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Quotes

Non-Anger & Non-Violence

He who meets anger with anger is the loser. He who is calm in the face of anger is the winner. He has won a difficult battle.He who remains calm and unperturbed in the face of anger,saves both...

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Features

How Should Buddhists See The Plant-Based Meat ‘Revolution’?

第三食肉[轻]戒:若佛子,故食肉,一切肉不得食。夫食肉者,断大慈悲佛性种子,一切众生见而舍去。是故一切菩萨,不得食一切众生肉。食肉得无量罪。若故食者,犯轻垢罪。— 释迦牟尼佛《梵网经菩萨戒本》The Third [Light] Precept Against Eating Meat: If as Buddhas’ [Bodhisattva] disciples, of...

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Excerpts

A Spinning Coin

The world keeps changing,and you are part of the world,but even if it changes to be worse,you can still change yourself for the better.— Shilashanti Uncertainty is the cause of anxiety, but it is...

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Features

What Is The Best Way To Depart?

上念佛者,佳妙瑞相,预知时至,启众信心。—《佳妙偈》(1)Those with superior mindfulness of Buddha, have excellent and wonderful auspicious signs, including in advance knowing the time of reaching Pure Land, which inspires all...

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Excerpts

What Does Your Life Expect Of You?

If it is finitely meaningfulto seek True Happiness for oneself,it is infinitely meaningfulto seek True Happiness for all.— Stonepeace I once had two world-weary people sitting opposite me — as chance...

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Excerpts

Be Morally Superior Firmly

Those with a higher purposecan suffer meaningfully,thus not truly suffering.Those without a higher purposemight suffer meaninglessly,thus truly suffering.— Stonepeace We know today more than ever...

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Quotes

Patience With Evil Without Anger 忍恶无瞋

恶人闻善,故来挠乱者,汝自禁息,当无瞋责。彼来恶者,而自恶之。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第六章 When evil persons who hear of good,are with those who thus come to disturb,if you are personally restrained and calm,you will be without angry...

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Features

All The More Should Pure Land Be Reached

国中天人… 识宿命,下至知百千亿那由他诸劫事者… — 前法藏菩萨;现在阿弥陀佛《无量寿经》:第五:生者皆得宿命愿[H]eavenly and human beings within my [Pure] Land, have those… knowing past lives… at least know[ing] a hundred...

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Excerpts

Animals (A Vegan Slam Poem)

Veganism gives us all the opportunity to say what we ‘stand for’ in life — the ideal of healthy, humane living. Add decades to your life, with a clear conscience as a bonus.— Donald...

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Letters

Are Such Funeral Proceedings Ideal?

Question: At a teacher’s funeral, there was a period when many students were standing and sitting around, not doing anything in particular. Some might be meditating, but none were chanting...

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Movies

Just A ‘Feria’ Tale?

If there is evil in this world, is there not also the most powerful evil? Yes, of course. by logical default. In Buddhism, this is represented by Māra, the heavenly demon king. What if there is a(n)...

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Quotes

Evil Returns To Oneself 恶还本身

有人闻吾守道,行大仁慈,故致骂佛。佛默不对。骂止,问曰:「子以礼从人,其人不纳,礼归子乎?」对曰:「归矣。」佛言:「今子骂我,我今不纳,子自持祸,归子身矣。犹响应声,影之随形,终无免离,慎勿为恶。」 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第七章 There was a person who heard of my guarding of the path, and practice of great...

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Excerpts

Keep Leading By Doing What Is Right

Let us not wait for other people to come to us and call upon us to do great deeds. Let us instead be the first to summon the rest to the path of honor. Show yourself to be the bravest of all the...

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Quotes

With Dust & Spittle Self-Defiling 尘唾自污

恶人害贤者,犹仰天而唾。唾不至天,还从己堕。逆风扬尘,尘不至彼,还坌己身。贤不可毀,祸必灭己。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第八章 When evil persons harm those virtuous, it is like looking up to the sky and spitting. Their spittle does not reach the sky...

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Excerpts

How To Stoically Respond To A Ghost

Direct yourself calmly and clearly.Guide others kindly and wisely.Direct and guide one and all likewise.— Shilashanti There was at Athens a large and roomy house, which had a bad name, so that no one...

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Letters

Are Enlightened Ones Still Sentient Beings?

Question: Are awakened beings (觉者) like Buddhas (佛陀), Pratyekabuddhas (辟支佛), Bodhisattvas (菩提萨埵/菩萨) and Arhats (阿罗汉/罗汉) still considered as sentient beings? Answer: The term ‘sentient...

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Features

Past As Prologue

The past had already formed.The future has yet to form.Only in the present is forming.— Shilashanti William Shakespeare wrote, ‘Whereof what’s past is prologue…’Not...

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Movies

Is This The Horror Of Horrors?

Having watched many horror films, I wondered what is the simplest yet still effectively ‘horrible’ scenario. To ‘qualify’, it must have the element of an existential crisis...

