The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


Like monkeys

Image result for monkeys in trees

We are like monkeys who dwell in the forest and shit on the very branches from which we hang.

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book “What Makes You Not a Buddhist”
ISBN: 978-1590305706 –

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

No Refuge

Related imageHaving now become animals, your fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends from previous lives tremble with fear in the butcher’s sinful hands, tears streaming from their eyes, and panting for breath. In that state, they wonder what to do. Alas, there is no refuge! There is nowhere to go!

Thinking that, right now in this place, they may be killed, their urgent suffering is great. In such a state, like one approaching a terrifying pit of hellfire, their body is turned upside down, their muzzle is tied up, and their eyes move wildly with lights shining forth. What they see is their stomach being opened up. With their feet perpendicular to the ground, they are set on the path to the next life without even a quiver of compassion.

Jigme Lingpa

Singing Whale Sounds for Meditation

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Thich Nhat Hanh answers the question (6 min)

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? The Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (Thây), buddhist monk and spiritual teacher answers the question.

There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse



There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man, standing alongside the road, shouts, “Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We are always running, and it has become a habit. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war within ourselves, and we can easily start a war with others.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


3 Min Meditation: Slow Life

No Power To Cleanse

Source: No Power To Cleanse | Great Middle Way


May 19, 2017

17992325_420630691644418_7444085101279218524_nBetter than the slaughtering of animals is the sacrifice of self.

Those who offer up their unwholesome desires

will see the uselessness of butchering animals at the altar.

Blood has no power to cleanse,

but the giving up of harmful actions will make the heart whole.

Better than worshipping gods is following the way of goodness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Digha Nikaya

1st Precept

Source: 1st Precept | Great Middle Way

Tashi Nyima

Aug 31, 2016


In the Dhammika Sutta, the Buddha says that ‘not to kill’ means three things:

You do not do it yourself;

you do not get others to do it;

and you do not encourage, condone, applaud, aid, and abet when others do it.  

What more does one need to prove that one cannot observe this precept as long as one buys the flesh of animals slain for our consumption? What encouragement does the meat industry need from us? Except that we buy what they kill –and allow them to reap the profits they get from our purchases?

—Mahinda Palihawadana

Professor Mahinda Palihawada co-authored The Dhammapadaa New English translationwith the Pali Text and the First English translation of the Commentary’s Explanation of the Verses with Notes and Critical Textual Comments, Oxford University Press.

Meditation with Whales and Dolphins

Canadian Buddhist Monks Buy 600 Pounds of Lobsters from Restaurants, Release Them into the Ocean

Source: Canadian Buddhist Monks Buy 600 Pounds of Lobsters from Restaurants, Release Them into the Ocean | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

A group of Buddhist monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, on Prince Edward Island, recently bought around 600 pounds of live lobsters from various restaurants and released them into the ocean.

600 pounds of lucky lobsters were spared the boiling cooking pot last Saturday when Buddhist monks in Little Sands bought as many of them as they could find around Prince Edward island with the purpose of setting them free. Enlightened Dan, of the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, said the purpose of this unique mission was not to challenge people’s dietary options, but merely to send a message of compassion. “We respect everyone’s dietary choice, so we’re not doing this to convert everybody to be vegetarians or vegans,” he said. This whole purpose for us is to cultivate this compassion toward others. It doesn’t have to be lobsters, it can be worms, flies, any animals, drive slower so we don’t run over little critters on the street.”


Photo: Jessica Doria-Brown / CBC / Twitter

After securing the lobsters and putting them on ice in plastic crates, the monks boarded a fishing boat and headed off the coast of Wood Islands to release them back into the ocean, where they belong. “Hopefully, we can find a spot where there are no cages waiting for them,” Dan told CBC. Before throwing them into the water, the Buddhists held a 20-minute ceremony with a prayer and chant to the Buddha of compassion.

If your loved ones were in this situation, what would they like you to do?” Enlightened Dan said. “To give them a helping hand and put them back to where they feel comfortable and we believe if everybody’s able to do that, it will become a better place, a more harmonic place.” He added that the local community and even the fishermen were very supportive of their actions. In fact, it was the fishermen who helped them find a better spot to release the lobsters, so they wouldn’t be captured again.


Photo: Jessica Doria-Brown / CBC / Twitter

The Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society has been on Prince Edward island for eight years. Every year, Buddhist monks travel here from all around Asia to study in their monastery.

Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min)

Source: Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min) | Talesfromthelou

Man and nature are connected in a fragile web of life

“Man and nature are connected in a fragile web of life. We must pay attention to the world around us and respect it. The human family is just one voice in a global chorus of many. We have the great gift of choice, to destroy or repair…”

—Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Spiritual Ecology

Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings

migrating-birds1Contributed by Vasu Murti

Oct 13 2015

“They [Bodhisattvas] should not be closely associated with… persons engaged in raising pigs, sheep, chickens or dogs, or of those who engage in hunting or fishing or other evil activities.”
(The Lotus Sutra, translation by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, New York, 1993, p. 197)

“Also he [the Bodhisattva] must not associate with slaughterers or flesh-carvers, those who hunt animals or catch fish, or kill or do harm for profit. Those who peddle meat for a living or display women and sell their favors – all persons such as this one should never associate with.”
(Lotus Sutra, p. 199)

The Buddha Utterly Condemns Meat-Eating.
The primary objection to eating animals is that it involves the killing of those creatures. Non-killing is the minimum that can be expected of an aspirant Bodhisattva and is the very first of the Buddhist precepts or prohibitions. The Buddha states in the Brahmajala Sutra:
“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself kill, willfully cause another to kill, encourage someone to kill, extol killing, take pleasure seeing killing take place, deliberately wish someone dead, intentionally cause death, supply the instruments or the means for killing, cut off a life even when sanctioned by law, that is, participate in any way in killing, you are committing a serious offense warranting exclusion from the sangha (association or community).
“Pray, do not intentionally kill anything whatsoever which has life. As a Bodhisattva, awaken within yourself a heart that is unending in its mercy and compassion, respect and dutifulness, and use your skillful means to help and protect all sentient beings.”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, pp. 127-28)

heron-3“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself willingly and knowingly eat flesh, you defile yourself… Pray, let us not eat any flesh or meat whatsoever coming from living beings. Anyone who eats flesh is cutting himself off from the great seed of his own merciful and compassionate nature, for which all sentient beings will reject him and flee from him when they see him acting so. This is why all Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings. Someone who eats flesh is defiling himself beyond measure…”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, p. 138)

The fascinating Lankavatara Sutra is perhaps the most insistent of all the Buddhist scriptures that meat-eating is to be condemned. There is a whole chapter (Chapter Eight) in the Lankavatara devoted to this subject:
“…wherever there are living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are [one’s] child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, meat is to be avoided by him. Even in exceptional cases, it is not of a Bodhisattva of good standing to eat meat…
“For fear of causing terror to living beings… let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh… let the Bodhisattva, who is disciplining himself to abide in great compassion, because of its terrifying living beings, refrain from eating meat…
“…let the Bodhisattva, whose nature is pity and who regards all beings as his only child…refrain from eating meat…”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, pp. 212-216)

zf road 4The Buddha was well aware that by sponsoring the meat-trade through eating meat we are implicated in the killing of animals. He says in the Lankavatara Sutra:
“If meat is not eaten by anybody, there will be no destroyer of life.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217)

The Buddha firmly states that he does not permit any meat-eating, nor will he at any time in the future:
“It is not true that meat is proper food and permissible when [the animal] was not killed by himself, when he did not order others to kill it, when it was not specifically meant for him…there may be some unwitted people in the future time, who… under the influence of the thirst for [meat]-taste, they will string together in various ways some sophistic arguments to defend meat-eating… meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217-219)

An exchange between one of the Buddha’s disciples, Kasyapa, and the Buddha found in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
“O World-honoured One! Why is it that the Tathagata [the Buddha] does not allow us to take flesh?”
“O good man! One who takes flesh kills the seed of great compassion.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 91)

One of the pre-eminent aims of Buddhism is to purify one’s heart. It is evident from the above words that by eating or advocating meat one is forsaking what is pure and committing a crime against Dharma. From a Buddhist point of view, that is a most serious offense…when Kasyapa asks what a Buddhist should do if offered a meal which contains meat. Is it permissible to eat such a meal and yet remain pure? Kasyapa wonders. The Buddha’s reply is unambiguous:
“Use water, wash off the meat [from the plate], and then take it [the rest of the meal]… If one sees that there is much meat, one must not accept such a meal. One must never take the meat itself. One who takes it infringes the rule. I now set this rule of segregating one’s own self from taking meat.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 94)

SAM_1722The Buddhist precepts for moral living include prohibitions not to slander others nor drink alcohol. The Buddha himself refers to the vinaya [monastic] rules in the sutras of Mahayana Buddhism.
Some Buddhists have argued that a monk should accept and eat whatever food is offered – but this is clearly rejected by the Buddha here, who states that if there is a lot of meat on a preferred dish, the whole meal should be refused. And if there is only a small amount of meat with the rest of the food – then the meat must be washed clean away before the other food can be touched. It could not be more apparent how defiling and impure meat was in the Buddha’s eyes.
Not only meat is prohibited by the Buddha, but likewise the keeping of animals or the attending of animal ‘shows’ or fights. Speaking of what is not permissible for his brethren (and nuns), he says:
“One does not keep the elephant, horse, vehicle, cow, sheep, camel, donkey, hen, dog, monkey, peacock, parrot… jackal, wolf, cat, raccoon, dog, wild boar, and pig… nor does he enjoy himself looking at the fights of elephants, horses, vehicles, soldiers, men, women, cows, sheep, cocks, pheasants, parrots, etc. He does not look at— the fights of lions and elephants… and all kind of amusements.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, pp. 284-85)

