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Dhamma Quotes

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You should never take the attitude that you are smarter than the Buddha -- that great, all-knowing teacher who, unlike people with kilesas who feel very cocky, never relied on conjecture.

- Ajahn Man

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Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering.

- Ajahn Chah

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No deed is good

That one regrets having done,

That results in weeping

And a tear-streaked face.

A deed is good

That one doesn't regret having done,

That results in joy

And delight.

- Dhammapada 67-68

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If you stop and smell the roses along the way it may be dark before you find your way home.

- Ajahn Chah

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yampiccam na labhati tampi dukkham

Not getting what one wants is truly a form of dukkha.

- the Buddha

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The spiritual qualities that are gained from the effort and the generosity required to do charitable works are experienced internally as merit and goodness. The inspiration behind the good intentions to make such donations is the heart of each individual donor. The heart itself is virtuous. The heart itself is meritorious.

- Ajahn Man

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Right and wrong both exist within yourself. Why don't you take an interest in looking there? What's the point in meddling in the rights and wrongs of others? Is this the type of thinking that will make you a good, skillful person? Even though you may find out how good or skillful someone else is, if you yourself are neither good nor skillful, then you will never be successful.

- Ajahn Man

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Kamma exists as part of our very being. We create kamma every moment, just as the results of our previous kamma arise to affect us every moment. If you insist on doubting the existence of kamma and its results, then you are stuck at a dead end. Kamma is not something that follows us like a dog following its master. On the contrary, our very thoughts, speech and actions are kamma. The true results of kamma are the degrees of happiness and suffering experienced by all beings in the world, including those beings who live out their lives unaware of kamma. Such ignorance is also a karmic consequence.

- Ajahn Man

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We practitioners of meditation must be extremely careful that the

master of speculation doesn’t sneak in and conjure up his tricks in place

of wisdom. If we aren’t, we will be led to mistake mere concepts for true

understanding, without ever removing a single kilesa from our hearts.

We may find ourselves inundated with knowledge about salvation, yet

unable to save ourselves. This is exactly what the Lord Buddha meant

when he advised the people of Kalama not to believe in speculation or

conjecture, and not to believe teachings handed down from the past

or teachers who are considered to be reliable; but to believe that the

principles of truth can be discovered within themselves – by the wisdom

within themselves. This is the surest kind of knowledge there is.

- Ajahn Man/Ajahn Boowa (The Biography of the Venerable Acariya Mun)

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"Good health is simply the slowest way a human being can die." Anonymous

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The quality of your action depends on the quality of your being. Suppose you’re eager to offer happiness, to make someone happy. That’s a good thing to do. But if you’re not happy, then you can’t do that. In order to make another person happy, you have to be happy yourself. So there’s a link between doing and being. If you don’t succeed in being, you can’t succeed in doing. If you don’t feel that you’re on the right path, happiness isn’t possible. This is true for everyone; if you don’t know where you’re going, you suffer. It’s very important to realize your path and see your true way.

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of The Matter

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Thank you for posting this, IMA. Wise and lovely words.

I particularly noted the beginning of the last stanza: "By not holding to fixed views...".

If I can sermonize a little ...

By not holding fixed views we are less likely to make instant or rapid judgements of others' behaviour; less likely to view their behaviour in terms of our established ways of seeing how things are and how they ought to be.

If we can develop a way of seeing others in terms of karuna - compassion - and kshantri - openness to the good in others and insightful of what makes them be the way they are and do the things they do - we will be more given to empathy, sympathy and kindness. This will result in compassion allied to understanding (karuna and panya).

Christian and Buddhist ethics are on the same page in this regard. Jesus' two commandments are both about love; that love precedes everything. Thich Nhat Hanh says something similar, pointing out that love depends on understanding, and understanding on love. The familiar saying that we must think before we speak really needs extension: we must love first, then think, then speak. This might sound naive, but I believe it is implied by the Buddha's words, concluding a discourse not on wisdom and detachment alone, but on kindness (metta) to all beings:

By not holding to fixed views,

The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,

Being freed from all sense desires,

Is not born again into this world.

My thoughts are influenced by a colleague of some years ago, a senior administrator in Special Education, who always gave people the benefit of the doubt and opened my mind to the reasons why people do the things they do that I hadn't fathomed, having judged them by my more narrow views. I have found since that to think positively of people and assume they have reasons for their actions has liberated me from the confines of judgementalism (though I've still a long way to go, I suspect).

Edited by Xangsamhua

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Nobody has ever got to the fulfillment of Dhamma by the way of living, eating and sleeping as the heart desires without ever opposing the citta and applying disciplinary training to the heart.

- Ajahn Maha Boowa, Patipada

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Life has no meaning in itself, but only in the meaning we give it. Like the clay in the artists hands, we may convert it into a divine form or merely into a vessel of temporary utility.

- Lama Govinda

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