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Haikus

Advice

Advice for the young at heart: Soon we will be older… When we’re gonna make it work?— Tears For Fears(Advice For The Young At Heart)

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Quotes

Giving Of Alms In Turn Superior 施饭转胜

饭恶人百,不如饭一善人。饭善人千,不如饭一持五戒者。饭五戒者万,不如饭一须陀洹。饭百万须陀洹,不如饭一斯陀含。饭千万斯陀含,不如饭一阿那含。饭一亿阿那含,不如饭一阿罗汉。饭十亿阿罗汉,不如饭一辟支佛。饭百亿辟支佛,不如饭一三世诸佛。饭千亿三世诸佛,不如饭一无念无住无修无证之者。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第十一章 Offering food to a hundred evil...

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Excerpts

Now Is Forever

That once thought, said and done become that forever thought, said and done, with karmic repercussions echoing forever.— Shilashanti [T]he eternal refers back to the temporal – to the temporal...

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Features

Six Serenity ‘Prayer’ Reminders

What I can controlis what I think, say and do — that is all.As this is how I create my karma,may I always think, say and do well.— Shilashanti(The Control Reminder: Part 1) [1] When Trouble...

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Excerpts

Rationality: A Simple Definition

The more rational knowthey are not always rational.The more irrational thinkthey are always rational.— Shilashanti Clearly the words “rational” and “irrational” can be quite...

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Haikus

Karma Haikus

Those who do not believethat fire burnsnevertheless suffer fires’ burns.Those who do not believethat ill causes lead to ill effects.nevertheless suffer ill causes’ effects.

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Excerpts

Life Is For Joyful Duty

I slept and dreamtthat life was joy.I awoke and sawthat life was duty.I worked – and behold,duty was joy.— Rabindranath Tagore [L]ife is somehow duty, a single huge obligation. And there...

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Features

What Will Never Deceive You

I can become a good personand create one good person for the world.And I think that if I can just do that,then I might become a personwho can create more than that.— Copper (via Genzaburo...

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Excerpts

Give It To Me!

Give away what you do not need.Give away your miserliness.Give away what others do need.— Shilashanti One morning when the Blessed One was in Śrāvastī he donned his lower garment and Dharma robes...

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Movies

Run ‘Beckett’ Run

What is worse than being on the run, fleeing from relentless enemies eager to take your life? Not knowing why they are after you, even if you believe it is some karmic situation you got caught up in...

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Haikus

Karma Haiku

Those who will especially be humbled by the law of karma,are those who do not believe in it.

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Excerpts

You Have Your Now

The centre betweenthe past and futureis forever the now.— Shilashanti I walked up toward Suzuki [Roshi] and said, ‘What now?’ He said, ‘Don’t ask me. Now is now. You have your...

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Quotes

When Brightness Comes, Darkness Fades 明来暗谢

夫见道者,譬如持炬入冥室中,其冥即灭,而明独存。学道见谛,无明即灭,而明常存矣。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第十七章 Those who see the path, for example, are like those holding torches entering dark rooms within, with that darkness then eradicated, and...

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Movies

What Truly Is ‘A Family’?

What if all left for worldly refuge is a ‘surrogate’ family? What is a real family? What if one never felt the love of a real blood family, while experiencing real care by gangsters? What...

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Haikus

Wellness Haikus

There are none bornwho do not keepgetting to die. There are none youngwho do not keepgetting old.There are none wellwho do not keepgetting unwell. Wellness hereis no true wellness,just respite from...

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Excerpts

The Most Wonderful Secret For Success 最妙秘诀

事事以诚为本,念念常省自心,则汝诸生之成就,均不可量。— 净土宗十三祖印光大师《法云寺佛教慈幼院规约书后诫勖诸生》When handling everything, with sincerity as foundation regarding them, and from thought to thought, always reflecting upon your own minds...

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Letters

Is Telling Half-Truths Lying?

Question: Is not telling all of the truth a form of lying, in terms of breaking the Fourth Precept? Answer: This depends on several factors. For instance, if there is legal declaration needed, such...

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Quotes

With The False And True Both Contemplated 假真并观

观天地,念非常。观世界,念非常。观灵觉,即菩提。如是知识,得道疾矣。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第十九章 Contemplate the heavens and earth, to be mindful of impermanence. Contemplate the world, to be mindful of impermanence. Contemplate spiritual...

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Excerpts

The Central Practicality Of Pure Land Buddhism

无禅有净土,万修万人去。若得见弥陀,何愁不开悟。–  净土宗六祖永明延寿大师 | 法眼宗三祖永明禅师《禅净四料简》Without Chán and with Pure Land practice, of ten thousand cultivators, ten thousand persons will go to Pure Land. If...

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Quotes

Reasoning For Self To Fundamentally Be Empty 推我本空

当念身中四大,各自有名,都无我者。我既都无,其如幻耳。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十章 You should be mindful, that of the body within’s four great elements, although each has a name, [as earth, water, fire and wind], all are that...

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Quotes

For Reputation Losing The Fundamental 名声丧本

人随情欲,求于声名,声名显著,身已故矣。贪世常名,而不学道,枉功劳形。譬如烧香,虽人闻香,香之尽矣;危身之火,而在其后。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十一章 Of people following passionate desires, seeking for reputation, with reputation outstanding, the body is already...

