Saturday, February 07, 2015

Buddhist quotes and a new blog for the reading list

Here are some Buddhist quotes from Thích Nhất Hạnh (via a blog called RefineTheMind, which has been put together by a young writer who is wise beyond his years. I've just spent a few hours over at the blog, reading the archived articles).

"Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views.  We shall learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to others’ insights and experiences.  We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth.  Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives."

"Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are committed not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever—such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination—to adopt our views.  We will respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide.  We will, however, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness through compassionate dialogue."

"Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help us develop compassion and find ways out of suffering, we are determined not to avoid or close our eyes before suffering.  We are committed to finding ways, including personal contact, images, and sounds, to be with those who suffer, so we can understand their situation deeply and help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace, and joy."

"Aware that true happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom, and compassion, and not in wealth or fame, we are determined not to take as the aim of our life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure, nor to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying.  We are committed to living simply and sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those in need.  We will practice mindful consuming, not using alcohol, drugs, or any other products that bring toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness."

"When anger comes up, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking and acknowledge, embrace, and look deeply into our anger.  We will learn to look with the eyes of compassion at those we think are the cause of our anger."

"Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and now, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life.  We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger, or jealously in the present.  We will practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment.  We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, and by nourishing seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness."

"Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech.  We will learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break.  We will make every effort to keep communications open and to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small."

"Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, we are determined to cultivate nonviolence, understanding, and compassion in our daily lives, to promote peace education, mindful mediation, and reconciliation within families, communities, nations, and in the world.  We are determined not to kill and not to let others kill.  We will diligently practice deep looking with our Sangha to discover better ways to protect life and prevent war."

"Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. We will practice generosity by sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.  We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. We will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings."

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