THE SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA
In the whole world, there is only one law, that nothing lasts forever.
We are the heirs of our own actions.
Confidence is the seed, discipline is the rain, wisdom my yoke and plough, modesty the pole of my plough, mind the rein, and mindfulness my ploughshare and goad. (Note: This was the Buddha’s answer when being questioned about ploughing.)
Confidence is man’s best possession; my teachings well practiced yields true happiness; truth indeed is the sweetest of tastes; and life lived with mindfulness is the best.
By effort one overcomes suffering; by wisdom one purifies oneself.
The scent of flowers cannot travel against the wind, but the scent of good deeds travels in all directions.
He who does what is proper and does it the best he can; and who is persevering and diligent; gains true wealth.
The Sun shines by day; the Moon is radiant by night; the armoured shines the warrior king; but all day and night the Enlightened One shines in glory.
“Transient are all conditioned things. Strive on with diligence. Guard your mind with well-directed thoughts. Be diligent, mindful and virtuous.” These were the last words of the Buddha.
As man tested gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so are you to accept my words after examining them, and not merely out of regard for me.
The deed which is associated with attachment, ill-will and delusion; and which is conducive to harm, will bring suffering. The deed which is associated with non-attachment, good-will and wisdom; and which is not conducive to any harm, will bring true happiness.
The mighty ocean is of one flavor, the flavor of salt. My teaching is of one flavor, the flavor of Deliverance.
My teaching is not something apart from oneself. It is purely dependent on oneself and is to be realized by oneself.
Abide with oneself as an island, with oneself as a refuge. Abide with this teaching as an island, with this teaching as a refuge. Seek not for other external refuge.
“We shall be living in joy.” Joy has to be cultivated by every followers as joy is one of the essentials of enlightenment.
Suffering leads to awareness and confidence; confidence leads to enthusiasm; enthusiasm to joy; joy to tranquility; and tranquility to happiness.
Though much he recites the Sacred Texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cow-herd who counts others’ cows; he has no share in the blessings of true happiness.
Must you train yourself, no bad words shall escape your lips. Loving-Kindness and compassion ever shall you abide with hearts harbouring no ill-will.
We shall embrace others with streams of loving thoughts, and we shall radiate the whole wide world with constant thoughts of loving-kindness, and free from hatred and ill-will. Thus must you train yourself.
All livings beings have actions (karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsfolk, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.
By Karma the world moves, by Karma men live; by Karma all beings bound as by its pin the rolling chariot wheel.
He who is disciplined in body, in morality, and in mind; and who does much good and lives with boundless compassion towards all, is a man of Holy Life.
The most essential of all perfections is this equanimity, especially for a layman who has to live a stressful life in an ill-balanced world.
Like a lion that does not tremble at any sound; like the wind that does not cling to the meshes of a net; he who is not attached to the illusory pleasure of this changing world, is a man of Holy Life.
Like a lotus that is unsoiled by the mud from which it springs; he who lives unaffected by worldly temptations, ever calm, serene and peaceful, is a man of Holy Life.
Slights and insults are the common lot of human beings. So, are praise and blame, loss and gain, suffering and happiness. Let us try to stand unmoved like a firm rock, exercising perfect equanimity.
Like lotuses we should try to lead blameless, noble lives unmindful of the mud that may be thrown at us. We should expect mud to be thrown at us instead of roses. Then, there will be no disappointment.
The bad, the wicked and the ignorant deserve compassion even more than those suffer physically as they are mentally and spiritually sick. (Note: The Buddha went in search of the bad, the wicked and the ignorant, but the the good and the virtuous came in search of the Buddha.)
Greatness is latent in all however wicked they may be. Perhaps one appropriate word at the right moment may change the whole outlook of a person.
Although one is advised to avoid the company of the bad, if the good is to associate with the bad, the good should try to reform them.
Loving-kindness and compassion should be extended without limit towards all suffering and helpless beings.
Compassion embraces all sorrow-stricken beings; while loving-kindness embraces all living beings, happy or sorrowful.
One must face losses with equanimity, and thinks it is an opportunity to practice the sublime virtue.
Alone we come, along we go. Non-attachment is true happiness in this world.
The deluded and the wicked are prone to seek only the ugliness in others; but not the good and beautiful.
Insults are the common lot of human beings. The more you work, and the greater you become, the more you are subject to insult and humiliation.
He who silences himself like a cracked gong when attacked, insulted and abused; is in the presence of Nirvana (peace) although he has not yet attained Nirvana.
When insulted we should think we are being given an opportunity to practice patience. Instead of being offended, we should be grateful to our adversaries.
If we are contented with what we have and if we are economical, we need not be in debt to any one. Though poor, when debt free, one feels relieved and is mentally happy.
The enjoyment of possession lies not only in using it for oneself, but also in giving it for the welfare of others.
If you speak or act with a harmful thought, trouble will follow you as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
To reflect on the beginning and end of things is to feel happiness as you see the boundless joy of worlds beyond worlds.
We suffer when we are subject to old age which is natural. With equanimity we minimize the suffering of old age.
The loss of a loved one causes great pain of mind. We should understand that all association must end with separation. Here is a good opportunity to practice equanimity.
Mind fore-runs deeds; mind is chief, and mind-made are you.
The purpose of life is Supreme Enlightenment, i.e. the realization of oneself as one really is. This may be achieved through cultivation, perfection and service to others with boundless loving-kindness and compassion.
Whatsoever living beings there be – feeble or strong, small or large, seen or unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born and those who are to be born – may all beings without exception, be happy minded.
Let none deceive another nor despise any person whatsoever in any place. In anger or ill-will let him not wish any harm to another.
Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so let him cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings.
Let his thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world, without any obstruction, without any hatred, and without any enmity.
Whether he stands, walks, sits or lies down, as long as he is awake, he should develop the mindfulness, which is a Noble Living.
(Spring Liao, 2/5/09)