|Manifest plainness |
Have few desires
|Riches prick us with a thousand troubles for their
acquistion, as many cares in their preservation, even
more anxiety in their spending, and finally grief with
their loss. |
|We must have a pure, honest, and warm-hearted
motivation, and on top of that, determination, optimism,
hope, and the ability not to be discouraged. The whole
of humanity depends on this motivation. |
|H. H. Dalai Lama
|Be the change you want to see. |
|nothing to be, nothing to do, nothing to have |
The Glorious Scamp
My faith in human
dignity consists in the belief that man is the greatest scamp
onearth. Human dignity must be associated with the idea of a
scamp and not with thatof an obedient, disciplined and
regimented soldier. The scamp is probably the mostglorious
type of human being, as the soldier is the lowest type,
according tothis conception. For things are not so simple as
they sometimes seem. In thispresent age of threats to
democracy and individual liberty, probably only thescamp and
the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from becoming lost
as serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined,
obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be
the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will
be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and
will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization
depends entirely upon him.
The Importance of Living
Words on Loving-Kindness
This is what
should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not
Contented and easily satisfied.
with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm,
and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be
Whatever living beings there may be;
they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the
mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any
Let none through anger or ill-will
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her
So with a boundless heart
cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the
Spreading upwards to the skies,
downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding
to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of
Being freed from all sense desires,
born again into this world.
The wisdom of
contentment opens up to us the possibility of simplicity in
our lives. We are so conditioned to want more, to think that
we will be happier if we accumulate more money or possessions,
more honor, fame, power, sex, and soforth, that we burden
ourselves with acquisitions, both material and psychological.
The underlying rationale of this wanting mind is that
fulfillment will make us happy. If we stop to reflect upon our
situation, we can see that the attitude of wanting more simply
leads to greater craving and frustration.
is not that we too rarely fulfill our desires, but that we so
often do, yet are still left wanting. How many beautiful
sounds, delicious tastes, wonderful sensations, exciting
thoughts, rapturous feelings have we already experienced in
our lives Countless, too many even to remember. But all this
has not yet satisfied the wanting mind. We have a desire,
gratify it, and experience some pleasure, and when conditions
change and the pleasure diminishes or goes away, we find a
return of craving, wanting more, motivated by the same sense
of lack. We try again and again to come to completion, but it
doesn't work; we're never done.
What is it that we
crave Craving is hunger for pleasant feelings. Whether we
crave pleasant sights, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily
sensations, or mental states, what we are after is the feeling
of pleasantness. The difficulty is that even when the pleasant
feelings come, they don't last very long. We go around and
around, looking for permanent satisfaction in phenomena that
in their very nature are impermanent.
A story of
Mullah Nasruddin illustrates this predicament. One night some
of Nasruddin's friends came upon him crawling around on his
hands and knees searching for something beneath a lamppost.
When they asked him what he was looking for, he told them that
he had lost the key to his house. They all got down to help
him look, but without any success. Finally, one of them asked
Nasruddin where exactly he had lost the key. Nasruddin
replied, "In the house."
"Then why," his friends
asked, "are you looking under the lamppost '
replied, "Because there's more light here."
doing the same thing — seeking fulfillment in sense pleasure
because that seems the obvious place to look. It is where
everyone else is looking, believing it to be the place where
happiness is to be found. But a more genuine happiness and
peace lie in contentment and simplicity. We really don't need
very much to be happy. Voluntary simplicity creates the
possibility of tremendous lightness and spaciousness in our
lives. As the forces of craving and acquisitiveness cool down
and we are less driven by impulses of the wanting mind, we
experience a greater and greater peace.
than this being the cause of a withdrawal from the world, it
creates a space in our lives in which we can move and act with
greater strength and integrity. Generosity becomes a more
spontaneous expression of our understanding, giving
open-heartedly of our time, energy,material objects, kindness,
care, and love. In addition to being a wonderful basis for our
relationships with others, the practice of generosity also
helps us to see more clearly into the subtle motives and
attachments in our own behavior.
Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
Seeking the Heart of Wisdom
The Middle Path
Cook Ting was cutting
up an ox for Lord Wen-hui. At every touch of his hand, every
heave of his shoulder, every move of his feet, every thrust of
his knee — zip! zoop! He slithered the knife along with a
zing, and all was in perfect rhythm, as though he were
performing the dance of the Mulberry Grove or keeping time to
tile Ching-shou Music.
“Ah, this is marvelous!” said
Lord Yen-hui. “Imagine skill reaching such heights!”
Cook Ting laid down his knife and replied, “What I
care about is the Way, which goes beyond skill. When I first
began cutting up oxen, all I could see was the ox itself.
After three years I no longer saw the whole ox. And now I go
at it by spirit and don’t look with my eyes.Perception and
understanding have come to a stop and spirit moves where it
wants. I go along with the natural makeup, strike in the big
hollows, guide the knife through the big openings, and follow
things as they are. So I never touch the smallest ligament or
tendon, much less a main joint.
“A good cook changes
his knife once a year — because he cuts. A mediocre cook
changes his knife once a month — because he hacks. I’ve had
this knife of mine for nineteen years and I’ve cut up
thousands of oxen with it, and yet the blade is as good as
though it had just come from the grindstone. There are spaces
between the joints, and the blade of the knife has really no
thickness. If you insert what has no thickness into such
spaces, then there’s plenty of room, more than enough for the
blade to play about it. That’s why after nineteen years the
blade of my knife is still as good as when it first came from
Translated by Burton Watson
Works of Chuang Tzu
If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff
though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout
at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will
And yet again, and begin cursing.
because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat
He would not be shouting, and not be angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river
of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek
to harm you.
|Chuang Tzu |
The Five Wonderful Mindfulness Trainings
1. Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of
life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect
the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am
determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to
condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and
in my way of life.
2. Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social
injustice, stealing, and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving
kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people,
animals, plants and minerals. I vow to practice generosity by
sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who
are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to
possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect
the property of others, but I will prevent others from
profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other
species on Earth.
3. Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I
vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the
safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and
society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations
without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the
happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my
commitments and the commitments of others. I will do
everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse
and to prevent couples and families from being broken by
4. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and
the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving
speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness
to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that
words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to
speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy
and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not
know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of
which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that
can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or
the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile
and resolve all conflicts, however small.
5. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption,
I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for
myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful
eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items
that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my
consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of
my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or
any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that
contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books,
films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or
my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors,
my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to
transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in
society by practicing a diet for myself and society. I
understand that a proper diet is crucial for
self-transformation and for the transformation of society.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The Great Way
The Great Way is not
difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and
hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth
are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then
hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you
like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When
the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's
essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
Pledge of Allegiance
allegiance to the Earth
and to the flora, fauna, and human
that it supports.
One planet, indivisible,
with safe water, air and soil.
With economic justice, equal rights,
and peace for all.
|From where does the impulse to be free originate,|
to whom does the impluse to be free arise?
©2010 Ecozoic. All