When we analyze our experience, we have ideas of time or space, big or small, heavy or light. A scale of some kind is necessary, and with various scales in our mind, we experience things. Still the thing itself has no scale. That is something we add to reality. Because we always use a scale and depend on it so much, we think the scale really exists. But it doesn’t exist. If it did, it would exist with things. Using a scale you can analyze one reality into entities, big and small, but as soon as we conceptualize something it is already a dead experience.
We “empty” ideas of big or small, good or bad from our experience, because the measurement that we use is usually based on the self. When we say good or bad, the scale is yourself. That scale is not always the same. Each person has a scale that is different. So I don’t say that the scale is always wrong, but we are liable to use our selfish scale when we analyze, or when we have an idea about something. That selfish part should be empty. How we empty that part is to practice zazen and become more accustomed to accepting things as it is without any idea of big or small, good or bad.
– Shunryu Suzuki
from the book “Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen”
It has been said that the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Tibetan Book of the dead come from the same source of understanding.
We hear a lot about the pain of samsara, and we also hear about liberation. But we don’t hear much about how painful it is to go from being completely stuck to becoming unstuck. The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality, like changing our DNA. We are undoing a pattern that is not just our pattern. It’s the human pattern.
– Pema Chödron
from the book “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
“The ultimate Way is simple and easy, yet profoundly deep. From the beginning it does not set up steps. Penetrate directly through to freedom and make it so that there is not the slightest obstruction at any time, twenty-four hours a day, with the realization pervading in all directions.
Then your heart will be clear, comprehending the present and the past. Picking up a blade of grass, you can use it for the body of Buddha; taking the body of the Buddha, you can use it as a blade of grass. From the first there is no superiority or inferiority, no grasping or rejection.
When your insight penetrates freely and its application is clear, then even in the middle of complexity and complication, you yourself can move freely without sticking or lingering anywhere. Thus, without setting up any rigid views or maintaining any state, respond freely: “when the wind blows, the grasses bend.”
“The Five Houses of Zen”
We are naturally attached to comfort and pleasure and bothered by physical and mental suffering. These innate tendencies lead us to seek out, maintain and try to increase whatever gives us pleasure comfortable clothing, delicious food, agreeable places, sensual pleasure – and to avoid or destroy whatever we find unpleasant or painful. Constantly changing and devoid of any true essence, these sensations rest on the ephemeral association of the mind with the body, and it is useless to be attached to them. Rather than being dragged along and trapped by your perceptions, just let them dissolve as soon as they form, like letters traced on the surface of water with your finger disappearing as you draw them.
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book “The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes