Showing posts with label Buddhist Question and Answer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddhist Question and Answer. Show all posts

Monday, 9 April 2018

A Collection Of Quotes From Thich Nhat Hanh That Will Uplift Your Soul

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen Master and global spiritual leader, peace activist and poet , known worldwide for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.

His greatest teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can be taught to live happily in the present moment and be at peace with oneself and with the world around us.
Here is a collection of some of his quotes that will not only teach you mindfulness in the simple things in life, but that will also bring peace to your soul.
• “There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.”
• “Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Each step makes a flower bloom. Kiss the earth with your feet. Bring the earth your love and happiness. The earth will be safe When we feel safe in ourselves.”
• “When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.”
• “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
• “Sometimes we speak clumsily and create internal knots in others. Then we say, ‘I was just telling the truth.’ It may be the truth, but if our way of speaking causes unnecessary suffering, it is not. Right Speech. The truth must be presented in ways that others can accept. Words that damage or destroy are not Right Speech. Before you speak, understand the person you are speaking to. Consider each word carefully before
you say anything, so that your speech is ‘Right’ in both form and content.”
• “Insight brings love, and love is not possible without insight, understanding. If you do not understand, you cannot love. This insight is direct understanding, and not just a few notions and ideas. In meditation we allow ourselves to be shined on by the light of that insight."
• “Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something, just as anger is always anger at something. When you drink a glass of water and are aware that you are drinking a glass of water, that is mindfulness of drinking water. In this case, we produce mindfulness of anger. “Breathing in, I know I am angry. Breathing out, I know that anger is in me.” First, the energy of anger arises, and second, the energy of mindfulness arises. The second energy embraces the first in order to soothe it and allow it to subside.”
• “When you are angry, close your eyes and ears and return to yourself in order to quell the flames. Smile, even if it takes effort. Smiling relaxes hundreds of tiny muscles, making your face more attractive. Sit wherever you are and look deeply. If your concentration is not yet strong, you can go outside and practice walking meditation. Most essential is to water the seed of mindfulness and allow it to arise in your mind consciousness.”
• “The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”
• “Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”
• “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
• “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” 
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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

25 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Buddha

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” 
~ Buddha

There are so many beautiful, powerful and life changing lessons I have learned from studying Buddhism and from reading many of Buddha’s quotes. And today I want to share 25 of these beautiful lessons with you.

Here are 25 Life Changing Lessons from Buddha:

1. Love heals all things.

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” ~ Buddha

2. It’s not what you say but what you do that defines you.

“A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.” ~ Buddha
“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

3. The secret of good health is to live fully in the NOW.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

4. Who looks inside awakens.

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” ~ Buddha

5. Words have the power to both hurt and heal.

“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” ~ Buddha

6. Let it go and it will be yours forever.

“You only lose what you cling to.”

7. No one can walk your path for you.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Buddha

8. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

9. Be kind to all.

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.” ~ Buddha
“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”
“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

10. Don’t believe everything you are told to believe.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~ Buddha

11. As you THINK so shall you be

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”

12. Let go of fear.

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”

13. The truth has a way of always leaking out.

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

14. Control your mind or it will control you.

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

15. Doubt separates. Trust unites.

“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

16. Nobody is more deserving of your love than you yourself are.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

17. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

18. Spirituality isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”

19. Replace jealousy with admiration.

“Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.”

20. Look for peace within yourself.

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

21. Let go of attachment.

“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

22. Choose your friends wisely.

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

23. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

24. Give up labels.

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

25. Love. Live. Let go.

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”
~love, Luminita💫
** What is your favorite quote from Buddha? What is one lesson you have learned from this incredible man? You can share your comment in the comment section below 
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Friday, 16 February 2018

What Exactly Is Nirvana?

“One thing and only one thing do I teach, suffering and the cessation of suffering” – Buddha
‘Nirvana’ is one of the most widely used Buddhist words in the world. And while many in the east have a pretty good grasp on what it means, most people in the west have little to no idea what it means at all.
In fact, they largely think it’s the name of the 90’s grunge band! Fantastic band…but…no. Nirvana is the central tenet of Buddhism, the ‘hub’ that holds this powerful and ancient philosophy together.

