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The Daily Enlightenment
 Quote: Wasted Time

Time was never truly wasted
if one realises in time,
that time was wasted
and wastes it no more,
by being more diligent.

Time was truly wasted
if one does not realise in time
that time was wasted
and wastes it more,
by being still complacent.

- Stonepeace

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 Realisation: The Buddha's Warnings Against Demonic Teachers


'Those ignorant, deluded or negligent of
the Buddha's true teachings
might be ready for
Mara's false teachings.'

In the Surangama Sutra, where the Buddha warned of fifty demonic states that unmindful spiritual practitioners might fall prey to, he spoke of the possibility of how… 'that good man [or woman]… greedily seeks skilful means [to further spirituality]. Then, Mara [the chief heavenly demon], having awaited to take this convenience, [sends a] flying spirit [demonic ghost] to possess this [or another] person. With one's mouth preaching the Dharma of the Sutras, this person is not aware, that he [or she] is possessed by a demon, self-proclaiming to have attained unsurpassable Nirvana.

[He or she] comes to others who seek skilful means, where the good man [or woman] is, arranging a seat to preach. His [or her] form changes momentarily, perhaps as a Bhiksu [Buddhist monk], for others to see… perhaps as a woman [or man], perhaps as a Bhiksuni [Buddhist nun]… This person [disciple and/or teacher] is deluded and confused, misled that he [or she] is a Bodhisattva. Believing in such [wrong] teachings, the mind is swayed to break the Buddha's disciplinary rules, to secretly practise [acts of] craving.

[His or her] mouth is fond of speaking about variations of [omens concerning] disasters and auspiciousness… Perhaps speaking of fires [at the end] of kalpas [world cycles], perhaps speaking of wars and fighting, terrorising [frightening] people, causing their families' wealth [and properties] to be dissipated without reason. This is named a 'bewildering ghost', whom when old in years, becomes a demon, who troubles and confuses people. When the thought of being tired and satisfied arises, he [or she leaves to] possess another person's body. The disciple[s] and teacher, [thereafter] all fall into troubles [difficulties] with the law. You should first be aware [of this, so as] to not [re-]enter rebirth, become confused [deluded] and unaware, [thereafter] falling into the Uninterrupted [Avici] Hell.'

Due to the great weight of the Surangama Sutra's moral authority, it is also known as a demon-reflecting mirror (照妖镜), as inner and outer demonic influences are clearly reflected in its final chapter on 'Fifty Demonic States Of The Aggregates', where the above teaching is listed – out of great compassion and wisdom by the Buddha, to prevent truth seekers from straying from the path to enlightenment.

Those who truly strayed away due to demonic influences are those who have not learnt about the teachings in this chapter in time, or who wilfully refuse to see themselves reflected in it, as it reveals their true colours. Being so powerful for recognising demons, this Sutra will be the first that Mara seeks to destroy in this Dharma Ending Age, to urge forgetfulness of, so as to pave the way for his minions to take greater siege of this world. As such, this is a crucial time to recall and study this teaching. The above passage on doomsday sayers has been selected as it is representative of a common phenomenon in our times. Below is commentary on it... [read more]

'How can those ignorant, deluded or negligent of
the Buddha's first teaching to disappear
be able to ensure his final teaching thrives?'

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 Excerpt: Are You Born With A Short Temper?



Patience is needed,
even for impatience.

- Stonepeace

A man went to call on a priest [Buddhist monk] for advice. "I was born with a short temper," he confessed. "They say getting angry only makes matters worse and they're right. After I let off steam I feel rotten, and I regret hurting other people's feelings, but by then it's too late. Is there anything I can do to rid myself of my short temper?" The priest smiled genially."Well, well, you certainly were born with an interesting item," he said. "If I am to fix it, though, I need to examine it. Do you have it with you now?"

"Well, no." said the man. "I have nothing to be upset about now, so I can't show it to you." "That's odd," said the priest. "Since you told me just now that you were born with it, it must be somewhere on your person. Don't be shy, just go ahead and bring it out for me to see." "No," repeated the man, "it's not here." "Then where is it?"

"When you put it like that, I don't know what to say. Right now it isn't anywhere." "Of course it isn't. No one is born with a short temper. The next time you start to blow up in irritation, ask yourself where that fit of temper came from. The answer is, it came from you yourself. To say you were born with it, as if it's not your fault, is shirking responsibility." Patience doesn't just happen, but must be cultivated. It is all a matter of attitude. Change irritation to appreciation.

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Something You Forgot… Along The Way: Stories Of Wisdom And Learning
Kentetsu Takamori

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