Thursday, December 10, 2009

Being One

I thought I'd post something different, some fun mental stimulation. I will periodically be updating my blog with quotations from the Zhuangzi, an esoteric Daoist text from the 3rd century. If you have ever listened to Alan Watts, these ideas may be familiar.. I might also post some quotations from the Bodhicaryavatara, the Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, written by Shantideva in the 7th Century; a Bodhisattva is one whose mind has the ability to transcend their body into Nirvana, but consciously chooses not to, instead utilizing their boundless compassion to delay the final transcendence until ALL living beings have become enlightened.
I am using the free, online, translation available at
and for the Bodhicaryatavatara

When Yang Zi was on his way to the state of Song, he spent a night in a local inn. The inn keeper had two concubines, one beautiful and one ugly. The ugly one was highly valued while the beautiful one was treated like dirt. When Yang Zi asked him why this was so, the young male servant at the inn replied:
"The beautiful one sees herself as beautiful but we don't pay attention to her beauty. The ugly one sees herself as ugly but we don't pay attention to her ugliness."
Yang Zi said:
"Remember this, my disciples: Behave in a virtuous manner, but get rid of any idea that you're behaving virtuously - then where could you go that you wouldn't be loved"
Now some quotes from the Bodhi

Anger destroys all the good conduct, such as generosity and worshipping the Sugatas, which has been acquired over thousands of eons.

It is better that I die today, than have a long, corrupt life. For even after living a long time, I shall have the suffering of death.
One person wakes up after enjoying a hundred years of pleasure in sleep, and another person wakes up after being happy for a moment.
Does happiness return to either once they have awakened? It is the same at the moment of death for one who lives a long time and for one who lives a short time.

Those who wish to protect their practice should zealously guard the mind. The practice cannot be protected without guarding the unsteady mind.
Untamed, mad elephants do not inflict as much harm in this world as does the unleashed elephant of the mind in the Avichi Hell and the like.
But if the elephant of the mind is completely restrained by the rope of mindfulness, then all perils vanish and complete well-being is obtained.

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