Liberation

In his first sermon after his enlightenment, the Buddha preached the Four Noble Truths. Very basically, the Truths explain why life stresses and disappoints us, and why we are stuck and struggling like a ‘flame stuck to fuel’. The Buddha also gave us the remedy, and the path to liberation, which is the Eightfold Path.
Nirvana, then, is liberation; it’s the removal of the flame (our essence) from the fuel source (suffering).
But liberation from what?
The answer is “samsara,” which usually is defined as the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This is the endless cycle of suffering we are all consciously or unconsciously trying to move away from. Buddha’s teachings are not so much a belief system as it is a practice that enables us to stop hitting the walls of a confined existence.

What Happens Next?

So, once we’re liberated, what happens next? First and foremost, Buddha never defined nirvana as a place; rather, it’s a state of existence.
What Exactly Is Nirvana?

Buddha also said that anything we might say or imagine about nirvana will be wrong because it is so completely different from our ordinary existence. For this reason, it also defies definition, because language is inadequate to define it. Nirvana is beyond space, time, and definition. Pretty crazy right???
The Theravadin scholar Thanissaro Bhikkhu said, “… neither samsara nor nirvana is a place. Samsara is a process of creating places, even whole worlds, (this is called becoming) and then wandering through them (this is called birth). Nirvana is the end of this process.”
So in other words, it’s a return to our natural state of being.

How do We get There?

The path laid out by Buddha is relatively simple, but profound. By following the Eightfold Path with deep meditation, nirvana can come to you while living. This is the promise of Buddha’s teachings.
And while the path isn’t necessarily easy, it’s certainly rewarding — not just for yourself, but others as well.

source and courtesy: sivanaspirit.com
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Thursday, 15 February 2018

WHY GOD CANNOT EXIST

We have seen that the arguments used to prove God's existence are inadequate. We will now demonstrate that logically an all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God such as the one in which Christians have faith cannot exist.

The Problem of Free Will

For the religious life to be meaningful we must have free will, we must be able to choose between good and evil. If we do not have free will we cannot be held responsible for what we do.

According to Christians, God is all-knowing - he knows all the past, all the present and all the future. If this is so, then God must know everything we do long before we do it. This means that our whole life must be predetermined and that we act not according to the free exercise of our wills but according to our predetermined natures. If we are predetermined to be good we will be good and if we are predetermined to be evil we will be evil. We will act not according to our will or choice but according to the way God has already foreseen we will act. Although Christians will insist that we do have free will, God's omniscience simply makes this logically impossible. And that people will act only as God determines is verified in the Bible (e.g. 2 Thess 2:11-12; Rom 9:19-21; Rom 9:18).

If people are evil it is because God has chosen to make them evil (Rom 1:24-28) and caused them to disobey him (Rom 11:32). If they do not understand God's message it is because he has made their minds dull (Rom 11:8) and caused them to be stubborn (Rom 9:18). God prevents the Gospel from being preached in certain areas (Act 16:6-7) and he fixes long before it will happen when a person will be born and when he or she will die (Act 17:26). Those who were going to be saved were chosen by God before the beginning of time (II Tim 1:9). If a person has faith and is thereby saved, their faith comes from God, not from any effort on their part (Eph 2:9-10). One may ask "If a person can only do what God predetermines them to do, how can God hold them responsible for their actions?" The Bible has an answer for this question.
But one of you will say to me: "If this is so, how can God find fault with anyone? For who can resist God's will?" But who are you, my friend, to answer God back? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it: "Why did you make me like this?" After all, the man who makes the pot has the right to use the clay as he wishes, and to make two pots from one lump of clay, one for special occasions and one for ordinary use. And the same is true of what God has done (Rom 9:19-22).
So apparently in Christianity a person's life and destiny are due purely to the whim of God and as mere humans we have no right to complain about what God has decided for us. The idea that we are all predetermined is quite consistent with the idea of an all-knowing God but it makes nonsense of the concept of making an effort to do good or avoid evil.

