WORDS OF WISDOM

Why do we “watch the mind from the side” and not directly? If we watch the mind directly, the mind will be startled and disturbed, unable to rest quietly. If we proceed to watch the mind directly as soon as it enters a state of no- self, we will destroy that state since the thought of watching the mind is itself a kind of distraction. When that happens, the original state of tranquility disappears. As for watching the mind from the side, the mind can remain at rest and, at the same time, bring into full play its ability to supervise; as soon as distraction sets in, it will know and pull it back in place.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - The Practice of Realizing Emptiness

Buddhist teachers have repeatedly pointed out the importance of being mentally strong. People who are mentally weak are more likely to suffer.

What is mental weakness? What kind of person is prone to mental weakness?

Strength and weakness may be hereditary to an extent; some people are naturally strong, others are naturally weak. But the more important factors are environment, educational background, and habitual dispositions. Relatively speaking, a person who is born into a wealthy family and educated in a prestigious institution is more likely to be mentally weak. As a result of this weakness, the person is fussy and difficult to work with. When this disposition develops into a habit, it becomes increasingly serious, to a point where all things are repulsive and unsatisfactory. In the end, such a person will find no meaning or happiness in life, and may even take drastic measures.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-How to Face Suffering

The first is that all sentient beings have been parents to one another since beginningless time. As such, the animals that we eat today surely have once been our parents too. Eating their meat will be like eating the flesh of our own parents or children. It is therefore a wrong thing to do even from the mundane perspective, let alone the supramundane point of view.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - Why Vegetarian?

When our whole body is dissected and the parts are piled up, let us take a look: I have always believed in the existence of a “self,” but where is this “self”? Am I this muscle? Am I this pile of skin, or strand of hair? Am I this type of fluid — blood, lymph, etc.? No, there is no “self” besides these body parts.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - The Practice of Realizing Emptiness

Feeling is a specific aspect of the mind. Objects like steel, cement, brick, glass, etc. do not have feeling – they do not feel either suffering or happiness. After we die, the body is just like a stone or brick. When it comes in contact with earth, water, fire, wind or anything on the outside, it does not react. It is no longer conscious and thus cannot feel suffering or happiness.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-How to Face Suffering

We should not think that anything that is not discovered by science or proven with logic does not exist, as not everything can be measured by hard data. Things like rebirth or soul cannot be checked by scientific instruments, at least not for the time being. However, as science continues to break new grounds, it is entirely possible that one day we might be able to do that. For now, logic, as we know it, is rendered helpless in the field of parapsychology because our sense organs are not equipped to provide us with useful data to do this kind of analysis.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOKS' FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On Death And Rebirth-What Life Truly Is

Although non-Buddhist beliefs also proclaim some notion of emptiness, they are unable to enunciate the void nature of all phenomena based on dependent origination. Their idea of emptiness is only some sort of simple emptiness, unlike the one that is inseparable from phenomena. For example, some non-Buddhists also point out that what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears is all illusory. However, most of their ideas about emptiness are just nothingness which ignore phenomena altogether. This is neither the emptiness taught by Nagarjuna and other like-minded masters, nor the one expounded by Asanga and the like that is inseparable from luminous clarity. Emptiness of non- Buddhism means simply non-existence, just like human heads are without horns, which is not the true meaning of Buddhist emptiness. But non-Buddhist idea of emptiness, regretful to say, is just this simple.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - The Three Differences

There is suffering everywhere in the six realms of rebirth: if not suffering of suffering, it is suffering of change; if not suffering of change, it is all-pervasive suffering.  This is especially so in this degenerate time.  Even if we are unwilling to accept suffering, all of us have to confront it; we cannot ignore it. 

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-How to Face Suffering

We neither came to nor will leave this world voluntarily. However unwilling, we all have to go when it is time, not by choice and certainly not on our terms. As well, we came in the same fashion. If there were free choices, no being would want to be born as an ox or a horse. But the reality is that we see these poor beings all the time. If free will were possible, all beings would naturally choose to be king in the human realm or someone like Indra, the King of the gods, instead of an ox or a horse. This clearly shows that beings cannot choose the timing or the form of birth. One just has to come when it is time. Why?

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - The Twelve Nidanas1—the sequence of cyclic existence