A Quote by Epicurus on god, faith, religion, evil, atheism, truth, reality, intelligence, presence, enlightenment, and motivation


If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to


 Then he is not omnipotent.


If he is able, but not willing

 Then he is malevolent.


If he is both able and willing

 Then whence cometh evil?


If he is neither able nor willing

 Then why call him God?

Epicurus (c. 341 - c. 270 BC)

Source: The Riddle of Epicurus or Epicurean Paradox

Contributed by: dalaigoat

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, enlightenment, stillness, and thinking

The approach to it  ( Mind, Absolute, Void, Buddha Nature, Enlightenment )  is called the Gateway of the Stillness beyond all Activity.  If you wish to understand, know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity.  Those who seek the truth by means of the intellect and learning only get further and further away from it.  Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, enlightenment, perception, and one

A perception  (experience), sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding; and by this understanding will you awake to the truth of Zen.

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, and enlightenment

As soon as the mouth is opened, evils spring forth.  People either neglect the root and speak of the branches, or neglect the reality of the 'illusory' world and speak only of Enlightenment.  Or else they chatter of cosmic activities leading to transformations, while neglecting the Substance from which they spring---indeed, there is NEVER any profit in discussion.

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, enlightenment, nature, perception, phenomenon, and universal

The nature of the Absolute is neither perceptible nor imperceptible; and with phenomena it is just the same.  But to one who has discovered his real nature, how can there be anywhere or anything separate from it?...

...Therefore it is said:  'The perception of a phenomenon IS the perception of the Universal Nature, since phenomena and Mind are one and the same.'

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, enlightenment, concepts, and wisdom

...concepts are related to the senses; and, when feeling takes place, wisdom is shut out.

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Huang Po on huang po, buddhism, zen, mind, void, and enlightenment

If, conceiving of the phenomenal world as illusion, we try to shut it out, we make a false distinction between the 'real' and the 'unreal'.  So we must not shut anything out, but try to reach the point where all distinctions are seen to be void, where nothing is seen as desirable or undesirable, existing or not existing.  Yet  this does not mean that we should make our minds blank, for then we should be no better than blocks of wood or lumps of stone;  moreover, if we remain in this state, we should not be able to deal with the circumstances of daily life or be capable of observing the Zen precept:  ' When hungry, eat.'  Rather, we must cultivate dispassion, realizing that none of the attractive or unattractive attributes of things have any absolute existence.

Huang Po

Source: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po - on the Transmission of Mind - translation by John Blofeld

Contributed by: ROD

A Quote by Micheal Teal on empowerment, enlightenment, humanity, purose, spirit, truth, and peace

" If we harness the wisdom within and live a life of intentional purpose we will create dynamic change and the results will be so positive as to empower humanity towards enlightenment."

Micheal Teal

Source: Micheal Teal - Poet , Philospher and CyberShaman

Contributed by: oldman

A Quote by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on spiritual practice, enlightenment, motivation, meditation, and vipashyana

It's one of the paradoxes of spiritual practice: we need a path to travel where we already are.  SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE explains how to create the causes and conditions for realizing the enlightened nature we already possess.

Each time I leave a meditation retreat, I'm struck by the level of speed and stress in our environment.  I'm not just talking about Westerners.  Ther first time I went to Tibet, life there was very simple, but when I returned three years later, cell phones were ringing and the distraction was visible, even while I was conducting ceremonies.  Something else I've noticed lately is  that we're bombarded with bad news.  But the people I admire have always focused on the good news:  that we have in our mind wisdom, compassion, and all the other elements of enlightenment.

While living in stressful times does not ultimately affect our enlightened qualities, it does demand that we become more engaged in awakening them.  To transform the environment, we must begin with our mind.  We can't expect everyone else to change first.  As my father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was fond of saying, "It's easier to put on a pair of shoes than to wrap the earth in leather."  The process of putting on a pair of shoes is the path of enlightenment.

On the ultimate level, enlightenment is already here, but on the relative level we need to engineer its causes and conditions.  The mind is a neutral situation, like a cotton sheet that we can dye any color we want, but unless we take hold of it, karmic tendencies--whatever habits we've ingrained in the past--will just take over.  The practice of the path is slowly orienting that white cloth and coloring it the way we want.  The path consists of three elements: view, meditation, and activity.

View is our orientation, and how we orient our life is intimately connected with our motivation.  Traditionally, the Buddhist teachings list three kinds of motivation: small, medium, and large. These levels of motivation describe how we evolve on the path of enlightenment.  When we wake up in the morning, where is our mind taking us?  Whatever it is, from motivation, everything else will arise.

