Our thoughts and feelings flow like a river. If we try to stop the flow of a river, we will meet the resistance of the water. It is better to flow with it, and then we may be able to guide it in ways we want it to go. We must not attempt to halt it.
Blossoms and leaves are a natural manifestation of plants, and waves are a natural expression of oceans. It is useless to try to repress or stifle them. It is impossible. We can only observe them. Because they exist, we can find their source, which is exactly the same as our own.
Even if you spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in your family, nothing you could buy them can give as much true happiness as your gift of awareness, breathing, and smiling and these precious gifts cost nothing.
The verb buddh in Sanskrit means “to wake up,” and one who wakes up is called a Buddha. A Buddha is a person who is always awake.
Intellect prepares the soil of the mind and sows the seeds there. Until the seeds sprout, intellect can do no more.
Old knowledge is the obstacle of new understanding; Buddhism calls it “the barrier built of knowledge.” Like those who are awakened, great scientists have undergone great internal changes. If they are able to achieve profound realizations, it is because their powers of observation, concentration, and awareness are deeply developed.
Understanding is not an accumulation of knowledge. To the contrary, it is the result of the struggle to become free of knowledge.
One is all, all is one.
The entire universe is ourselves.
Look at the immense light we call the sun. If it stops shining, the flow of our life will also stop, and so the sun is our second heart, our heart outside of our body. This immense “heart” gives all life on earth the warmth necessary for existence.
Unity cannot exist without diversity. Unity is diversity.
The presence of one point of the circle depends on the presence of all the other points. One is all, all is one. Every point of the circle is of equal importance. This is interdependence.
The armor of a scientist is his or her acquired knowledge and system of thought, and it is most difficult to leave that behind. I believe that the scientists with the greatest ability to abandon that “armor” are the ones who have the greatest capacity to make discoveries.
“Existence” means being in the present.
But liberation from birth and death cannot come from intellectual comprehension alone. When you see the interdependent nature of everything in the universe, when you understand the meaning of true emptiness and the miraculousness of existence, you have sown the seeds of liberation in the field of your consciousness. For these seeds to grow we need to practice meditation. Through the practice of meditation, we may become strong enough to break through the concept of birth and death, which is really just one of many, many concepts we create.
Have you meditated on the subject “Who am I?” Who were you before you were born? At the time when there was not the slightest trace of your physical existence, did you exist or not? How can you become something from nothing? If on the day I was conceived my parents had other appointments and were not able to see each other, then who am I now? If that day the egg of my mother was not penetrated by that sperm of my father, but by another sperm of his, then who am I now? Would I be a brother or sister of mine? If that day, my mother did not marry my father, or my father did not marry my mother, but married someone else, then who am I today? Each healthy living cell in your body controls its own activity, but does this mean that each cell has its own self? In the biological classification system, species make up smaller subdivisions of genus. Does each species represent “self?” If such questions are asked with your deepest conviction and intelligence, and if you plant them deeply into your spiritual life with your whole being, one day an unexpected discovery will arise.
Peace con only exist in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say, “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this?” A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.”
Our strength is not in weapons, money, or power. Our strength is in our peace, the peace within us. This peace makes us indestructible. We must have peace while taking care of those we love and those we want to protect.
In any struggle you need determination and patience. This determination will dissipate if you lack peace. Those who lead a life of social action especially need to practice mindfulness during each moment of daily life.
Peace and compassion go hand in hand with understanding and non-discrimination. We choose one thing over another when we discriminate. With the eyes of compassion, we can look at all of living reality at once. A compassionate person sees himself and herself in every being. With the ability to view reality from many viewpoints, we can overcome all viewpoints and act compassionately in each situation. This is the highest meaning of the word “reconciliation.”