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Quotes

Wealth And Sex Attracts Suffering 财色招苦

财色于人,人之不舍,譬如刀刃有蜜,不足一餐之美。小儿舔之,则有割舌之患。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十二章 Of wealth and sex given to people, of people not renouncing them, for example, are like having a knife’s blade with honey, not enough...

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Letters

Are Sicknesses Due To Karma?

Answer: All sicknesses that lead to physical and/or mental suffering involve negative karma, as expressed through biological and/or psychological processes naturally. Karma is part of nature too; it...

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Quotes

Desires’ Fire Burns Oneself 欲火烧身

爱欲之人,犹如执炬,逆风而行,必有烧手之患。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十五章 Of people with attachments and desires, they are like those holding torches, against the wind then walking, who definitely will have the suffering of...

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Features

How The Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng Was Recognised As Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Manifestation 净土宗十三祖印光大师如何被认定为大势至菩萨的化身

莲风迭扇奏肤功,万论千经一句融;势至化身弘净土,故应念佛证圆通。— 李慧澄第十四《诗偈》: 第五偈With the Lotus Tradition’s wind repeatedly fanning, while [humbly] presenting ‘shallow’ merits, with ten thousand treatises and...

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Letters

Why Not Dress Before Buddha Images?

Answer: In the absence of the Buddha in person, Buddha images are customarily taken to represent his presence, to serve as precious Dharma reminders. They are not meant to be mere decorative images...

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Movies

The True Horror Of All Horror Movies

Watching on, seeing a truly horrific horror flick,we naturally first wonderhow such a horrible villain or demonis able to exist, even if fictitiously. Watching on, discovering the mysterious...

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Quotes

Heavenly Demons Disturbing The Buddha 天魔娆佛

天神献玉女于佛,欲坏佛意。佛言:「革囊众秽,尔来何为?去。吾不用。」天神愈敬,因问道意。佛为解说,即得须陀洹果。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十六章 Heavenly gods offered beautiful maidens to the Buddha, desiring to destroy the Buddha’s resolve. The Buddha said...

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Letters

Which Realm Has The Most Beings?

Question: Of the six realms of existence, which has the most sentient beings? Answer: Numbers in the scriptures were not encountered, probably as they fluctuate with rebirth. However, there is this...

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Quotes

Those Without Attachment Attain The Path 无著得道

夫为道者,犹木在水,寻流而行。不触两岸,不为人取,不为鬼神所遮,不为洄流所住,亦不腐败。吾保此木,決定入海。学道之人,不为情欲所惑,不为众邪所娆,精进无为。吾保此人,必得道矣。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第二十七章 Those as practitioners of the path, are like wood on water, along with the flow then...

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Excerpts

Live Without Cold Spots

镬汤无冷处。The cauldron’s soupis without cold spots.— Zen Saying If you are living as fully a you can, you will have no time to be bored [or unhappy]. There is not a single drop of cold water in a...

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Movies

An Awakening Walk Through Bly Manor

Every unresolved ghost story is a tragedy, arising from the three poisons of strong attachment, aversion and delusion. Reborn out of delusion, we return with its offsprings of attachment and aversion...

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Excerpts

Everything In The Right Places

好雪片片,不落别处。— 庞云居士Good snow!Flake by flake,they do not fall on other places.— Layperson Páng Yún Do not be afraid. Live while accepting everything [as they are, so that they can be bettered if...

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Features

What Is ‘Beauty’?

The worldly onlycling to the beautiful.— Shilashanti(Part 1) The so-called ‘beautiful’ is soonly when perceivedunder certain conditionsof space and time. When seen too far without,it is...

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Excerpts

The Danger Of Arrogance Vs The Power Of Repentance

忏悔文我昔所造诸恶业,皆由无始贪嗔痴,从身语意之所生,一切我今皆忏悔。— 普贤菩萨《普贤菩萨行愿品》Verse For RepentanceFrom my past, those created all evil karmas,all due to beginningless greed, hatred and ignorance,from body, speech and mind, of...

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Quotes

From Desire’s Fire Far Depart 欲火远离

夫为道者,如被干草,火来须避。道人见欲,必当远之。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十章 Those as practitioners of the path, are like those who wear dry grass [i.e hay]. When fire comes, it must be avoided. Practitioners of the path...

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Letters

What Is ‘Form Is Emptiness’?

Question: What is the meaning of ‘form is emptiness’ (色即是空)? Answer: ‘Form’ (色) refers to matter, (which is what has mass); the material, as summed by the Four Elements (四大)...

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Quotes

With Self Emptied Is Fear Eradicated 我空怖灭

人从爱欲生忧,从忧生怖。若离与愛,何忧何怖? — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十二章 People from attachments and desires give rise to worries, and from worries give rise to fear. If departed from attachments, what worries and what fears...

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Letters

Is Guānyīn A Bodhisattva Or Buddha?  