If our motivation is small, we will use our day getting the "stuff" we think will make us happy--food, clothing, and friends.  If it's a little bigger, we might add some yoga to make us feel better.  We might even expand it further to think about the karmic consequences of our actions--but it's still all about "me".  With a medium-level motivation, we're no longer so fixated on our own happiness; the basis of our actions is loving-kindness and compassion.  We're maturing.  With the largest motivation, we put the happiness of others before our own.  This is the motivation of the Buddha.  If we get up in the morning and the first thought that comes to mind is, "There are so many sentient beings; even if I amd the last person on earth, I will stay here to help them," that is a very big view.  Motivation is just an attitude, and it's free.  So why not have a big motivation?

Why is view so important? View is how our mind is oriented, and the way our mind is oriented determines what we get.  Our realization is based on the size of our view.  The view of enlightenment is that we are taking charge of our own destiny.  Unless we take the mind where we want it to go, the environment will take the mind where it wants it to go.  

By setting our view every morning, we become very good at supporting ourselves in the second element of the path, meditation.  Meditation is essentially a dualistic process in which we place our mind on an object.  When we place our mind on something, the mind absorbs its qualities, because we're becoming familiar with it.  This isn't particularly a spiritual truth; it's our everyday reality.  For example, if the object is the anger you feel toward your spouse, you become more familiar with anger, soaking up its qualities like a sponge.  In the end, that meditation leads to action.  You yell at your spouse or stomp out of the room.

Meditation is a proactive approach to this reality of mind.  We practice choosing the object rather than being led by whatever thoughts and emotions randomly beckon.  We steep our mind in qualities that lead it forward.  We begin with the stabilization technique called sharmtha, "peaceful abiding, " in which we focus on the breath.  Through this practice our mind becomes settled and workable.  Why is this important?  We may have good intentions, but if we can't control our mind, we can never enact them.  For example, we want to be compassionate but we get discursive, distracted by our mental ups and downs.  Before we can cultivate compassion, we need to possess our mind.  That's what we do in stabilizing meditation, where we calm down and experience the space of mind just being there.  From that, our mind is much less speedy.

The mind resting peacefully has incredible implications.  If you're present for the moment, you're present for your life, and you can therefore observe what's going on.  If you can observe what's going on, you can make judgements, deciding where you want to go.  At this point--known as the present moment--you can change your karma.  You can reorient your whole path, because in terms of the future, you're in the driver's seat.  You are getting more enlightened.  You are waking up.

We actively reorient ourselves in contemplation, the second kind of meditation, known as vipashyana, "clear seeing."  Now we take a thought as the object of our meditation.  For example, we can focus on our motivation, stated very simply:  "I want to meditate," "I want to develop compassion," "I want to tread on the path of enlightenment," or "I want to become enlightened, no holds barred."  At other times we might contemplate a quality--generosity, exertion, discipline, or patience--that could support our motivation.

This is a practice of fabricating our enlightened qualities so that our mind naturally turns in their direction.  We know that we're innately compassionate, and we also know that we don't feel right now because there's a blockage.  So we contrive our buddhanature in order to reveal it.  We call this relative understanding.  That understanding may be brief, but we should not be discouraged .  By becoming familiar with the view, we are clarifying our future.

It's one thing to have the attitude of enlightenment and another thing to act in an enlightened way, which is conduct or activity, the third element of the path.  If we have proper understanding of our motivation and are getting used to our enlightened qualities, chances are we can deal with speed and stress more effectively.  First we can create space in our mind to see where we are.  Then we can reorient ourselves by remembering what we're doing.  That allows us to say, "Sure, I'm tired and in a hurry and my phone is ringing again.  Yet I can stay on the path by sticking with the ten percent of my mind that really wants to do this."  The more we develop the tools to move forward on the spot, the less influence the other ninety percent of our mind will have.  Our karmic tendency to drift into agitation and discursiveness will incrementally decrease.  View, meditation, and conduct give us a way to remember what we're doing and why we're doing it, and then enact our own enlightenment.  As we do that, we are stepping on the path.  We're making progress.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an internation network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers.  He is the author of Turning the Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Source: March 2008 Shambhala Sun Magazine

Contributed by: Bird

A Quote by Thomas Jefferson on tyranny, spirit, enlightenment, president, politics, and philosophy

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Contributed by: Harmony

Syndicate content