The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


If everyone practiced the Dhamma, nothing could be done in the world, and there’d be no progress?

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Some people come and ask me whether a person who’s come to realize impermanence, suffering and non-self would want to give up doing things altogether and become lazy. I tell them that’s not so. On the contrary, one becomes more diligent, but does things without attachment, performing only actions that are beneficial.

And then they say, “If everyone practiced the Dhamma, nothing could be done in the world, and there’d be no progress. If everyone became enlightened, nobody would have children, and humanity would become extinct.” But this is like an earthworm worrying that it would run out of dirt, isn’t it?

~ Ajahn Chah

Be gentle in judging yourself

We should be quite gentle in judging ourselves and remember that the habits we are fighting against come from beginningless time and are very strong. So from time to time there will be some backsliding — though in the long run there is progress and improvement. Furthermore, remember that even having entered the gate of the Dharma, having the intention to reduce our disturbing emotions, or being concerned about disturbing emotions is amazing because most people involved in samsara never even think about this.

– Thrangu Rinpoche

from the book “Luminous Clarity: A Commentary on Karma Chagme’s Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

Do what is right

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“Do what is right. Live in your heart. Seek the highest consciousness. Let go of winning and losing. Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of the way.”

The Dhammapada

Song of Samsara

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 When you are young and vigorous

You never think of old age coming,
But it approaches slow and sure
Like a seed growing underground.
When you are strong and healthy
You never think of sickness coming,
But it descends with sudden force
Like a stroke of lightning.
When involved in worldly things
You never think of death’s approach.
Quick it comes like thunder
Crashing round your head.
Sickness, old age and death
Ever meet each other
As do hands and mouth.
Waiting for his prey in ambush,
Yama is ready for his victim,
When disaster catches him.
Sparrows fly in single file. Like them,
Life, Death and Bardo follow one another.
Never apart from you
Are these three ‘visitors’.
Thus thinking, fear you not
Your sinful deeds?
Like strong arrows in ambush waiting,
Rebirth in Hell, as Hungry Ghost, or Beast
Is (the destiny) waiting to catch you.
If once into their traps you fall,
Hard will you find it to escape.
Do you not fear the miseries
You experienced in the past?
Surely you will feel much pain
If misfortunes attack you?
The woes of life succeed one another
Like the sea’s incessant waves
One has barely passed, before
The next one takes its place.
Until you are liberated, pain
and pleasure come and go at random
Like passers-by encountered in the street.
Pleasures are precarious,
Like bathing in the sun;
Transient, too, as snowstorms
Which come without warning.
Remembering these things,
Why not practice the Dharma?

– Milarepa

from the book “The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Vol. 2”

Everyday actions and dharma

Image may contain: one or more peopleThose who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma.

– Dogen Zenji

quoted in the book “Teachers of Wisdom”

At least until you die

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If we continue to practice this way over the months and years, we will feel our hearts and minds grow bigger. When people ask me how long this will take, I say, ‘At least until you die.

– Pema Chödron
from the book “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times”

Everyday actions and dharma

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Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma.

– Dogen Zenji

The country of Dharma

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My father is wisdom and my mother is voidness.
My country is the country of Dharma.
I am of no caste and no creed.
I am sustained by perplexity;
And I am here to destroy lust, anger and sloth.

– Padmasambhava

Just Dharma Quotes


Passionlessness is what enables you to practice the Dharma and to quiet your body, speech, and mind. It is related to the development of fearlessness and egolessness. The idea of self-existence, or ego, creates tremendous self-hatred, which automatically projects out to others. In contrast, when there is kindness to oneself and others, this automatically creates a quality of workability. It creates immense space or emptiness.

– Chögyam Trungpa

Whatever occurs is part of the learning process


This aspect of taking refuge is particularly applicable in America, where it is quite fashionable to blame everything on others and to feel that all kinds of elements in one’s relationships or surroundings are unhealthy or polluted.

We react with resentment.