Circle of compassion

Source: Tao & Zen – Timeline Photos

Inspiring Elephant Orphan Story

Tao & Zen

 “Daphne Sheldrick has dedicated her life to raising orphaned elephants. Once they are old enough, they are taken to protected areas and integrated with other orphan groups. When Daphne visits, the elephants gather around her for a hug.”~Rob Gerardi
“To be a baby elephant must be wonderful. Surrounded by a loving family 24 hours a day. Touched by the family, cuddled and comforted. A tremendous love and compassion exuded by every family member. I think it must be how it ought to be, in a perfect world.”~Daphne Sheldrick
Elephant Orphans… Wisdom of the Wild

Bodhichitta the Elephant Moved to Tears by Mantras

Bodhichitta the Elephant Moved to Tears by Mantras – FPMT.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing another elephant in Bodhgaya, India, 2012. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Since 2011 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, has been covering the cost of food for a large elephant Rinpoche named “Bodhichitta” who lives in Bodhgayga, India. Rinpoche gave one condition to the owner of this elephant: He must circumambulate the elephant regularly around the Bodhgaya Stupa or the holy objects at Root Institute. This, of course, is to help the elephant create merit and ultimately bring to enlightenment.

Full story here:

Bodhichitta the Elephant Moved to Tears by Mantras – FPMT.

Zen Goats

How enlightened are you?

If you can live without caffeine,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining,
If you can understand when your loved ones
are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education
and never correct him or her,
If you can resist treating a rich friend
better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can honestly say that deep in your heart
you have no prejudice against creed, color,
religion, gender preference, or politics,
– Then you have almost reached the same
level of spiritual development as your dog!

~ Unknown ~

Eons of time

Is that what is meant by eons and eons of time ?

Researchers have discovered the oldest known ape and old world monkey fossil in a riverbed in Tanzania. The fossils are approximately 25 million years old, and until now we knew little about this period of primate evolution. The finding sheds light on the divergence of old world monkeys and apes.

Zen Seal

Spinning Seal – YouTube.

Does the seal have Buddha nature ?

Three Purities & Pig’s Delight

“Three Purities” & “Pig’s Delight” | Great Middle Way.

Posted on January 10, 2013

golden-buddhaIn an attempt to justify their appetite for the flesh of animals, some individuals allege that the Buddha permitted the consumption of meat under three conditions, and that the Buddha himself ate pork. These are patently specious claims. 

The Pali text of the Jivaka Sutta, the source of the infamous ‘three purities’ argument, states: 

I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be eaten:

when it is seen, heard, or suspected.

I say that meat should not be eaten in those three instances.  

I say that there are three instances in which meat may be eaten:

when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected.

I say that meat may be eaten in these three instances.  

Clearly, the Buddha is stipulating here that if a monk inadvertently consumes meat that has been placed in his begging bowl, he is not at fault. His action is pure. However, if he sees, hears, or even suspects that there is meat in his bowl, he must not eat it.  

Later commentators gratuitously inserted the phrase [that the living being has been slaughtered for oneself] after each iteration of the word ‘suspected’. The phrase does not appear in the Pali text. It is a spurious addition, making it seem as if the Buddha allowed his monks to eat meat when the animal was not expressly killed to feed them, or at least when they did not see, hear, or suspect it.  

This interpolation is linguistically unwarranted. More importantly, it contradicts the unequivocal teaching of the Buddha on the matter. The Buddha gives extensive arguments against meat-eating in the Angulimaliya Sutra, Nirvana Sutra, Karma Sutra, Shurangama Sutra, Mahamegha Sutra, Lankavatara Sutra, Maha Parinirvana Sutra, and others.  

In the Brahmajala Sutra, the Buddha Shakyamuni clearly exhorts his followers to adopt veganism:  

Monks, should you willingly and knowingly eat flesh, you defile yourselves.

Pray, let us not consume any flesh or whatsoever comes from sentient beings.  

Perhaps the most infamous of all revisionist interpretations is the one claiming that the Buddha died from eating contaminated pork. The term used in the (Pali) Mahaparinibbana Sutta to describe the dish that was served to the Buddha at his last meal is sukara-maddava, which literally means ‘pig’s delight’—a clear reference to truffles, a type of mushroom that pigs are keen to eat. The Pali term for pig meat is sukara-mamsa.  

Carolyn Rhys-Davies, who served from 1923 to 1942 as president of the Pali Text Society, clearly noted the discrepancy more than seven decades ago, but proponents of carnivorism still trot out this fallacy today. Unless one is grossly ignorant of the Pali language, or is willfully misleading others, it is impossible to assert that ‘pigs delight’ means ‘delicious pork’, as if the Buddha had ordered a fancy dish at a modern Chinese restaurant.  

In the Dhammapada, the Buddha says: 

All beings tremble before danger; all fear death.

When we consider this, we do not kill or cause to kill.

All beings tremble before danger; life is dear to all.

When we consider this, we do not kill or cause to kill. 

All beings means all beings, not just humans.

Elephant meets sea lion

The Top 100 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2012 «TwistedSifter.

No words needed. Consciousness is consciousness.