Category Archives: Quotes

When the Eight Worldy Winds blow

“Equanimity is a protection from what are called the Eight Worldly Winds: praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute. Becoming attached to or excessively elated with success, praise, fame, or pleasure can be a setup for suffering when the winds of change shift. For example, success can be wonderful, but if it leads to arrogance, we have more to lose in future challenges. Becoming personally invested in praise can tend toward conceit. Identifying with failure, we may feel incompetent or inadequate. Reacting to pain, we may become discouraged. If we understand or feel that our sense of inner well-being is independent of the Eight Winds, we are more likely to remain on an even keel in their midst.

~ Gil Fronsdal, from “A Perfect Balance: Cultivating Equanimity.” Read full article at Tricycle.com

Three phrases worth recalling


‘No matter what comes up,
we can learn new ways of being with it.’
‘We have a capacity to meet any thought or emotion with mindfulness and balance.’
‘Whatever disagreeable emotion is coursing through us, we can let it go.’

Re-reading those words may keep you going when sitting down to practice is the last thing you want to do.

~ Sharon Salzberg, from  “Sticking with It” at Tricycle.com

A few words on the ancient masters


“The ancient masters slept without dreams and woke up without worries. Their food was plain. Their breath came from deep inside them. They didn’t cling to life, weren’t anxious about death. They emerged without desire and reentered without resistance. They came easily; they went easily. They didn’t forget where they were from; they didn’t ask where they were going. They took everything as it came, gladly, and walked into death without fear. They accepted life as a gift, and they handed it back gratefully.:

~ Chuang-tzu

The Inexhaustible Treasure of Potential

image source

There is a vast potential, latent within human beings that remains undiscovered because of the limitations placed on consciousness by habitual preoccupations. The recommendation that all cravings be relinquished does not mean that detachment itself is the goal; it is a means of breaking through self-imposed restrictions and opening up to this inexhaustible treasury of potential.

~  Muso Kokushi (1275-1351) | From DailyZen.com for June 9, 2012

 

Why love and compassion make us feel safe

Excerpt of image of “Buddha’s Blue Meditation” by Paul Heussenstamm from mandalas.com

What is anger? As Tulku Urgyen taught, a deluded emotion like anger is a movement of the mind not knowing its own nature. Anger is a strong aversion in the mind, reacting to a negative image that the mind has constructed of someone or something, unaware that it is reacting to its own image. We may get slightly or more intensely angry every day, in many little moments.

What are anger’s roots? Anger as we normally experience it occurs when our sense of self and its world feel threatened. Someone does something that makes it hard for one’s mind to maintain its concept of self and its world, triggering a painful mental feeling. With that arises an image of the other person as loathsome, not fully human. The mind then blames the other person for its painful feeling.

It’s important to note that anger is a form of fear. Someone does something, and suddenly the mind feels ungrounded and reacts with anger, trying to reestablish a firm ground by reaffirming one’s narrow sense of self. Anger’s aim is to establish safety in that deluded way.

The problem is that real safety is not found within such self-centered fear and anger. Real safety is available only in the depth of our being, our underlying buddhanature. Love and compassion are, among others, fundamental qualities of the deepest nature of mind. In those unchanging qualities is the actual source of safety for self and others. To realize this is to recognize our own deep worthiness and potential for inner freedom and goodness, and to recognize the very same in all other persons … | Read On

John Makransky, from “Aren’t We Right to Be Angry?” at Tricycle.com

When we’re caught in a self-centered dream

“When attention to the present moment falters and we drift into some version of ‘I have to have it my way,’ a gap is created in our awareness of reality as it is, right now. Into that gap pours all the mischief of our life. We create gap after gap after gap, all day long. The point of practice is to close those gaps, to reduce the amount of time that we spend being absent, caught in our self-centered dream.”

