Tag Archives: Buddha

It Can Be Done! The Great Middle Way

Abandon wrongdoing. It can be done. If there were no likelihood, I would not ask you to do it.

But since it is possible and brings about blessings and happiness, I do ask you to abandon wrongdoing.

Cultivate doing good. It can be done. If it brought deprivation and sorrow, I would not ask you to do it.

But since it brings blessings and happiness, I do ask you: Cultivate doing good.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Angutara Nikaya

Source: It Can Be Done!

Let´s not fool ourselves; The Great Middle Way

The Buddha gives this instruction in the Griha Vinaya (Rules for Householders, Dharmika Sutra, Kshudraka Agama):

Let him not destroy, or cause to be destroyed,
any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so.
Let him refrain even from hurting any creature,
both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.

If we fail to understand the universality of this injunction, the Buddha clarifies (Kshudraka Agama):

Whether they be creatures of the land or air,
whoever harms here any living being,
who has no compassion for all that live,
let such a one be known as depraved.

And in the Anguttara Agama:

I am a friend of the footless,
I am a friend of all bipeds,
I am a friend of those with four feet,
I am a friend of the many-footed.

May all creatures, all breathing things,
all beings one and all, without exception,
experience good fortune only.
May they not fall into any harm.

Should we intend to skirt the First Precept by claiming innocence of the deed if others do the killing for us, He adds (Kshudraka Agama):

One should not kill any living being,
nor cause it to be killed,
nor should one incite any other to kill.
Do never injure any being,
whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Source: Let´s not fool ourselves

Causes & Conditions; GreatMiddleWay

images: The Dharma teaches that the manifestation of a consequence requires the confluence of multiple causes and conditions. Wrong views, afflicted emotions (attachment, aversion, and indifference), and the habits and tendencies that impel us to act in ways that are unskillful or undesirable constitute the fundamental causes of unbeneficial actions. The conditions that favor such conducts include material circumstances, similarly-inclined company, and situations.

If we desire to avoid those habitual tendencies, it is essential that we avoid conducive conditions for its manifestation. A well-known example is that of a person with alcoholic tendencies, who must avoid proximity and access to alcohol (material circumstances), persons with similar conducts (company), and those events in which this behavior is normative (situations).

We can successfully apply this strategy to all unskillful tendencies, identifying and avoiding the triggers that favor the repetition of any conduct we may wish to eliminate.

& Conditions

Children and Old Men via GreatMiddleWay

Bai Juyi (772-846 CE) was an important poet and government official of the Tang Dynasty in China. He once asked a monk for the most essential Dharma instruction, and the monk replied by quoting the Buddha’s summary teaching, “Avoid harm. Do good. Purify the mind.”

Bai Juyi was not impressed, “Every child of three years knows these words. What I want to know is the most profound and fundamental teaching of the Buddha.” The monk replied, “Every child of three years knows these words, but white-haired men still fail to put them into practice.”

Source: Children and Old Men

Masterpiece and Spontaneity. A Zen Story.

Masterpiece and Spontaneity

A master calligrapher was writing some characters onto a piece of paper. One of his especially perceptive students was watching him. When the calligrapher was finished, he asked for the student’s opinion – who immediately told him that it wasn’t any good. The master tried again, but the student criticized the work again.

Over and over, the calligrapher carefully redrew the same characters, and each time the student rejected it. Finally, when the student had turned his attention away to something else and wasn’t watching, the master seized the opportunity to quickly dash off the characters. “There! How’s that?,” he asked the student. The student turned to look. “THAT…. is a masterpiece!” he exclaimed.

Meanings: “Originality is what makes each of us a masterpiece. Don’t stick to the same old way of doing things.”

“Stop thinking and just do what’s natural for you, instead of what’s expected. Some of our best work is done when we least expect it.”

“You can’t perform perfectly under the watch of critical eyes. When you don’t force perfection, it happens by itself, spontaneously. Great things happen when you least suspect it.”

“Whenever you watch over someone you make them self-conscious and uncreative. It’s like trying to teach a child. If you let them alone they will usually figure it out themselves and it will be great.” – See

Source: Masterpiece and Spontaneity. A zen story.