorough-bred horses of Sindh, and the noble tusked elephants; but the man who is disciplined surpasses them all.
If a man becomes lazy and a big eater; and if he is sleepy and rolls himself round like a hog fed on wash, that man is born again and again as poor and foolish.
A man whose mind went formerly wandering about as it liked and as it pleased; but he shall now control it perfectly as a rider controls with his hook a behaving elephant.
If a man does not find a prudent, righteous companion to walk with, let him continue walking alone like a king who has left his conquered country behind.
It is better to live alone, there is no companionship with a wicked person. Let a man walk alone, let him commit no misdeeds, let him do with few wishes, like an elephant in the forest.
Easy to do are things that are bad and not beneficial to oneself; but very, very hard to do indeed is that which is beneficial and good.
The gift of the Truth exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of the Truth exceeds all sweetness; the delight in the Truth exceeds all delights; the elimination of craving overcomes all suffering.
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by lust; therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from lust brings great reward.
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by hatred; therefore a gift bestowed on those who do not hate bring great reward.
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by delusion; therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from delusion brings great reward.
The fields are damaged by weeds, mankind is damaged by craving; therefore a gift bestowed on those who are free from craving brings great reward.
As the jasmine sheds its withered flowers, even so, men should shed lust and hatred.
All conditioned thigns are impermanent. All conditioned things are subject to suffering. All conditioned things are without self. When one sees these in wisdom, then one becomes bored with the unsatisfactoriness. This is the Path to Purification.
There is no mindfulness to him who is without wisdom; there is no wisdom to him who is not mindful. He who is mindful and wise is near to Nirvana (peace).
He who does no misdeeds through body, speech, or mind; and he who is restrained in these three aspects and is free from suffering is a holy man with a pure mind.
One who fails to distinguish the non-essential from the essential, and the essential from non-essential, is in feeding on wrong thoughts and will fail to attain the essential.
One who perceives correctly the essential as essential, and the non-essential as non-essential, is in feeding on right thoughts and will attain the essential.
Just as a raging flood sweeps away a sleeping village, so does death claim a man of polluted mind, as he continuously seeks more and more of the fleeting pleasures.
He, who does not talk aimlessly and is not concerned with personal gains; who shows neither excitement nor depression whether experiencing comfort or discomfort; is a man of Holy Life.
He, who has reached a state of freedom through perfect wisdom; who is peaceful and unshakable; and who is controlled in his mind, his speech and his action; is a man of Holy Life.
He, who is in touch with the infinite; who is free of attachment and fears; and who is desireless; is a man of Holy Life.
Death drowns the greedy and unsatisfied man, who clings to endless pleasures.
A man born to this world should perform good deeds manifold, as a garland maker makes many kinds of wreaths from a heap of flowers.
“These children belong to me; this wealth belongs to me.” These are the empty claims of an unwise man in suffering. He himself does not belong to himself, how can he then claim children and wealth as his own?
There is a road leading to worldly gain and suffering; another path leads to spiritual abundance and true happiness. Let the seeker who embraces meditation and mindfulness take the path to true happiness.
A single verse that is full of meaning bringing joy and peace to the listeners is worth more than a thousand verses full of empty words.
Whoever shows reverence and respect for the aged, is rewarded fourfold with strength, longevity, joy, and true happiness.
A single day’s life of one who puts out great effort is better than a life of a hundred years lived in idleness and sluggishness.
If a man has mistakenly committed a misdeed, let him not repeat it, let him not be addicted to it; for it brings misery and ruins his life.
If a man performs a good deed, let him repeatedly do it, let him put his heart into it; for it brings joy and true happiness.
Rare is birth as a human being; hard is the life of mortals; do not let slip this opportunity.
Happy is the birth of the Buddhas; happy is the teachings of the Dharma; happy is the unity of the Sangha; and happy is the discipline of the United Ones.
The man who is quiet in body, speech, and mind; and who is controlled and has refused the baits of the world, is truly a man of Holy Life.
Wake up yourself! Examine yourself! Safeguard and be mindful! Live happily a Holy Life with true happiness.
For self is the master of the self; self is the refuge of self; therefore control yourself as the merchant curbs a good horse.
He who acts in accordance with the teachings; who breaks away lust, hatred, and ignorance; and who truly knows with mind and clings to nought here and hereafter, is a man of Holy Life.
The Dharma has to be realized by oneself. He who practices my teachings best, reveres me most.
“Strive on with diligence and mindfulness,” were the last words of the Buddha. No liberation or purification can be obtained without personal striving.
Tranquil minds dwell in happiness.
The mind is everything, what you think, you become.
We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.
If you find a prudent companion, a wise associate who leads a contented life, having overcome all troubles, travel with that one, uplifted and aware.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
Doubt everything. Find your own light.
Do not cling to anything, to any idea; because clinging is the bondage, even to the idea of enlightenment.
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
Happiness is a quality of mind. It is something we posses within. If we do not have it within, nothing outside can give it to us.
In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?
May all beings live happily and be safe, and may their hearts rejoice within themselves.
(Spring Liao, 2/5/09)