Question: If Guānshìyīn (Avalokiteśvara) Bodhisattva (观世音菩萨) is still a Bodhisattva as named, why do Buddhists commemorate her/his day of accomplishing the path to Buddhahood (成道日) on the 19th...

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Movies

My Love Is ‘My Magic’

A man jaded after the loss of his wife struggles to provide for himself and his young neglected son. He intoxicates himself by drinking to drown his sorrows, but is reminded eventually, of his past...

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Quotes

With Wisdom’s Brightness Destroy The Demonic 智明破魔

夫为道者,譬如一人与万人战。挂铠出门,意或怯弱:或半路而退,或格斗而死,或得胜而还。沙门学道,应当坚持其心,精进勇锐,不畏前境,破灭众魔,而得道果。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十三章 Those as practitioners of the path, are for example, like one person with ten thousand persons...

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Letters

Why Dread Karmic Retribution?

Question: Why should one be afraid of being reborn in a lower realm like hell if one does not remember anything from one’s past life? Answer: If one knows one is going to hell later...

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Quotes

Abide In The Middle To Attain The Path 处中得道

沙门夜诵迦叶佛遗教经,其声悲紧,思悔欲退。佛问之曰:「汝昔在家,曾为何业?」对曰:「爱弹琴。」佛言:「弦缓如何?」对曰:「不鸣矣。」「弦急如何?」对曰:「声绝矣。」「急缓得中如何?」对曰:「诸音普矣。」佛言:「沙门学道亦然,心若调适,道可得矣。于道若暴,暴即身疲。其身若疲,意即生脑。意若生脑,行即退矣。其行既退,罪必加矣。但清净安乐,道不失矣。」 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十四章 A...

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Excerpts

That One Should Disdain Hardships

You will earn the respect of all menif you begin by earning the respect of yourself.— Musonius Rufus(Fragment: 30) In order to support more easily and more cheerfully those hardships which we may...

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Letters

How Best To Have Sea Burial?

Question: For sea burial, is it better to scatter the ashes, which seems to express freedom, or to drop the ashes in the urn?Answer: Scattering of ashes does not lead to freedom of the deceased, just...

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Quotes

With Defilements Purified Brilliance Is Retained 垢净明存

如人锻铁,去滓成器,器即精好。学道之人,去心垢染,行即清净矣。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十五章 Like people forging iron, ridding sediments to become wares, the wares are then excellent and beautiful. Of people learning the path, ridding...

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Letters

What Is This Certain Sutra About?

Question: What is this ___ sutra about? Answer: While this is a very good question, it is also very difficult to answer simply. It is especially difficult to answer due to the length of the scripture...

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Quotes

Passing Through Much To Obtain Victory 展转获胜

人离恶道,得为人难。既得为人,去女即男难。既得为男,六根完具难。六根既具,生中国难。既生中国,值佛世难。既值佛世,遇道者难。既得遇道,兴信心难。既兴信心,发菩提心难。既发菩提心,无修无证难。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十六章 For people to depart from evil paths, to attain as humans is difficult. Already...

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Movies

A Monkey’s Satire On Human ‘Love’?

‘A Chinese Odyssey, Part Two: Cinderella’《大话西游之大圣娶亲》is one of the (too) many (?) comedic retellings of ‘Journey To The West’《西游记》. Although often ridiculous, there seems to be...

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Quotes

Be Mindful Of Precepts To Be Near The Path 念戒近道

佛子离吾数千里,忆念吾戒,必得道果。在吾左右,虽常见吾,不顺吾戒,终不得道。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十七章 The Buddha’s disciples departed from me for several thousand miles, if recollecting mindfully my precepts, will definitely attain...

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Excerpts

Why Be Ashamed Of Being Shameless?

Non-integrity is not to be ashamed of yourself;inconsideration of others is not being embarrassed with regard to others.Haughtiness is the incapacity of honoring others.Fury is a mental disturbance...

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Letters

Why Do Buddhists Practise Fasting?

Question: What are the spiritual benefits of having only one (or two) meals a day (as in practice of the Eight Precepts)? Answer: Having one near-noon meal a day (or with breakfast) helps to...

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Quotes

That Taught Are Without Differences 教诲无差

学佛道者,佛所言说,皆应信顺。譬如食蜜,中边皆甜,吾经亦尔。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第三十九章 Those who learn the Buddha’s path, of that the Buddha taught by speaking, all should be faithfully followed. For example, like eating honey...

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Features

Three Ways To See Mountains And Rivers 三看山水

[1] 参禅之初,看山是山,看水是水。[2] 禅有悟时,看山不是山,看水不是水。[3] 禅中彻悟,看山仍然山,看水仍然是水。— 青原惟信禅师 (意译) As above, it was proposed by Chán Master Qīngyuán Wéixìn in his paraphrased saying, there are three key stages to be...

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Excerpts

Be As Bodhisattva-Like As You Can

All the suffering there is in this worldarises from wishing our self to be happy.All the happiness there is in this worldarises from wishing others to be happy.― Santideva You also get plenty of...

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Quotes

Walking The Path Is In The Mind 行道在心

沙门行道,无如磨牛,身虽行道,心道不行。心道若行,何用行道? — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第四十章 Śramaṇas walking the path, should be without those like milling cows, whose bodies although walking the path, with the mind’s path not...

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Quotes

With Straightforward Minds Leaving Desires 直心出欲

夫为道者,如牛负重,行深泥中,疲极不敢左右顾视,出离淤泥,乃可苏息。沙门当观情欲,甚于淤泥。直心念道,可免苦矣。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四四十二章经》: 第四十一章 Those as practitioners of the path, are like bulls carrying heavy burdens, walking in deep mud within, even if...

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Excerpts

Tame & Transform Your Raging Tiger

It’s great to be able to stopWhen you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,And be able to do something else insteadAnd think this song.— Mr. Rogers As silly as those lyrics might seem to...

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Quotes

Attain The World By Knowing Its Illusoriness 达世知幻

吾视王侯之位,如过隙尘。视金玉之宝,如瓦砾。视纨素之服,如敝帛。视大千界,如一诃子。视阿耨池水,如涂足油。视方便门,如化宝聚。视无上乘,如梦金帛。视佛道,如眼前华。视禅定,如须弥柱。视涅槃,如晝夕寤。视倒正,如六龙舞。视平等,如一真地。视与化,如四时木。 — 释迦牟尼佛《四十二章经》: 第四十二章 I see positions of kings and lords, to be like...

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Excerpts

Do The Right Thing Naturally

There is no enjoying the possession of anything valuable unless one has someone to share it with. — Seneca Neither the Buddhists nor the Stoics believed in what has come to be called ‘original...

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Quotes

Bird In Vase

鸟来入瓶中,以縠掩瓶口。縠穿鸟飞去,识神随业走。 《大智度论》   When a bird comes to enter a vase within,with fine gauze covered is the vase’s mouth.When the gauze is penetrated, the bird flies to go off,the...

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Excerpts

One Stone At A Time

Since there is only one thoughtin each moment,be aligned to do only one thing wellin each moment.— Shilashanti There is no such thing as good multitasking… Pay attention to your attention —...

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Features

Is There Buddhist Minimalism?

Minimise evil entirely.Maximise goodness totally.Realise purity completely.— Shilashanti In recent years, the minimalist lifestyle seems to be the in thing. Is there a Buddhist take on it? Yes...

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Excerpts

Master Being A Beginner

Those who think they are learnedare probably the least learned.Those who know they should learnwill probably become learned.— Shilashanti All of us act like those close-minded experts sometimes, and...

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Letters

Are Saṃsāra & The Sahā World Same?

Question: How are the Sahā World and Saṃsāra different and similar? Answer: The Sahā World (娑婆世界) which means the ‘World Of Endurance’ [of suffering] (堪忍世界) refers to our world system, in...

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Quotes

Hearing Slander But Not Debating 闻谤不辩

古人云:「何以息谤?」 曰:「无辩。」 又云:「吃得小亏,则不至于吃大亏。」   余三十年来屡次经验,深信此数语真实不虚。   弘一大师《弘一大师全集》 Ancient ones say, ‘With what ceases slander?’ Saying, ‘Without debate.’ Also saying...

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Movies

‘The Coldest Game’ Of Duplicity

In this story that ties cunning games of chess competition with duplicitous espionage, the chess master Mansky spoke of how he decides who is truthful by recalling a classic brainteaser –...

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Haikus

First Haikus

You might be young now,but you will be old later —if you do not die first. You might be healthy now,but you will be sick later —if you do not die first. You might be alive now,but you will be dead...

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Quotes

Mind Like Bright Moon 心如明月

吾心似秋月,碧潭清皎洁。无物堪比伦,教我如何说? 寒山(文殊菩萨化身) My mind is like the autumn moon,in the green pool pure and shining clean.Without an object worthy as an equal,      tell me how can I speak of...

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Excerpts

I Want You To Panic

No one is acting as if we are in a crisis. Even most green politicians and climate scientists go on flying around the world, eating meat and dairy.* — Greta Thunberg* Such consumption is one of...

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Letters

What Is The Cause Of Sickness?

Question: A non-religious friend says he does not understand why he contracted a sickness, while a religious friend says she does not understand why the deity she has faith in allowed her sickness to...

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Letters

Are There Buddhist Wealth Gods?

Question: Does the god of wealth (财神) exist? Is there an equivalent in Buddhism? Answer: In Chinese culture, there are some characters believed and worshipped as gods of wealth, some of whom might be...

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Quotes

Verse With Three Truths 三谛偈

诸行无常,是生灭法。 生灭灭已,寂灭为乐。      释迦牟尼佛《涅槃经》   All phenomena* is impermanent,being rising and falling dharmas.*With rising and falling eradicated already,it is stillness...

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Features

How Dairy Cows & Veal Calves Suffer

若诸比丘,不服东方丝绵绢帛,及是此土靴履裘毳、乳酪醍醐,如是比丘,于世真脱。酬还宿债,不游三界。何以故?服其身分,皆为彼缘,如人食其地中百谷,足不离地。— 释迦牟尼佛《楞严经》If all Bhikṣus, [do] not wear eastern silk waddings [and] silk clothing, and this land’s [leather] boots [and]...

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Quotes

How To Have More Peace

If you have the misconception that your life will be perfect, you will always be shocked by its up and down nature. If you expect your life to be up and down, your mind will be much more peaceful...

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Excerpts

Spiritual Practice In The Face Of War & Death

万物自有功,当言用及处。事存函盖合,理应箭锋拄。 石头希迁禅师 《参同契》   The ten thousand things each has its merits,that should be said of their functions and situations.Phenomena exists like boxes and lids...

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Haikus

Karma Haiku

Preaching about karma without practising accordingly creates worse karma.* * By being a negative example instead of an expected good one.

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Quotes

Eradicate Bad Minds

境缘无好坏,好坏起于心。愚人除境不除心,至人除心不除境。既除矣,境岂实有? 达境本空,便能素位而行。  不愿乎外,以所历位,无非无外之法界也。知皆即法界,自无入而不自得。   — 净土宗九祖蕅益大师  《灵峰宗论》 Situations’ conditions are without good and bad, with good and bad arising from the...

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Excerpts

Thank You Very Much

The essence of givingis to give awaygreed, hatred and delusion.— Shilashanti Giving is the warm heart of Bodhisattva practice. Generosity attends and responds with kindness to whatever turns up...

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Excerpts

Give The Dharma By Asking For It

Ask well if the answer matters to the welfare of you and/or all others.— Shilashanti Bodhisattvas aspire to offer all their actions of body, speech and mind as Dharma gifts. We have received the gift...

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Letters

Does Āmítuófó Have A Sexist Vow?

Question: The 35th Vow of Amitābha Buddha (阿弥陀佛: Āmítuófó) says that ‘if there are women who hear my name (i.e. are sincerely mindful of it), with joyful faith, give rise to Bodhicitta, and...

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Quotes

Verse For Wearing Precepts’ Robe 搭缦衣偈

善哉解脱服,钵吒礼忏衣, 我今顶戴受, 世世常得披。 This excellent liberation garment,the patta* prostration and repentance robe,I now with my crown support and receive it,** in life after life, may I always attain...

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Quotes

Supreme Offering 最上供养 

是真精进,是名真法供养如来。 若以华、香、璎珞、烧香、末香、塗香、天缯、幡盖及海此岸栴檀之香,如是等种种诸物供养,所不能及;  假使国城、妻子布施,亦所不及。… 是名第一之施,于诸施中最尊最上,以法供养诸如来故。  — 诸佛《妙法莲华经药王菩萨本事品第二十三》 This which is true diligence [in Dharma...

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Features

Should Buddhists Take Their Time Spiritually?

生死事大, 光阴可惜。 无常迅速,时不待人。— 寺院钟板文Birth and death is a matter big,and time available is regrettably little.With impermanence swift,time does not wait for one.— Text On Temple Sounding Board Some Buddhists...

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Movies

Is ‘The Devil Next Door’? 

TDND is a documentary series on the case of Ivan Mykolaiovych Demjanjuk, who lived as an ordinary family man, about whether he was truly ‘Ivan the Terrible’, the nickname given to a...

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Haikus

Respite Haiku

Wellness is ever shorter respitebefore ever longer sickness,before ending in (re)death.(Swiftly live life well now then.)  

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Quotes

Birds Of A Feather

世间人民不念修善,转相教令共为众恶。两舌、恶口、妄言、绮语、谗贼、斗乱,憎嫉善人、败坏贤明,于傍快喜。— 释迦牟尼佛《无量寿经》The world’s people are not mindful of cultivating good. In turn instructing one another, together doing many evils. With divisive...

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Excerpts

Do People Swarm To You Or Shun You?

If there is always affinityor the lack of it,we might as well createonly good affinity.— Shilashanti Once Sakyamuni Buddha and his disciple Mahamaudgalyayana went with a large gathering of followers...

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Haikus

Poison Haiku

As what truly harmful are the Three Poisons,* do not poison.** As what truly harmful are the Three Poisons, do not be poisoned.*** * of greed, hatred and delusion ** to harm others *** to harm...

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Quotes

Self-Deceit Before Other-Deceit 先自欺后欺他

妄语之人,先自诳身,然后诳人; 以实为虛,以虛为实,虛实颠倒,不受善法。 譬如覆瓶,水不得入。妄语之人,心无惭愧,闭塞天道、涅槃之门。 观知此罪,是故不作。   — 龙树菩萨《大智度论》 Of people with false speech, they first deceive themselves, afterwards deceiving people; With the...

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Features

How A Shocking Teaching Can Be True

[1] 为利杀众生,[2] 以财取诸肉, [3] 二俱是恶业,[4] 死堕叫唤狱。 — 释迦牟尼佛《大乘入楞伽经断食肉品第八》第六偈 [1] For profit killing sentient beings,[2] with wealth obtaining much meat,[3] both together are [with] evil karma,[4] [after] death...

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Quotes

Truth & Goodness

If you appreciate truth,defend and share it,lest it distorts.If you appreciate good,praise and emulate it,lest it vanishes.– Bodhistoica

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Features

How To Be Mindful Like A Wise Tortoise

若众生心,忆佛念佛,现前当来,必定见佛。– 大势至菩萨 《念佛圆通章》 If sentient beings’ minds recollect the Buddha, and are mindful of the Buddha, now or in the future, they will definitely see the Buddha.  – Great Power...

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Excerpts

How Managers Can Have Right Speech

Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter. This is called right speech. – The Buddha(Magga-vibhanga Sutta) The primary goal of giving feedback at work...

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Quotes

Where Evil Starts

一切恶事,虛妄为本。   – 释迦牟尼佛  《涅槃经》   All evil matters,are with falsehood as the root. – Śākyamuni Buddha (Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra)

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Features

Why Be A Lapsed ‘Buddhist’?

只看好样子…Only looking at good examples…  – 净土宗十三祖印光大师  – Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng Someone shared a testimonial on how a person...

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Letters

Do Bodhisattvas Help Non-Believers?

Question: Can those who do not believe in Bodhisattvas be saved by them? Answer: The very definition of Bodhisattvas is that they are those who aspire to guide all beings to Buddhahood, which is the...

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Quotes

Ego

The bigger the ego,the greater the weakness. The smaller the ego,the lesser the weakness. The ending of ego,is the absence of weakness. – Shilashanti

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Excerpts

In Summer & Winter, Dress & Eat

No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.– Alan Watts The greater part of Zen literature consists of mondo, of brief dialogues between masters and...

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Letters

How Tall Was The Buddha?

Question: How tall was Śākyamuni Buddha? Answer: In Chinese Buddhist texts, the Buddha is usually described to be ‘丈六八尺’ in height, which is ‘one zhàng and six chǐs or eight chǐs...

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Features

Just Pour Away Ink-Diluted Water

近墨易黑, 离朱难赤。生人天道, 易成善恶。 – 朱墨偈 (1) Those near ink are easily blackened,departed from cinnabar, difficult to redden.Born in the humanly and godly paths,it is easy become good and evil. – Verses On...

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Movies

How Comedies Can Become Scary Movies

Naturally, we think of comedies as the direct opposite of horror films. The first is for fun and laughter, the latter for terror and shrieks. Then again, there is a way in which a brainless comedy...

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Quotes

Loving-Kindness & Compassion 慈与悲

佛心者慈与悲:大慈则与乐,大悲则拔苦。 – 空海大师(性灵集) Those with the Buddha’s hearthave loving-kindness and compassion:with great loving-kindness thus giving joy,with great compassion thus uprooting suffering...

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Movies

What To Make Of ‘Wounds’?

It is tricky trying to know what to make of ‘Wounds’. There is the idea that there are ancient rituals that see wounds as portals for summoning ‘higher beings’ to enter this...

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Haikus

Impact Haikus

Not braced for impact, the less impactful feels more so. Having braced for impact, the more impactful feels less so. Just as you brace yourself for physical impact, brace for the emotional too.

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Excerpts

Eat Clean With Your Whole Heart

Consume mindfully with compassion and wisdom or consume mindlessly with greed and delusion. – Shilashanti Do not neglect your meals: Make your meals about the eating When you eat, are you focused on...

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Quotes

Thought, Word & Deed

If pure, think it appropriately.If true, say it appropriately.If right, do it appropriately.  If impure do not think it.If untrue, do not say it.If not right, do not do it...

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Excerpts

Discard What You Don’t Need

What you do truly not need is so, even if you do not think so. What you do truly need is so, even if you do not think so. – Shilashanti When things aren’t going well, we tend to think  we...

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Letters

Are There Many Monastics In Hell?

Question: During a casual discussion with friends about Buddhism, a friend mentioned that many monastics end up suffering in hell. Is it so? Answer: There is this equivalent line that has been...

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Movies

How To Not Be ‘Haunted’?

Episode one of season two of ‘Haunted’ features among the most malevolent of ghosts, one who is both cunning and wicked. With the ability to read minds, the ‘Mimic’ is able to...

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Haikus

Help Haiku

Those sincere to help will correct the wrong; not just condemn them. The first to complain to is the one doing wrong, not to anyone else.

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Quotes

How To Delight The Buddhas 如何令佛欢喜

若于众生尊重承事, 则为尊重承事如来。 若令众生生欢喜者, 则令一切如来欢喜。 何以故?诸佛如来, 以大悲心而为体故。 因于众生而起大悲, 因于大悲生菩提心, 因菩提心成等正觉。 – 普贤菩萨 《普贤行愿品》 If of sentient beings respectfully aided in matters, thus is as respectful aiding in matters...

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Letters

How To View Miscarriages?

Question: How should an accidental miscarriage be seen? If family members have been praying to deities, how could it still occur? Answer: In the Buddhist perspective, a miscarriage happens due to...

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Quotes

How To Check Your ‘Dharma’

Carefully studying the sentences word by word,one should trace them in the Discourses (Sutras)and verify them by the Discipline (Vinaya). If they are neither traceable in the Discoursesnor verifiable...

