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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?

Question: Is sickness like cancer a result of karma? Some of the elderly seem to get cancer because their body systems are already malfunctioning? A friend said this is due to karma. Is this so? For...

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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?

Question: What is inappropriate about getting dressed and undressed before a Buddha image (such as in a bedroom)? Answer: In the absence of the Buddha in person, Buddha images are customarily taken...

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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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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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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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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...

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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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Quotes

Whose Fault?

不举他功过, 勿观作未作, 唯观己修行, 已修与未修。 – 佛陀 (法句经,第50偈) Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone. – The Buddha...

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Features

How To Know Who Is Not A Buddha

因地不真,果招纡曲。 – 释迦牟尼佛《楞严经》 [With the] causal ground [or direction] not true [at the start, the] fruit [or effect] attracted [will be with] twists and turns, [away from the true goal]. – Śākyamuni...

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Quotes

Direct Your Mind Well

Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than...

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Excerpts

How To Truly Know Anyone

The fool assumes quickly. The wise observes slowly. – Shantishila The nature of the human mind is unpredictable. As Pessa has observed and the Buddha endorsed in his reply that the mind’s...

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Letters

Is There A Wrong Time To Chant?

Question: Is there appropriate timing to recite the Repentance Verse, the name of Amitabha Buddha (Nianfo in terms of ‘Amituofo’) and the Verse For Sharing Of Merits? Someone told me they...

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Quotes

Heed The Dharma

Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already. – The Buddha (Dhammapada Verse 21)

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Excerpts

Be Mindful, Brothers & Sisters

But little water do the oceans four contain, Compared with all the tears that man hath shed, By sorrow smitten and by suffering distraught. Woman, why heedless dost thou still remain? – The Buddha to...

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Quotes

Wellness

To live well, think, speak and do well when well. To live more well, think, speak and do well even when unwell. – Zhaojian

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Quotes

Five Poisons

The greedy, when overboard, will be deprived, when repented, will be content. The hateful, when overboard, will be loathed, when repented, will be accepted. The deluded, when overboard, will be...

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Movies

What Horror Stories Teach Us

All horror stories, fictitious or true, are tragedies. All tragedies are with suffering. All suffering is from the Three Poisons (of greed, hatred and delusion). To have unhappy endings, there must...

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Quotes

Grief Vs Joy

  The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he...

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Letters

Can Offerings Be Offered Again?

Question: Can offerings made to the Buddha(s) or Bodhisattva{s) at their shrines be made to the deceased? Answer: Yes, they can be re-offered as suggested, after reasonable time, such as the span of...

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Haikus

Wellness Haiku

Worldly ‘wellness’ now is but a brief period before sickness or death returns. Spiritual wellness lasts for all time, ending all cyclical suffering.

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Quotes

True Practice Is What Matters

Much though he recites the sacred texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cowherd who only counts the cows of others – he does not partake of the blessings of the holy life...

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Letters

Can Buddhists Have Tattoos?

Question: Is it alright for Buddhists to have tattoos? Answer: Tattooing is okay… provided that what tattooed is not misrepresentative or disrespectful of the Buddhas (or any other enlightened...

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Quotes

Woe & Bliss

Those who imagine evil where there is none, and do not see evil where it is — upholding false views, they go to states of woe. Those who discern the wrong as wrong and the right as right — upholding...

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Features

‘The Song Of Patience By Hánshān & Shídé’ As Sung By The Bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī, Samantabhadra & Maitreya 文殊、普贤与弥勒菩萨所唱的《寒山拾得忍耐歌》

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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Excerpts

Two Kinds Of Lion’s Roar

Truths are only surprising to those used to non-truths. – Shilashanti Two of the most important scriptures in the Pali canon are the Great Discourse on the Lion’s Roar (Maha-sihanada Sutta) and...

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Quotes

What Is ‘New’ This Year?

所谓新者何, 亦如常人贴新春联、 着新衣等以为新乎?… 所谓新者, 乃是改过自新也。 – 弘一大师 What is that so-called ‘new’? Is it also like ordinary persons’ pasting of new spring couplets, wearing new clothes and...

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Quotes

Entering The Path Here

以坚持四重戒法, 为入道根本。 – 净土宗十二祖彻悟大师 《彻悟禅师语录》 With firm upholding [of the] Dharma [of the] Four Heavy Precepts [to guard against lust, killing, stealing and lying], as fundamental [for] entering [the] path...

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Quotes

Supreme Sharing

There are these two kinds of sharing: sharing of material things and sharing of the Dharma. Of the two, this is supreme: sharing of the Dharma. – The Buddha (Itivuttaka 4.1)

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Haikus

Zombie Haiku

Zombies particularly terrify because they seem human, yet relentlessly greedy, hateful and deluded. (Be not the undead or unalive.)

