At that moment, the monk had a great realization. He understood that the anger was within him; it merely needed the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him. From then on, whenever he came across someone who irritated him or provoked him to anger, he would remind himself, that the other person was merely an empty boat, the anger was within him.
[Photo: National Geographic]
every moment is the timeless and infinite,
as the sages throughout the ages sing out in a single chorus!
What keeps us, keeps me, from experiencing
and singing it out right now?
I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color, something which exists before all forms and colors appear. That is a very important point. No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea. You strive for a perfect faith in order to protect yourself.
– Shunryu Suzuki
from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”
With thanks to Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition
When someone insults us, we usually dwell on it, asking ourselves, ‘Why did he say that to me?’ and on and on. It’s as if someone shoots an arrow at us, but it falls short. Focusing on the problem is like picking up the arrow and repeatedly stabbing ourselves with it, saying, ‘He hurt me so much. I can’t believe he did that.’ Instead, we can use the method of contemplation to think things through differently, to change our habit of reacting with anger. Imagine that someone insults you. Say to yourself, ‘This person makes me angry. But what is this anger?’ It is one of the poisons of the mind that creates negative karma, leading to intense suffering. Meeting anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. Do I have to go likewise? While it’s crazy for him to act the way he does, it’s even crazier for me to do the same.
– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
quoted in the book “Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
The purpose of practicing Zen meditation is to awaken to the Mind. Such practice does not involve just sitting quietly and trying to calm and pacify the mind. Nor does it entail contemplating the breath.
Instead, it involves a direct inquiry into a hwadu (Koan). An example of a hwadu would be a question such as “What is this?” or What is this mind?”
What you are searching for can be called by many different names: mind, spirit, soul, true nature, and so forth. But such designations are merely labels. You should put aside all of these names and reflect on the fact that the true master of the body is more than just the label “mind.”
The master of the body is not the Buddha, for it is not yet awakened. Nor is it anything material, because it cannot be physically given away or received. Nor is it simply empty space, for empty space cannot pose questions, or have knowledge of good and evil.
Hence there is a master who rules this body who is neither the label “mind,” the Buddha, a material thing nor empty space. Having negated these four possibilities, a question will arise as to what this master really is.
If you continue inquiring in this way, the questioning will become more intense. Finally, when the mass of questioning enlarges to a critical point, it will suddenly burst. The entire universe will be shattered and only your original nature will appear before you. In this way, you will awaken.
Zen Master Kusan Sunim, ‘The Way of Korean Zen’
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate.
– Ajahn Chah
from the book “A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
When the degenerate age of this aeon arrives,
people are their own deceivers, their own bad counsel,
the makers of their own stupidity, lying to and fooling themselves.
How sad that these people have human forms but possess no more sense than an ox!
from the book “Advice from the Lotus-Born”
With thanks to