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Haikus

Hell Haiku

Do those who wish hell on others deserve hell too? If hell is for rehabilitation, why not repent now, to avoid hell later?

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Quotes

Merits Of Veg(etari)an Offerings 供斋功德

若能为其父母乃至眷属,命终之后,设斋供养,志心勤恳,  如是之人,存亡获利。  — 地藏菩萨《地藏经》   If able to, for their Fathers, Mothers and even [other] family members, after their lives end, arrange veg[etari]an offerings [to...

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Excerpts

Wake Up Earlier To Be Less Busy

Find more time to live a more meaningful life – before you run out of time. – Shilashanti When we are short on time, this scarcity extends to our heart as well. We automatically say, ‘I’m...

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Letters

Do We Chant Just To Show Respect?

Question: Is chanting to express respect to Buddha? How does it help us and others? Answer: Chanting should always be practised respectfully, so as to be attentive, to receive the teachings chanted...

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Movies

Is ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Ours Too?

What is the meaning, purpose or point of this life, be it long or short? These existential issues are pondered by a dog, who is able to recall several immediate past lives. Is it just to have fun and...

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Quotes

Be Not The Last To Sever The Seed 莫作最后断种人

汝粗得其门, 当传灯化物, 莫作最后断种人也。 – 慧思大师致智者大师之遗教 《佛祖统纪》第六卷 智者大师最后教诲乃 亲自得生阿弥陀佛极乐净土  You, who have just attained this [Dharma] Door, should transmit its lamp to transform external beings, and not become the...

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Quotes

Two Razors

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. – Hanlon’s Razor It is always from the third poison of delusion, that arise the first poison of greed, and the second...

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Excerpts

How To Rise From Rock Bottom

When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up – or to stay sunken. – Extended saying I’ve been a Dharma teacher for twenty years, and I’ve observed that prisoners, war veterans, refugees...

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Quotes

Why Take Threefold Refuge?

Worldly teachers will let you down, but the world-transcended Buddhas’ pure blessings will never let you down – thus should you take refuge in the Buddhas. Worldly teachings will let you down...

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Excerpts

Friends, Not Food

If you’re eating animals please understand that  they do not want your metta;  they want you to not eat them.   – Bob Isaacson If you stopped people on the streets of Chicago or London and ask them...

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Movies

Our ‘Escape Room’ To Escape From

Like it or not, life now is as if a giant escape room puzzle with minor puzzles within to escape from. Such escape is not from rightly due responsibilities, but from saṃsāric (娑婆) existence itself...

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Quotes

A Day Better Than A Hundred Years 百岁不如一日

若人活百岁, 不解生灭法, 不如生一日, 而得解了之。 – 释迦牟尼佛 《法句经》第 113 偈 If a person lives for one hundred years, not understanding rising and cessation of phenomena, this is not equal to living for one day, yet attaining...

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Excerpts

The Three Kinds Of Patience

There is no evil like hatred, And no fortitude like patience. Thus I should strive in various ways To meditate on patience. – Shantideva (Guide To Bodhisattva’s Way Of Life) [1] Not Becoming...

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Letters

Can I Suffer On Behalf Of Others?

Question: Is it possible to suffer on the behalf of other sentient beings? Answer: Most parents, being loving, wish to suffer on behalf of their children when they are sick, but who is able to do...

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Movies

What Is Your True Nature To Show?

Based on a true story, ‘TND’ depicts the dawn of the AV industry in Japan. As presented, are four key ideas raised and reflections on them. First, we are born and die naked. However...

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Quotes

Where Is Freedom?

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor E. Frankl

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Excerpts

We Have No Time To Be Evil

There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels. – The Buddha (Dhammapada Verse 6) Let’s get rid of anger’s evil;...

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Haikus

TV Haikus

Even a TV only occasionally faulty is still a faulty TV. Only a TV never ever faulty is then a perfect TV.

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Quotes

Reach The Shore

Few among men are those who cross to the farther shore [of liberation]. The rest, the bulk of men, only run up and down the hither bank. – The Buddha (Dhammapada Verse 85)

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Letters

Can I Listen To The Dharma At Night?

Question: Is it not advisable to listen to pre-recorded Dharma teachings too late at night, in case it attracts unseen beings to come, who might cause disturbances? I am however only free at night to...

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Movies

The First Things In ‘Cities Of Last Things’

The film (幸福城市) begins in the midst of a casual yet cautionary song – ‘爱千万不要给得太多… 你今天将它挽留,明天它悄悄溜走。你将一切给我,我却不知如何接受。啊… 请你请你不要再来找我。世界上的男孩不只我一个。啊…...

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Quotes

Control Yourself

Irrigators regulate the rivers;fletchers straighten the arrow shaft;carpenters shape the wood;the wise control themselves. Just as a solid rockis not shaken by the storm,even so the wiseare not...

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Excerpts

What Is In Your Circle Of Control?

Mind your mind mindfully, or it will be ‘minded’ by its negative habits of greed, hatred and delusion. – Shilashanti ‘We control our reasoned choice and all acts that depend on that...

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