All the teachings of the victorious ones, all the different kinds of teachings given by the Buddha – if we condense them into one point, it is that they are the methods to tame your own mind. They bring peace to a mind that is not peaceful. They clear away the confusion, or bewilderment, in your own mind.
– Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche
from the book “Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”
You will have great difficulty practicing Zen if you regret leaving behind worldly study and pride or if you are attached to some special talent. So, you should return to being a blank page.
If you can pay the price of a very restrictive practice, you will get great freedom.
In the old days there used to be people who would suddenly forget about life and death with just one word from a Zen teacher. Also, there were many people who got enlightenment after three or seven days of practice. However, people these days have very little patience and practice Zen as a sideline. Because of this, people who have practiced for even twenty or thirty years still have not attained Buddhism’s great meaning.
When you eat rice yourself, you feel full. If you don’t practice Zen yourself, even the Buddha and eminent teachers cannot help you.
If you want to practice Zen, first win the battle of the six senses.
– The Teachings of Zen Master Man Gong, p.12
Source: Tame and Guarded | Great Middle Way
Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.
Let the discerning person guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga
If you meditate earnestly, pure in mind and kind in deeds, leading a disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island that no flood can overcome.
– Dhammapada vs.24, 25
Source: Firm | Great Middle Way
July 16, 2017
Just as a storm throws down a weak tree, so does temptation overpower those who live for pleasure, are uncontrolled in their senses, immoderate in eating, indolent, and dissipated.
Just as a storm cannot prevail against a rocky mountain, so temptation can never overpower those who contemplate impurity, are controlled in their senses, moderate in eating, and filled with certainty and earnest effort.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga
Source: Powers | Great Middle Way
June 17, 2017
When a practitioner thoroughly trains and fully develops
Faith, which leads to stilling, which leads to enlightenment;
Effort, which leads to peace, which leads to awakening;
Mindfulness, which leads to harmony, which leads to safety;
Concentration, which leads to rest, which leads to cessation of suffering; and
Wisdom, which leads to ease, which leads to bliss,
Then he becomes well equipped with the five powers.
Source: True Freedom | Great Middle ay
June 13, 2017
“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 winds 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.