Sugataṁ sugataṁ seṭṭhaṁ, kusalaṁ ’kusalaṁ jahaṁ,
The one who is fortunate and fortunately excellent, who has given up wholesome and unwholesome deeds,
Amataṁ amataṁ santaṁ, Asamaṁ Asamaṁ dadaṁ,
Who found the deathless peace of the Deathless, who found the Matchless (nibbāna), and gives the Matchless (to others),
Saraṇaṁ saraṇaṁ lokaṁ, araṇaṁ araṇaṁ karaṁ
Who found the Refuge, and is the refuge for the world, the one without passions, who makes the passions fade,
Abhayaṁ abhayaṁ ṭhānaṁ nāyakaṁ: Nāyakaṁ name.
The one without fear, who leads to that fearless place: I will revere (Lord Buddha), the Leader.
–from Namakkārapāḷi saha Saṅkhepayojanā (The Reverence Text with the Short Word-Commentary), edited & translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
What we call life here is the functioning of the five aggregates … or the functioning of mind and body (namarupa) which are only energies or forces. They are never the same for two consecutive moments, and in this conflux of mind and body we do not see anything permanent. The grown-up man is neither the child nor quite a different person; there is only a relationship of continuity. The conflux of mind and body or mental and physical energy, is not lost at death, for no force or energy is ever lost. It undergoes change. It resets, reforms in new conditions. This is called rebirth, re-existence or re-becoming (punabbhava). Karmic process (kammabhava) is the energy that out of a present life conditions a future life in unending sequence. In this process there is nothing that passes or transmigrates from one life to another. It is only a movement that continues unbroken. The ’being’ who passes away here and takes birth elsewhere is neither the same person, nor a totally different one (na ca so, na ca añño).
–from “The Psychological Aspect of Buddhism,” by Piyadasi Thera
Our perceptions are conditioned; one of the great misconceptions that many of us carry through our lives is that our perceptions of ourselves and of the world are basically accurate. This misconception, that our perception represents some absolute reality, is the cause of tremendous suffering both globally and on a personal level.
- Joseph Goldstein, on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
from the weekly newsletter of Hartford Karma Thegsum Choling
We have to shake loose our habitual ways and look with fresh and honest eyes at our own actions, speech, and thoughts. It may be difficult to acknowledge that we sometimes have harmful impulses, but if we directly see and recognize a harmful intention, it starts to lose its power over us. Initially, we may also be reluctant to acknowledge our good intentions. Think of the process not as tallying personal victories and failures, but as the unfolding of universal causes and effects.
–from the blog, “The Buddha’s Advice to Laypeople“
[T]he Buddhist view may be described as non-theistic. It does not assert that God, here called Brahma, thinks or otherwise brings the universe into existence as its Creator, or that his thinking sustains its existence, or that, if he ceases to think (or dream or breathe, as the case may be), his creation, the universe, ceases to exist. On the contrary, according to the Buddhist teachings found in both the Sutras and the Tantras, our universe is the aggregate result of the actions in their past lives of all the sentient beings who inhabit our universe. When the world appears the same way to a group of sentient beings, such as the human race, for example, it is because all the members of that group share a common karmic vision…, that is to say, a particular way of perceiving things determined by a karmic cause. To the first question found in the catechism, “Who made the world?,” the Buddhist teachings unhesitatingly reply, “It is karma that has made the world.”
–from Self-Liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness, by John Myrdhin Reynolds
[W]e do tend to be infatuated with our stories, don’t we? We love our stories, particularly the ones about ourselves: the good we’ve done, the bad we’ve done, the memorable, the poignant, the regrettable, and what we want to do, what we hope to do, what we fear will happen to us,what others think of us.
These beloved patterns are all manifestations of the ‘I’ element, the habits of thinking in terms of ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘mine’ for a lifetime. In Pali these are called ahamkāra, ‘I-making’ and mamamkāra, ‘mine-making’, and they are the key attributes of self-view. These habits are what most effectively and repeatedly draw our attention into the realm of concepts which then carry the mind away. If a story has ‘me’ in it, it tends to be much more interesting than other more remote tales. This is extremely natural, a basic habit for all of us.
–from Inner Listening, by Ajahn Amaaro
Towards the end of the conversation, [Bernie] Glassman and [Jeff] Bridges fielded a question about how to engage in social action without getting discouraged. Glassman said he’d fielded this question from many people at retreats. Glassman, 73-years-old, unfolded himself from the chair where he’d been sitting cross-legged for most of the interview, took Bridges by one hand and Danny [Fisher] by the other.
“Jeff,” he said softly, “this is Mary. She’s 80-years-old and doesn’t get around too well anymore. I think you’d be good friends.” He sat back down. ”Then they’d start talking and getting to know each other and Jeff might be able to help Mary with whatever she needs. See, you don’t have to look very far. We’re so interconnected. You don’t have to look very far. Things will come to you.”
–from the Dharma Cowgirl blog