Buddhism

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Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride. ~ Gautama Buddha

Buddhism is a religion based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Quotes[edit]

  • Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
    • Aitken Roshi, as quoted in The Awakening of Global Consciousness: A Guide to Self-Realization (2010) by Jawara D. King, p. 20
  • The greatest achievement is selflessness.
    The greatest worth is self-mastery.
    The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
    The greatest precept is continual awareness.
    The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
    The greatest action is not conforming with the world's ways.
    The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
    The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
    The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
    The greatest patience is humility.
    The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
    The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
    The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
    • Atiśa, as quoted in Perspectives on Mankind's Search for Meaning (2008) by Walter Taminang, p. 63
  • If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns in your heart, I could really see you.
    • David Brandon, Zen in the Art of Helping
  • The Buddhist doctrine of impermanence includes the notion that there is no self... It holds that the idea of a separate, individual self is an illusion, just another form of maya, an intellectual concept that has no reality. To cling to this idea of a separate self leads to the same pain and suffering (duhkha) as the adherence to any other fixed category of thought.
  • Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
  • One day, Ananda, who had been thinking deeply about things for a while, turned to the Buddha and exclaimed: "Lord, I've been thinking - spiritual friendship is at least half of the spiritual life!" The Buddha replied: "Say not so, Ananda, say not so. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life!"
  • In what is seen, there should be just the seen;
    In what is heard, there should be just the heard;
    In what is sensed;
    there should be just the sensed;
    In what is thought, there should be just the thought.
    ...
    He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak in the world.
  • One should follow a man of wisdom who rebukes one for one's faults, as one would follow a guide to some buried treasure. To one who follows such a wise man, it will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.
    ...
    These teachings are like a raft, to be abandoned once you have crossed the flood. Since you should abandon even good states of mind generated by these teachings, how much more so should you abandon bad states of mind!
    ...
    Conquer the angry man by love.
    Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
    Conquer the miser with generosity.
    Conquer the liar with truth.
  • In Aryans' Discipline, to build a friendship is to build wealth, to maintain a friendship is to maintain wealth and to end a friendship is to end wealth.
  • If beings knew, as I know, the results of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their gifts without sharing them with others, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. Even if it were their last and final bit of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it.
    • Itivuttaka 18
  • Let your love flow outward through the universe,
    To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
    A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
    Then, as you stand or walk,
    Sit or lie down,
    As long as you are awake,
    Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
    Your life will bring heaven to earth.
    ...
    Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
    And the life of the candle will not be shortened.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared
    ...
    I teach one thing and one only: suffering and the end of suffering.
    ...
    Just as a mother would protect with her life her own son, her only son, so one should cultivate an unbounded mind towards all beings, and loving-kindness towards all the world. One should cultivate an unbounded mind, above and below and across, without obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry.
    Standing, or going, or seated, or lying down, as long as one is free from drowsiness, one should practice this mindfulness. This, they say, is the holy state here.
  • What is this world condition? Body is the world condition. And with body and form goes feeling, perception, consciousness, and all the activities throughout the world. The arising of form and the ceasing of form--everything that has been heard, sensed, and known, sought after and reached by the mind--all this is the embodied world, to be penetrated and realized.
    ...
    The fool thinks he has won a battle when he bullies with harsh speech, but knowing how to be forbearing alone makes one victorious.
  • Make an island of yourself,
    make yourself your refuge;
    there is no other refuge.
    Make truth your island,
    make truth your refuge;
    there is no other refuge.
  • Solitude is happiness for one who is content, who has heard the Dhamma and clearly sees. Non-affliction is happiness in the world - harmlessness towards all living beings.
  • Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown. None can live without toil and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you, and you will denied the joy that comes from labor's end. Speak quietly and kindly and be not forward with either opinions or advice. If you talk much, this will make you deaf to what others say, and you should know that there are few so wise that they cannot learn from others. Be near when help is needed, but far when praise and thanks are being offered. Take small account of might, wealth and fame, for they soon pass and are forgotten. Instead, nurture love within you and and strive to be a friend to all. Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds. Treasure silence when you find it, and while being mindful of your duties, set time aside, to be alone with yourself.