– Charlotte Joko Beck, from “Attention Means Attention”
Read the whole article at Tricycle.com

A person of the Way fundamentally does not dwell anywhere

Green Mountains and White Clouds, detail of scroll by Wu Li (1632-1718)

“A person of the Way fundamentally does not dwell anywhere. The white clouds are fascinated with the green mountain’s foundation. The bright moon cherishes being carried along with the flowing water. The clouds part, and the mountain appears. The moon sets, and the water is cool. Each bit of autumn contains vast interpenetration without bounds. ”

– From ‘Cultivating the Empty Field:  The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi’
translated by Dan Leighton and Yi Wu

Let Go of Expectations and Just Sit

“It is important to sit with the clear intention to be present. At the same time, we need to let go of expectations. In a very real sense, what happens when we sit is none of our business. The practice is to accept whatever arises instead of trying to control our experience. What we can control is our wise effort to be present with what is.”

– Narayan Liebenson Grady from “The Refuge of Sitting”
Read more at Tricycle.com

Who is the pilot of your mind?

Two excerpts from “Your Mind Is Your Religion,” reprinted by Tricycle from “Make Your Mind an Ocean: Aspects of Buddhist Psychology” (1999). This is a rich piece for reflection. Read the longer excerpt here:

One day the world looks so beautiful; the next day it looks terrible. How can you say that? Scientifically, it’s impossible that the world can change so radically. It’s your mind that causes these appearances. This is not religious dogma; your up and down is not religious dogma. I’m not talking about religion; I’m talking about the way you lead your daily life, which is what sends you up and down. Other people and your environment don’t change radically; it’s your mind. I hope you understand that. Similarly, one person thinks that the world is beautiful and people are wonderful and kind, while another thinks that everything and everyone is horrible. Who is right? How do you explain that scientifically? It’s just their individual mind’s projection on the sense world. You think, “Today is like this; tomorrow is like that; this man is like this; that woman is like that.” But where is that absolutely fixed, forever-beautiful woman? Who is that absolutely forever-handsome man? They are nonexistent-they are simply creations of your own mind …

No matter which of the many world religions we consider, their interpretation of God or Buddha and so forth is simply words and mind; these two alone. Therefore, words don’t matter so much. What you have to realize is that everything-good and bad, every philosophy and doctrine-comes from mind. The mind is very powerful. Therefore, it requires firm guidance. A powerful jet plane needs a good pilot; the pilot of your mind should be the wisdom that understands its nature. In that way, you can direct your powerful mental energy to benefit your life instead of letting it run about uncontrollably like a mad elephant, destroying yourself and others. | READ ON

For Whom is This Dhamma?

For Whom is This Dhamma?

1. This Dhamma is for one who wants little, not for one who wants too much.
2. This Dhamma is for one who is contented, not for one who is discontented.
3. This Dhamma is for one who loves seclusion, not for one who loves society.
4. This Dhamma is for one who is energetic, not for one who is lazy.
5. This Dhamma is for one who is mindful, not for one who is unmindful.
6. This Dhamma is for one who is composed, not for one who is restless.
7. This Dhamma is for one who is wise, not for one who is unwise.
8. This Dhamma is for one who delights in freedom form impediments, not for one who delights in impediments.

(Anguttara Nikaya, Chapter VIII)

Meditation is peace, sadness, joy, anger, sleepiness etc.

“Meditation is never one thing; you’ll experience moments of peace, moments of sadness, moments of joy, moments of anger, moments of sleepiness. The terrain changes constantly, but we tend to solidify it around the negative: “This painful experience is going to last the rest of my life.” The tendency to fixate on the negative is something we can approach mindfully; we can notice it, name it, observe it, test it, and dispel it, using the skills we learn in practice.”

~ Sharon Salzberg, “Sticking with It”

What does not embody the Dharma?

“The nightingale singing among the flowers warbles Marvelous Law; all the birds that soar in the sky and even the frogs croaking in the water never cease chanting the Dharma. The clang of the evening bell echoes impermanence of everything; and the sound of the bell at daybreak reverberates with the message of appearance and disappearance of all elements. Flower petals flying and leaves falling before the wind disclose the perpetual changeability of karmic fortunes. There is not a single thing that does not embody the Dharma.”

~ Shosan (1579-1655)
quote from the invaluable dailyzen.com