The Problem of Evil

Perhaps the most potent argument against the existence of an all-powerful, all-loving God is the undeniable fact that there is so much pain and suffering in the world. If there is really a God of love who has unlimited power, why doesn't he put an end to all evil? Christians try to answer this question in several ways.

Firstly, they will say that evil is caused by man not God and that if only man would follow God's commandments there would be no pain, evil or suffering. However, while it is true that evils such as war, rape, murder and exploitation can be blamed on humans, they can hardly be blamed for the millions who die each year in earthquakes, floods, epidemics and accidents, all of which are natural events. In fact, according to the Bible, the germs that cause hideous diseases like TB, polio, cholera, leprosy etc. and all the misery, deformity and suffering to which they give rise, were created by God before he created man (Gen. 1:11-12).

Another way Christians will try to explain away evil is to say that it is God's punishment for those who do not follow his commandments. However this implies that terrible things happen only to bad people, which is certainly not true. We often hear of painful sickness or disasters befalling good people including good Christians, and likewise we often hear of really bad people who seem to have nothing but good fortune and success. So it cannot be said that suffering and evil are God's way of punishing sinners.

Next, Christians will say that God allows evil to exist in the world because he wants to give us the freedom to choose good over evil and thereby earn salvation. Evil, they will say, exists to test us. At first this seems to be a good explanation. If a man sees someone being beaten up by a bully he has a choice between turning away (doing wrong) or deciding to help the victim (doing right). If he decides to help then he has been tested and found good. However, as we have seen before, an all-knowing God must already know what choices a person will make so what is the point of testing us? Also, even if suffering and evil exist in the world to test us, couldn't an all-loving God think of a less cruel and less painful way to do this? It seems unloving and unfair to allow pain to be inflicted on one person so that another person can have the opportunity to choose between good and evil.

Some Christians will try to free God from responsibility for evil by saying that it is not created by God but by the Devil. This may be true but again if God is so loving why doesn't he simply prevent the Devil from doing this? In any case, who created the Devil in the first place? Surely it was God.
By this stage the Christian will start to get a bit desperate, shifting the argument from logic to pragmatism. He will say that even though there is suffering in the world we can use it as an opportunity to develop courage and patience. This is undoubtedly true but it still does not explain why an all-loving God allows babies to die of cancer, innocent bystanders to be killed in accidents, and leprosy victims to suffer deformity and pain. In fact the existence of so much unnecessary pain, misery and evil in the world is very strong evidence that there is no all-loving all-powerful God.

Why Create?

Christians claim that God is perfect, that he is complete in every way, but if God really did create the universe this would prove that he was not perfect. Let us examine why.

Before God created the universe there was nothing - no sun, no earth, no people, no good or evil, no pain - nothing but God who was, according to Christians, perfect. So if God was perfect and nothing but perfection existed, what motivated God to create the universe and thus bring imperfection into being? Was it because he was bored and wanted something to do? Was it because he was lonely and wanted someone to pray to him?

Christians will say that God created everything because of his love of man, but this is impossible. God could not love humans before he created them any more than a woman could love her children before she had conceived them. God's need to create indicates that he was dissatisfied in some way and therefore not perfect. Christians might then say that God created spontaneously and without need or desire. However this would mean that the whole universe came into being without purpose or forethought and therefore it would mean that God was not a loving creator.

The Problem of the Hidden God

Christians claim that God wants us to believe in him so that we can be saved - but if this is so why doesn't God simply appear and perform a miracle so that everyone will see and believe? Christians will say that God wants us to believe in him out of faith, not because we see him with our eyes. However, according to the Bible, God in the past performed the most awesome miracles and often intervened dramatically in human affairs so that people would know his presence. So if he did so in the past, why doesn't he do so now?