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Quotes

Learn To Practise Accordingly

Much though he recites the sacred texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cowherd who only counts the cows of others — he does not partake of the blessings of the holy life...

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Quotes

Why End Conflicts Now?

愚人不明了, 人生终归死。 彼等若明了, 诤论自息灭。 – 释迦牟尼佛 《法句经》第六偈 Foolish persons [do] not understand clearly, [that] human lives [in the] end return [to] death. Those others if understanding clearly, [their] arguments...

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Excerpts

Two Ways To Overcome Lust

Where another man prays ‘Grant that I may possess this woman,’ let your own prayer be, ‘Grant that I may not lust to possess her.’ Where he prays, ‘Grant me to be rid of such-and-such a one,’ you...

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Quotes

True Spiritual Friends 真善知

真善知识者, 深通大乘教, 持菩萨胜律, 虽逢命难缘, 不舍菩萨戒。 – 寂天菩萨 《入菩萨行论》 Those [who are] true good-knowing [spiritual friends], know profoundly well [the] Great Vehicle’s teachings, uphold [the] Bodhisattva’s...

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Excerpts

Four Ways To Overcome Anger

Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall. – Seneca Suppose we find that despite our attempts to prevent anger, the behaviour of other people succeeds in angering us. It will...

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Letters

Is There Predestinated Fate?

Question: Do Buddhists believe in fate or destiny? Answer: The answer is at  and the related links at the end of the article. Briefly, while there are predispositions of what might happen due to past...

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Quotes

Verse On Four Impermanences 四非常偈

积聚皆销散, 崇高必堕落, 合会要当离, 有生无不死。 – 释迦牟尼佛 《阿含经》 [That] gathered together [will] all dissipate, [the] majestic most certainly [will] fall, [those] assembled together must later depart, [who is] with birth...

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Excerpts

Should You Eat Animals?

[W]e are supposed to be the refuge and protector of all infinite beings. The beings with unfortunate karma that we are supposed to be protecting are instead being killed without the slightest...

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Letters

How To Not Follow Customs Blindly

Question: Some are very particular that red packets (angbaos) given must be with amounts of money ending with 8 (which sounds in a Chinese dialect like ‘huat’, which means ‘prosper’), and not 4...

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Quotes

Difference Between The Wise & Foolish 智愚之分

愚者自知愚, 彼即是智人。 愚人自谓智, 实称真愚夫。 释迦牟尼佛 《法句经》 A fool who knows about his foolishness, just by that he is like a wise man. And a fool, who is proud of his cleverness, he is indeed called a fool. Śākyamuni...

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Letters

Can Ancestors Bless Survivors?

Question: Many pray for their ancestors to bless them. Does this work? Answer: They are not able to bless us, unless they have been reborn with greater blessings, or have become Bodhisattvas and...

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Haikus

Right Haiku

Just that youdo the right thing.The rest doesn’t matter… – Marcus Aurelius(Meditations) Cold or warm.Tired or well-rested.Despised or honored.Dying… or busy with other assignments.

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Quotes

Transformation

To keep transforming greed, keep giving with generosity. To keep transforming hatred, keep radiating loving-kindness. To keep transforming delusion, keep learning to realise wisdom. – Zhaojian

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Features

How We Almost Entered Darkness

What truly terrifying is not the terrifying, but the absence of mindfulness. – Wuyoukongbu Many years ago, during one of those aimless holiday night rides with a biking buddy, we zipped up and down a...

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Excerpts

Both The Haves & Have-Nots Suffer

Who you are is defined  by what you’re willing  to struggle for.   – Mark Manson One of the realizations [of the Buddha] was this: that life itself is a form of suffering [as it includes ageing...

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Haikus

Death Haiku

You may reject death for all your life, but death will never reject you – unless you transcend before it comes.

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Quotes

Verse On Not Forgetting 莫忘偈

莫忘须活; 莫忘将死。 莫忘当下; 莫忘当后。 – 照见 Do not forget you need to live; Do not forget you will die. Do not forget the immediate; Do not forget later. – Zhàojiàn

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Features

Do Sentient Beings Increase Or Decrease?

一切有情,与诸如来, 同俱一法,平等法身, 更无别体,亦无别心, 事理平等,犹如虚空, 常住一相,无有差别。 – 释迦牟尼佛 《宝悉地成佛陀罗尼经》 All sentient beings, and all Tathāgatas, [are] together all [of] one Dharma, [of the] equal Dharma body [i.e. Dharmakāya]...

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Quotes

An Ancient Law

不能以怨恨, 止息世间怨, 唯慈能止怨, 乃不易古法。 释迦牟尼佛 (法句经) [One is] not able [to], with hatred, cease [the] world’s hatred; only [with] loving-kindness [is one] able [to] cease hatred – this [is an]...

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Features

How Did Ignorance Arise?