    Cast off pretense and self-deception and see yourself as you really are. Despite all appearances, no one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather than blame and condemnation. You, no less than all beings have Buddha Nature within. Your essential Mind is pure. Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall, let not remorse nor dark foreboding cast you down. Be of good cheer and with this understanding, summon strength and walk on. Faith is like a lamp and wisdom makes the flame burn bright. Carry this lamp always and in good time the darkness will yield and you will abide in the Light.
  • Through violence, you may 'solve' one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.
    ...
    One has to try to develop one's inner feelings, which can be done simply by training one's mind. This is a priceless human asset and one you don't have to pay income tax on!
    ...
    First one must change. I first watch myself, check myself, then expect changes from others.
    ...
    Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
    ...
    I myself feel, and also tell other Buddhists that the question of Nirvana will come later.
    There is not much hurry.
    If in day to day life you lead a good life, honesty, with love,
    with compassion, with less selfishness,
    then automatically it will lead to Nirvana.
    ...
    The universe that we inhabit and our shared perception of it are the results of a common karma. Likewise, the places that we will experience in future rebirths will be the outcome of the karma that we share with the other beings living there. The actions of each of us, human or nonhuman, have contributed to the world in which we live. We all have a common responsibility for our world and are connected with everything in it.
    ...
    If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue.
    ...
    It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.
    ...
    Whenever Buddhism has taken root in a new land, there has been a certain variation in the style in which it is observed. The Buddha himself taught differently according to the place, the occasion and the situation of those who were listening to him.
    ...
    Samsara - our conditioned existence in the perpetual cycle of habitual tendencies and nirvana - genuine freedom from such an existence- are nothing but different manifestations of a basic continuum. So this continuity of consciousness us always present. This is the meaning of tantra.
    ...
    According to Buddhist practice, there are three stages or steps. The initial stage is to reduce attachment towards life.
    The second stage is the elimination of desire and attachment to this samsara. Then in the third stage, self-cherishing is eliminated.
    ...
    The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.
    ...
    To develop genuine devotion, you must know the meaning of teachings. The main emphasis in Buddhism is to transform the mind, and this transformation depends upon meditation. in order to meditate correctly, you must have knowledge.
    ...
    Anything that contradicts experience and logic should be abandoned.
    ...
    The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
    ...
    From one point of view we can say that we have human bodies and are practicing the Buddha's teachings and are thus much better than insects. But we can also say that insects are innocent and free from guile, where as we often lie and misrepresent ourselves in devious ways in order to achieve our ends or better ourselves. From this perspective, we are much worse than insects.
    ...
    When the days become longer and there is more sunshine, the grass becomes fresh and, consequently, we feel very happy. On the other hand, in autumn, one leaf falls down and another leaf falls down. The beautiful plants become as if dead and we do not feel very happy. Why? I think it is because deep down our human nature likes construction, and does not like destruction. Naturally, every action which is destructive is against human nature. Constructiveness is the human way. Therefore, I think that in terms of basic human feeling, violence is not good. Non-violence is the only way.
    ...
    We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are "news"; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and , therefore, largely ignored.
    ...
    The fundamental philosophical principle of Buddhism is that all our suffering comes about as a result of an undisciplined mind, and this untamed mind itself comes about because of ignorance and negative emotions. For the Buddhist practitioner then, regardless of whether he or she follows the approach of the Fundamental Vehicle, Mahayana or Vajrayana, negative emotions are always the true enemy, a factor that has to be overcome and eliminated. And it is only by applying methods for training the mind that these negative emotions can be dispelled and eliminated. This is why in Buddhist writings and teachings we find such an extensive explanation of the mind and its different processes and functions. Since these negative emotions are states of mind, the method or technique for overcoming them must be developed from within. There is no alternative. They cannot be removed by some external technique, like a surgical operation."
    • H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama in 'Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection', Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, 2004
  • View all problems as challenges.
    Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow.
    Don't run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence.
    You have a problem? Great.
    More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
  • Popular Buddhism with its profuse idolatry, its relics, and its superstitions repels me, and I have reservations even about the teachings of the Buddha. I admire much of his profound analysis of man's condition: the world has no purpose; it is up to us to give our lives a purpose; and we cannot rely on any supernatural assistance. Life is full of suffering, suffering is rooted in desire and attachment, and much desire and attachment are rooted in ignorance. By knowledge, especially of the Buddha's teachings, it is possible to develop a pervasive detachment, not incompatible with a mild, comprehensive compassion—and to cease to suffer. But ... the price for the avoidance of all suffering is too high. Suffering and sacrifice can be experienced as worthwhile: one may find beauty in them and greatness through them.
