FOOD FOR THE THINKING MIND

I would like to express my special “Thank You” to Ling Yen Mountain Temple (LYMT) located in Rancho Cucamonga, Southern California, for its great generosity and kindness.  On May 20, 2018, I visited Ling Yen Mountain Temple for the celebration of the Buddha’s birthday.  I was over-joyed to see the huge collections of Buddhist printing materials and art work that were free to the visitors.  The book titled “FOOD FOR THE THINKING MIND” was one of those free gifts that I obtained on that special day.

After thorough reading it, I am pleased to present you with the following selected quotations from  “FOOD FOR THE THINKING MIND”  by Ven. Dr. K Sri Dhammananda, in Malaysia, in March 1999. This book was compiled for anyone who wishes to reflect on what famous thinkers throughout the ages have written about the human condition.

Nature of the Mind

  • No problem of human destiny is beyond the reach of man. (John Kennedy)
  • When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
  • The human mind is like an umbrella  –  functions best when open. (Walton Gropins)
  • A human being is a mind with a body, not a body with a mind.
  • Without hope men are only half-alive.  With hope they dream, think and work.  (Charles sawyer)
  • Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet.  It’s a way of entering the quiet that is already there.
  • A successful team is a group of many hands, but of one mind. (Bill Bethel)
  • A calm and peaceful state of mind is conducive to both mental and physical well being. (B.V.)
  • By mind the world is led.  By mind the world is moved.  And all good and bad things exist in the world because of mind.  (The Buddha)
  • Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.

Definition of the Real Human Being

  • Man may have faith in every god, yet if he has no faith in himself, he is doomed. (Swami Vivekananda)
  • Remember that your real wealth can be measured, not by what you have, but by what you are. (Napoleon Hill)
  • High living and low thinking degrade human values.
  • Buddhism upholds the view that man is an intelligent being.  He surpasses even the divas (gods) in wisdom and strength.

Life is Valuable

  • When a man’s fight begins within himself, he is worth something. (Robert Browning)
  • The one who never fails, is the one who never tried.
  • An aimless life is always a miserable life.
  • The Buddha says that man is capable of rising above all human weakness and cultivating a divine life through his own efforts.
  • Without obstacles there would be no opportunities.
  • Like a beautiful flower full of colors but without scent are the empty words of him who does not act accordingly.  (The Buddha)
  • We should be patient with our inferiors, they are ourselves of yesterday.
  • Good times fly, hard times linger.  (Albert Einstein)
  • A dying candle flickers the brightest light.

Life Depends on Character Building

  • If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t do it.  (Chinese Proverb)
  • He who gains a victory over other  men is strong, but he who gains victory over himself is all powerful.  (Lao-Tze)
  • Our greatest glory isn’t  in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.  (Confucius)
  • I complained I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.
  • Do not believe everything you hear.  Do not do everything that you desire to do.  Do not tell all you know.  Do not use all you have.  Do not buy anything you see.  Then you will always be happy.  (Martin Luther)
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will.
  • A kite rises against the wind, never with it.
  • Calmness is not weakness.  A calm attitude at all times shows a man of culture.
  • He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.
  • If you smile at life, life will always smile at you.
  • It is not your position that makes you happy or unhappy; it is your disposition.
  • People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges
  • Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom

  • Learning without thought is naught; thought without learning is dangerous.  (Confucius)
  • Strength is born in the deep silence of long suffering heart; not amid joy.  (Mrs Herman)
  • He who would know everything, but fails to know himself misses the knowledge of everything.  (Jesus Christ)
  • The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.  (Aristotle)
  • The mirror reflects all objects, without being sullied.  (Confucius)
  • No one knows everything, no one knows nothing.  Everyone knows something.
  • Better to live a single day with wisdom, bright, contemplative than live for a hundred years unwise and unconcentrated.  (The Buddha)
  • To acquire knowledge one must study, but to acquire wisdom one must observe.  (Marilyn Savant)
  • Fear and worry disappear when ignorance is dispelled by knowledge.

How to Act Wisely

  • Greedy people always lose more than they gain.
  • Learn to how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, and how to acquire without meanness.  (G. Sand)
  • What you do not want others to do to you, do not do them yourself.  (Confucius)
  • We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  (Winston Churchill)
  • Do what you can, with what you have, and where you are.  (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.
  • Learn to let go.  That is the key to happiness.  (Jack Kornfield)
  • Love your neighbors, but don’t pull down the fence.  (Chinese Proverb)
  • The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.  (Lao-Tze)
  • No matter what a man does, whether his deeds serve virtue or vice, nothing lacks importance.  All actions bear a kind of fruit.  (The Buddha)
  • Blessed are they who earn their living without harming others.  (The Buddha)
  • In cleansing the mind and attaining wisdom, one experiences joy, bliss, tranquility, awareness, full understanding  –  real happiness.  (The Buddha)

Serve Others to Serve Yourself

  • What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and immortal.  (Albert Pike)
  • If you  want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.  (Booker T. Washington)
  • Everyone needs to be valued.  Everyone has the potential to give something back.  (Princess of Wales, Diana)
  • To know what to do is wisdom; to know how to do is skill; but doing it as it should be done is service.
  • Keep doing good deeds long enough, and you’ll probably turn out a good man in spite of yourself.  (Louis Auchincloss)

Speech Must be Guided

  • If you want people to think well of you, do not speak ill of others.
  • One who knows does not talk much.  One who does not know talks a lot.  (Lao-Tze)
  • Brooks make so much noise while the great rivers flow in silence.  (The Buddha)
  • When you are arguing with a fool, you also become a fool.
  • Discussion is an exchange of intelligence; argument is an exchange of ignorance. (Washington Post)
  • When you speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.  (Swami Vivekananda)

Friendship Gives Confidence

  • Be grateful.  Do not kick the ladder, after climbing the roof.
  • A true friend is one who knows all your faults and still loves you.
  • To be criticized is not necessarily to be wrong.  (Sir Anthony Eden)
  • Friendship must be accompanied with virtue, and always lodged in great and generous minds.  (Trap)
  • The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.  It is intelligence above language.  (Thoreau)

Meanings of Wealth and Success

  • Riches are like salt water – the more you drink the more you thirst.
  • What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul?  (Jesus Christ)
  • Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of values.  (Albert Einstein)
  • Not getting what you desire and getting what you desire can both be disappointing.  (Jack Kornfield)
  • Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.  (W.P. Kinsella)
  • We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse and keep.

Anger Destroys Love

  • Kindness is the language which the dumb can speak, the deaf can understand.
  • A house is built of brick and stone.  A home is made of love alone.
  • At the gate at which suspicion enters, love goes out.  (Thomas Fuller)
  • If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.  (Chinese Proverb)
  • The every minute you are anger, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Darkness can be dispelled by brightness.  Hatred cannot be overcome by hatred, but by loving kindness.  (The Buddha)
  • One can’t gain happiness by destroying others’ happiness, but by giving happiness and peace to others.  (Everyday Human values)

Death is not the End of Life

  • At birth we bring nothing; at death we take nothing away.  (Chinese Proverb)
  • As long as there is fear of death, life itself is not being lived to its fullest and at its best.
  • Man’s body turns to dust, but his name or influence persists.  (The Buddha)
  • We are all a combination of mind and matter and as such there is actually no individual self to die.
  • The question of life after death is not a great mystery.  And, a Buddhist is never worried about  this problem.  The difference between death and birth is only a thought-moment. The last thought-moment in this life conditions the first thought-moment in the so-called next life.  (Ven, Dr. W. Rahula)

(Spring Liao, 07/27/2018 – A Total Lunar Eclipse Day)