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"To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be awakened by all things."
"Have good trust in yourself ... not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are."
Learning Zen is a phenomenon of gold and dung. Before you understand it, it's like gold; after you understand it, it's like dung.
— Zen proverb
Just as a goldsmith assays gold, by rubbing, cutting, and burning, so should you examine my words. Do not accept them just out of faith in me.
If, after obtaining Buddhahood, anyone in my land
gets tossed in jail on a vagrancy rap, may I
not attain highest perfect enlightenment.
-Gary Snyder, ‘Burning’
The only Zen you find at the top of the mountain is the Zen you bring with you.
— Zen proverb
Suffering arises from clinging. Therefore for the mind which inclines to letting go, the path to enlightenment is very much easier.
— paraphrased from the Buddha
Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.
—Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
‘Heroes become Buddhas with one thought, but the lazy people are given the three collections of scriptures to traverse.’
— zen sutra
Suppose you are on a flight. The aircraft is state-of-the-art, comfortable. Beautiful sky outside the window, attentive stewardesses, soft music, classy passengers....everything is perfect. You are sure that the journey will be quite pleasant.
But suddenly comes the voice of the captain, “Our plane is off course and has lost contact with the ground. We have no landing point and must keep flying. We have enough fuel to only last ten minutes.”
How would you feel then? All these wonderful feelings disappear immediately. “Captain please try all means to find a safe landing place.”
When a person is born the plane of his life takes off. Even if one has another 40 or 50 years to live, the time is like the fuel on the plane: it only decreases and will soon be used up.
Where is the landing point of our life? Can we enjoy living at ease before we find it?
Power, status, money, career, marriage, family - are any of these the final landing point of our life?
Someone who believes these are the aim of life is like a lost plane taking the clouds in the air as a safe landing place.
Dharma Master Jingzong
Although from the beginning
the world is impermanent,
not a moment passes
when my sleeves are dry.
—Zen Master Ryokan, Sky Above, Great Wind
So, Bahiya, should you train yourself: “in the seen, there will be only the seen; in the heard, only the heard; in the sensed, only the sensed; in that of which I am conscious, only that of which I am conscious.” This is how you should train.