Home » Excerpts » Some Of The Fourteen Meaningless Things

Like returning empty-handed from an island of precious gems,
it is meaningless to ignore the sacred Dharma
after having obtained a human body.

– Gampopa

… Like a sick person holding a bag of medicines,
it is meaningless to have heard oral instructions
that don’t remedy disturbing emotions.

Like a parrot reciting verses,
it is meaningless to have a tongue that expertly recites Dharma words
that are not taken to heart…

Like handing a mother her child’s flesh,
it is meaningless to make offerings to the three jewels
by hurting other sentient beings…

Like trading a wish-fulfilling jewel for ordinary gems,
a heap of leftovers, or a single bag of flour,
it is meaningless to perform virtuous actions
out of a desire for praise and fame, honor and gain…

Like a rich man without the key to his safe,
it is meaningless to be learned in the oral instructions
and not apply them in practice…

– Gampopa

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