But once we begin to do that, there is no way. The world becomes divided into two sections: sacred and profane, or that which is good and proper and that which is regarded as a bad job or a necessary evil. Taking refuge in the Dharma, taking passionless approach, means that all life is regarded as a fertile situation and a learning situation, always.

Whatever occurs—is part of the learning process. So there is nothing to blame; everything is the path, everything is Dharma.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
~ The Heart of the Buddha


26231500_1068272843324451_8867248289443846923_n“I didn’t want to think it.” “I didn’t mean to say it.” “I didn’t intend to do it.” How many times have we said these or similar words to ourselves or others? When we entertain unwelcome thoughts, utter words that should remain unspoken, or do what should be left undone, we have allowed our wrong views and afflicted emotions to drag us into committing unskillful acts.

When we act (in thought, word, or deed) impelled by attachment, aversion, or indifference, we are living by karma. We are slaves to physical, emotional, and mental tendencies that are, in turn, the product of our previous acts. We are indentured to the past. We are not actors, but re-actors, constantly forced by external circumstances to conduct ourselves in ways we may come to regret.

Some are of the opinion that making Vows restricts or negates freedom. However, the ‘freedom’ to be bound by desire, to be led here and there by the dictates of body and mind, is not freedom at all. It is abject submission to mere mood, habit, and circumstance.

The Bodhisattvas, on the way to enlightenment, refuse to succumb to the sway of karma. Bodhisattvas are guided by Vows: the intentional adoption of guidelines that align us with the Dharma and advance our spiritual cultivation.

To live by Vow —to decide for ourselves what thoughts we will entertain, what words we will speak, and what deeds we will perform— that is true freedom.

Nothing ever goes away

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Tao & Zen

Dalai Lama: There is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist

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“Buddhist terrorist. Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong,” he said. “Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam.”

“All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline – all religious traditions”.

Source: Dalai Lama: There is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist | The Independent

Just as the honey is not sweetness, The words of Wu Hsin are not The truth

With thanks to Yvon at

Source: Pointers to Non-Duality | Teacher as Transformer

When I am mindful and present to the world in its past, present, and future moments the text I live comes to life with new meaning:


Just as the honey is not sweetness,

The words of Wu Hsin are not

The truth.

However, time spent with these words is like

The aftermath of rain.

In due course, a sprouting of

Understanding will occur and

Will bear fruit at a pace

Outside of one’s control.

The Chain

Source: The Chain | Great Middle Way


Aug 7, 2017

stone_buddha_faceBecause one thing is, another one arises;

because this is born, that is born.

Conditioned by ignorance,

karmic formations come into being.

Conditioned by karmic formations,

consciousness comes into being.

Conditioned by consciousness, name and form come into being.

Conditioned by name and form, the six sources of perception come into being.

Conditioned by the six sources of perception, contact comes into being.

Conditioned by contact, feeling comes into being.

Conditioned by feeling, craving comes into being.

Conditioned by craving, grasping comes into being.

Conditioned by grasping, existence comes into being.

Conditioned by existence, birth comes into being.

Conditioned by birth, aging and death come into being,

as well as misery, lamentation, pain, unhappiness, and agitation.

That is how this great heap of suffering comes into being.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Āryamaitreyaparipcchādharmāṣṭanāma mahāyāna sūtra

Present! – Talks of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (26 min)

Mel Van Dusen presents the talks of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

A perversion of the Dharma

Source: A perversion of the Dharma | Great Middle Way

July 8, 2017

339a2e7eaf350a41cfbb325ca30631aa--buddhist-teachings-buddhist-artThe Buddha said time and again in the sutras: “My followers should give up all evil actions that directly or indirectly injure others.”

One may disregard his words; one may consciously lead others to commit evil in provisioning oneself with meat.

One may think, “There are always skillful means in the sutras and tantras that counteract the evil so that I shall still be pure of stain.”

And one can let oneself off the hook by telling oneself that there are substances to be placed into the animals’ mouths and words that can be whispered in their ears and impressed upon their minds so that they will not remain in the lower realms.

But to do this reveals a complete failure to grasp the meaning of the Buddha’s teaching. It is a perversion of the Dharma.

—Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol


Source: Meditate! | Great Middle Way

June 19, 2017

13327396_1727813734174722_8594400825495450700_nThe perfect teaching of the Buddha is not accomplished through mere study.

Dharma without meditation is like dying of thirst while being helplessly carried away by a great river.

Dharma without meditation is like supplying many beings with food and drink, and starving oneself to death.

Dharma without meditation is like dying of a stomach ailment while possessing all the specific remedies.

Dharma without meditation is like counting huge numbers of jewels in treasure stores, without obtaining even one for oneself.

Dharma without meditation is like being born in the court of a royal palace, surrounded by pleasures, without getting any food or drink.

Dharma without meditation is like being a blind artist who paints a picture in the middle of a crowded market, unable to see it oneself.

Dharma without meditation is like being a boatman who takes many people safely across a big lake in which one drowns.

Dharma without meditation is like announcing at a crossroads all the most wonderful things without obtaining any for oneself.

―Flower Arrayed Tree Sutra


How to practice

“Practice until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. Continue until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being. If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Gradual Path

Source: Gradual Path | Great Middle Way

13315647_785585071540970_3275537272969222050_nI do not say that the attainment of wisdom is all at once. Rather, the attainment of wisdom is after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice. And how is there the attainment of wisdom after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice?

There is the case where, when conviction has arisen, one visits a teacher. Having visited, one grows close. Having grown close, one lends ear. Having lent ear, one hears the Dharma. Having heard the Dharma, one remembers it. Remembering, one penetrates the meaning of the teachings.

Penetrating the meaning, one comes to an agreement through pondering the teachings. There being an agreement through pondering the teachings, desire arises. When desire has arisen, one is willing to practice. When one is willing, one contemplates the consequences. Having contemplated, one makes an exertion.

Having made an exertion, one realizes in this body the ultimate truth and, having penetrated it with discernment, sees it.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Kitagiri Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya

Freeing ourselves from this prison of separateness


 All dharmas agree at one point” is saying that if pain arises, we can instead look out and think bigger.

It can be acknowledged pain and it can become the basis of empathy. Then this is shaking up or freeing ourselves from this prison of separateness, which causes us so much pain and limits our world so much to our own hopes and fears or to those people very close to us.

So it’s opening up our world, making it suddenly feel that we live in a much bigger world and we feel much more at home in this body and in this world.

From “Be Grateful to Everyone” by Pema Chödrön,

Using the mind to seek the Dharma



When people of the world hear it said that the Buddhas transmit the Doctrine of the Mind, they suppose that there is something to be attained or realized apart from Mind; thereupon they use not knowing that Mind and the object of their search are one.

Huang po

~ artist: Liao Pei — with Luna Estela and Alfonso Aldunate Salazar.

Source: (28) Zen, Tao, Chan

The Dharma Is A Wheel

Source: The Dharma Is A Wheel | Great Middle Way

RuedaTibWhen we first hear the teachings of the Buddha, if they strike us as reasonable, we accept the validity of the Noble Eightfold Path conceptually, and may begin to practice its components: Right View, Thought, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration.

Once we make some advancement in the cultivation of the Path, we notice its efficacy, and realize the reason why it is represented as a Wheel —its eight components not only support each other interdependently, but also gradually transform our initial conceptual approach into the direct experience of enlightenment.

Thus, Right Concentration —the “last” component— leads to a Right View that is lived and experienced directly. We no longer merely conceptually accept the Four Noble Truths, but rather see clearly the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path leading to the end of suffering.

Not only do we understand that Right Thought, Speech, Conduct, and Livelihood are necessary and beneficial, but rather we cultivate them spontaneously. Right Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration are no longer disciplines that we adopt provisionally, but rather become the essential foundation of our spiritual experience.


Source: Definition | Great Middle Way









Dharma practitioners are not defined

by how  well we tolerate suffering,

but rather by what we learn from it,

and how we utilize that knowledge

to reduce harm to ourselves and others.

—Tashi Norbu Rinpoche