Christians will say that God does perform miracles today (healing, solving personal problems etc) but being stubborn and evil most people refuse to believe. However these so-called miracles are individual and minor and leave much room for doubt. If God performed a really impressive miracle which could have no other possible explanation, then most people certainly would believe.

According to the Bible when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, God fed them by making food fall regularly from the sky (Ex 16:4). During the 1980's, several million Ethiopian Christians died slowly and painfully from starvation due to a prolonged drought. God had then the opportunity to make food fall from the sky, as the Bible claims he did in the past, in order to prove his existence, his power and his love. Buddhists would say that God did not manifest his presence because he does not exist.

from Beyond Belief, by A.L. De Silva
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Sunday, 4 February 2018

12 LIFE-CHANGING RULES BUDDHIST MONKS LIVE BY

What is your impression of the day-to-day of a Buddhist monk? Your visualization may make it appear that the monk-life is a vast departure from modern society, and you’d be pretty close to the truth. However, we can draw inspiration from the way they live their lives.



If you are looking to bring more mindfulness and peace to your days, then we can look to these simple Zen Buddhist-inspired rules to live by, no matter what your spirituality or religion.

One Thing At A Time.shaolin-monk-tips

Take steps, rather than multi-tasking.
For example: when eating, just eat. When bathing, just bathe.
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” –  Zen proverb.

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Now that you’re doing one thing at a time, don’t rush it. Instead, take your time, move slowly, and act deliberately. Focusing like this is surprisingly difficult for someone used to rushing around doing a million things at once. Practice makes perfect, though.

Follow Through.

You’re doing one task slowly and deliberately, now make sure you follow through and finish it before moving on to the next.
If it is impossible, at least try to put away and clean up the unfinished task so that it doesn’t interfere with your next movements.

Do Less.

The Buddhist Monk’s day starts early and is filled with work. However, the task list is not unending. Today has its tasks, and no more. If you are completely filling your day with ‘to-dos,’ you’ll be rushing around from one thing to another without being mindful at all.

Rest.

Now that you’re managing your schedule to allow time for finishing tasks mindfully, try to leave room in between things.
You can rest here, meditate, or even finish something that took a little longer then expected.

Ritual.

To the Zen Buddhist, rituals exist for everything from the sacred to the mundane. Rituals surrounding cleaning are as important as the rituals surrounding meditation. Actions are done because they are important to do, and if they are important enough to take time out of your day, then they are worthy of your entire attention.

Make Time.

Certain times of day in the Monk life are for certain activities.
For example, bathing, working, cleaning and eating all take place in their time to make sure they are done regularly.
You can designate time like this for your own regularly-occurring activities.

Sit.

Sitting meditation (zazen) is vitally important in the life of a Zen Buddhist. Slices of every day are set aside for this practice, and it will teach presence and living from moment to moment.

Smile and Serve.

Monks spend parts of every day in service to others. This teaches humility and helps leave selfishness behind. In the same way, the practices of smiling and kindness help to improve the lives of those around you, and your own.

Meditate While Cooking And Cleaning.

Besides zazen, cooking and cleaning are the next two most important moment of the Zen Buddhist Monk’s day.
Both are good practices in mindfulness. If you find these boring or a chore, try to surround them with meditation and ritual.
Put your mind to them, focus, and do them completely. You may change your mind about these tasks.

Live Simply With Your Necessities.

While we are not Zen Monks, it is good to look at how they live as an example. There is little in their lives which is not necessary – clothing, shelter, utensils, tools, and simple vegetarian food. While extreme, their example allows us to think about what we have that we don’t need, and whether we can jettison some of the excess weight of our possessions.

Live Without.

The other side of the topic above is that if something is unnecessary, you can live without it.
Try to make it a goal to rid yourself of as many unessential things as you can. Remember, it’s up to you to decide what is essential.
So if you have a vast library that you study, this is probably essential to you. If you have a collection that is your passion, this is probably essential.


Even though another person may see that as clutter, it’s not up to them to decide.
The point is keeping what’s important, and ridding yourself of excess weight.
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