  • One day I complained to Suzuki Roshi about the people I was working with. He listened intently. Finally he said, "If you want to see virtue, you have to have a calm mind."
    • "To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shuryu Suzuki" (Edited by David Chadwick)
  • Like it or not, if you look at your own mind you will discover it is void and groundless; as insubstantial as empty space.
  • Among present-day religions Buddhism is the best. The doctrines of Buddhism are profound; they are almost reasonable, and historically they have been the least harmful and the least cruel. But I cannot say that Buddhism is positively good, nor would I wish to have it spread all over the world and believed by everyone. This is because Buddhism only focuses on the question of what Man is, not on what the universe is like. Buddhism does not really pursue the truth; it appeals to sentiment and, ultimately, tries to persuade people to believe in doctrines which are based on subjective assumptions not objective evidence.
  • As a student of comparative religions, I believe that Buddhism is the most perfect one the world has even seen. The philosophy of the theory of evolution and the law of karma were far superior to any other creed. It was neither the history of religion nor the study of philosophy that first drew me to the world of Buddhist thought but my professional interest as a doctor. My task was to treat psychic suffering and it was this that impelled me to become acquainted with the views and methods of that great teacher of humanity, whose principal theme was the chain of suffering, old age, sickness and death.
  • Buddhism is an earnest struggle to win. This is what the Daishonin teaches. A Buddhist must not be defeated. I hope you will maintain an alert and winning spirit in your work and daily life, taking courages action and showing triumphant actual proof time and again.
    • Daisaku Ikeda , president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) [citation needed]
  • The lives and writings of the mystics of all great religions bear witness to religious experiences of great intensity, in which considerable changes are effected in the quality of consciousness. Profound absorption in prayer or meditation can bring about a deepening and widening, a brightening and intensifying, of consciousness, accompanied by a transporting feeling of rapture and bliss. The contrast between these states and normal conscious awareness is so great that the mystic believes his experiences to be manifestations of the divine; and given the contrast, this assumption is quite understandable. Mystical experiences are also characterized by a marked reduction or temporary exclusion of the multiplicity of sense-perceptions and restless thoughts. This relative unification of mind is then interpreted as a union or communion with the One God. … The psychological facts underlying those religious experiences are accepted by the Buddhist and are well-known to him; but he carefully distinguishes the experiences themselves from the theological interpretations imposed upon them. … The meditator will not be overwhelmed by any uncontrolled emotions and thoughts evoked by his singular experience, and will thus be able to avoid interpretations of that experience not warranted by the facts. Hence a Buddhist meditator, while benefiting from the refinement of consciousness he has achieved, will be able to see these meditative experiences for what they are; and he will further know that they are without any abiding substance that could be attributed to a deity manifesting itself to his mind. Therefore, the Buddhist’s conclusion must be that the highest mystical states do not provide evidence for the existence of a personal God or an impersonal godhead.
  • This method of Bare Attention, so helpful to mind-knowledge and, through it, to world-knowledge, tallies with the procedure and attitude of the true scientist and scholar: clear definition of subject-matter and terms; unprejudiced receptivity for the instruction that comes out of the things themselves; exclusion, or at least reduction, of the subjective factor in judgment; deferring of judgment until a careful examination of facts has been made.
  • Hinduism and Buddhism offer much more sophisticated worldviews (or philosophies) and I see nothing wrong with these religions.
  • If I had to pick a religion, I'd pick Buddhism. Buddhism is a kindly religion. It says you got a chance... it's got humor, it's got wisdom, it says to be nice to each other. All the rest of them have gods that want to beat the crap out of you if you defy the rules.
    • Harlan Ellison, in the clue book for the computer version of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, [2]


Disputed[edit]

  • The religion of future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description... If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.
    • Attributed to Albert Einstein, in The Buddha in the Eyes of Eminent Scholars (1999) by Phra Sripariyattimoli ISBN 974-575-539-7
    • Variants:
    • The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.
    • Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.
      • This version does not actually appear in "Albert Einstein: The Human Side" as is sometimes claimed.
    • These statements are very similar, widely quoted, and seem to paraphrase some ideas in the essay "Religion and Science", but they have not actually been sourced to Einstein's known statements. Notable Einstein scholars such as John Stachel and Thomas J. McFarlane, author of Buddha and Einstein: The Parallel Sayings know of this statement but have not found any source for it. Any information on any definite original sources for these is welcome.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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