While rebirth occurs gradually from life to life, rebirth occurs swiftly from moment to moment too. – Ignoramusan In the 12 links of dependent origination (十二因缘) which explain how rebirth occurs...

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Letters

How To Handle Unwanted Lay Robes?

Question: If the owner of a set of Chinese lay Buddhist robes, one black (海青) and the other brown (缦衣) had passed away, how should they be handled?    Answer: Perhaps the temple through which refuge...

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Quotes

The Swiftest Path To Buddhahood

若人疾欲至, 不退转地者, 应以恭敬心, 执持称名号。 – 龙树菩萨 《十住毗婆沙论》(易行品) If one swiftly desires [to] reach, [the] ground [of] non-retrogression [for progress to Buddhahood, one] should with reverent hearts [and minds]...

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Excerpts

Make Your Bed

Make up your mind,  to better your mind, to better mind your  words and deeds, to better your life. – Shilashanti Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all...

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Movies

‘Outlaw King’ Vs Dharma King?

What do you do if your duty is to save your people against tyranny, while being wanted, and with little support? The titular (but somewhat fictionalised) ‘Outlaw King’ who was Robert the...

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Features

What If You Are Reborn Here Again?

末法亿亿人修行, 罕一得道; 唯依念佛, 得度生死。 – 释迦牟尼佛 《大集经》 [In the] Dharma-Ending [Age, which is NOW, when] koṭis* [of] koṭis [of] humans cultivate [Dharma] practice, [it is] rare [that] one attains [the] path; only...

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Excerpts

Always Listen To Continually Learn

Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible. – H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama [A]fter Sulak [Sivaraksa] saw a photograph in which the Dalai Lama was drinking Coca-Cola, [h]e mentioned his disapproval...

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Quotes

Giving Little Gains Much 施少得多

贤者好布施, 天神自扶将, 施一得万倍, 安乐寿命长。 [Of] virtuous ones [who] delight [in] generosity, heavenly gods [will] personally look after [them]. [When] giving once, [they] attain ten thousand times [more], [with]...

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Features

[7] How To Offer Benefits To All

In short, both directly and indirectly, do I offer every happiness and benefit to all my mothers. I shall secretly take upon myself all their harmful actions and suffering. – Geshe Langri Tangpa...

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Letters

How Should Buddhist Images Be Worn?

Question: Is it alright to wear images, names and mantras of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas on clothes, socks, shoes and such? Answer: it is best not to wear prominent Buddhist imagery in the above ways, as...

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Quotes

The Dharma

Learn the Dharma thoroughly. Practise the Dharma fully. Share the Dharma generously. – Dharma Saying

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Excerpts

You Stop Too

Spiritual practice starts by stopping the unskilful, before starting the skilful, and perfecting it. – Shilashanti A famous bandit, a murderer named Angulimala, had been sighted in the...

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Movies

We Are Humans In A ‘Bird Box’

An inexplicable presence turns people crazy when seen, leading to suicide and murder. With no one who has seen it surviving, no one lives to tell what it really is, be it some spirit being, alien or...

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Quotes

Axe

Every fool who is born has an axe within his mouth with which he cuts himself when he uses wrong speech… The worse of the two is he who, when abused, retaliates. One who does not retaliate wins...

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Haikus

Diligence Haiku

All the time in the world due to (endless) rebirth(s)? Ever less time in this life due to (impending) death! How many more times do you wish to assume you have enough time? May all be diligent to...

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Quotes

三宝偈 Verse On Triple Gem

依止佛陀, 依止正法, 依止圣僧, 乃真皈依。 Reliance upon the Buddhas, reliance upon their true Dharma, and reliance upon the Arya Sangha* [who teach it], is thus true refuge [in the Triple Gem]. *Noble (Holy) Sangha:...

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Features

[3] How To Avert Harming Of All

Vigilant, the moment a delusion appears in my mind, endangering myself and others, I shall confront and avert it without delay. – Geshe Langri Tangpa Reflections On ‘The Eight Verses Of Thought...

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Movies

All Lies Of The ‘Allied’?

How can a spy truly love a spy? To make it more confounding, how can a very ‘good’ spy love another very ‘good’ spy? After all, a very good spy is also a very good actor. Such...

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Quotes

Test Well For Gold

比丘与智者, 当善观我语, 如炼截磨金, 信受非唯敬。 – 釋迦牟尼佛 Monastics and wise ones, should well contemplate my words, like burning, cutting and rubbing [to test for] gold, with faithful acceptance not only out of reverence...

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Features

How To Not Be Reborn As Animals

The very shortsighted must learn to see much further. – Shilashanti The Kukkuravatika Sutta records how Puṇṇa (of the Koliyans), an ox-duty ascetic, and Seniya the naked dog-duty ascetic learnt the...

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