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ahimsa

by Mahatma Gandhi

Ahimsa is a comprehensive principle. We are helpless mortals caught in the conflagration of himsa. The saying that life lives on life has a deep meaning in it. Man cannot for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward himsa. The very fact of his living - eating, drinking and moving about - necessarily involves some himsa, destruction of life, be it ever so minute. A votary of ahimsa therefore remains true to his faith if the spring of all his actions is compassion, if he shuns to the best of his ability the destruction of the tiniest creature, tries to save it, and thus incessantly strives to be free from the deadly coil of himsa. He will be constantly growing in self-restraint and compassion, but he can never become entirely free from outward himsa.

Then again, because underlying ahimsa is the unity of all life, the error of one cannot but affect all, and hence man cannot be wholly free from himsa. So long as he continues to b…

how much longer?

A long time ago, in T'ang China, there was an old monk who embarked on a pilgrimage to Mount Wu-t'ai, the abode of Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. 

Aged and weak, he was treading the long dusty road alone, seeking alms along the way. After many long months, one morning he gazed upward and saw the majestic mountain in the distance. By the roadside, there was an old woman working the field.
"Please tell me," he asked, "how much longer I must proceed before reaching Mount Wu-t'ai?"
The woman just looked at him, uttered a guttural sound and returned to her hoeing. 
He repeated the question a second and third time, but still there was no answer. 
Thinking that the woman must be deaf, he decided to push on. After he had taken a few dozen steps, he heard the woman call out to him, 
"Two more days, it will take you two more days." 
Somewhat annoyed, the monk responded, "I thought you were deaf. Why didn't you answer my question earlier?…

the only question

There is only one question to ask yourself:  What would you do  if you were not afraid? 
Author unknown but greatly appreciated


from the heart of the buddha's teaching

For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes. And each of these causes needs other causes to be. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of those things, in turn, has to be brought about by other causes and conditions. If we continue to look in this way, we’ll see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves of the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one. - Thich Nhat Hanh in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
 The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh