December 31, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/31/2005

The recollected go forth to lives of renunciation. They take no pleasure in a fixed abode. Like wild swans abandoning a pool, they leave one resting place after another.

December 30, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/30/2005

Journey over, sorrowless, freed in every way, and with all bonds broken -- for such a man there is no more distress.

"I had stressed if they have to denounce me then please denounce me -- no problem."

The Panchen Lama: "I've been to many places in the past decade and witnessed the ample freedom enjoyed by individuals and religious organisations alike. Living Budhhas like myself are able to perform religious rituals under the wing of the Chinese constitution and other laws."

December 29, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/29/2005

Few are those among men who have crossed over to the other shore, while the rest of mankind runs along the bank. However those who follow the principles of the well-taught Truth will cross over to the other shore, out of the dominion of Death, hard though it is to escape.

December 28, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/28/2005

Navvies channel water, fletchers fashion arrows, and carpenters work on wood, but the wise disciple themselves.

December 27, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/27/2005

One may desire a spurious respect and precedence among one's fellow monks, and the veneration of outsiders. "Both monks and laity should think it was my doing. They should accept my authority in all matters great or small." This is a fool's way of thinking. His self-seeking and conceit just increase.

December 26, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/26/2005

Like fresh milk a bad deed does not turn at once. It follows a fool scorching him like a smouldering fire.

December 25, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/25/2005

A fool thinks it like honey so long as the bad deed does not bear fruit, but when it does bear fruit he experiences suffering.
~Gautama Buddha

December 24, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/24/2005

Even if a fool lived with a wise man all his life, he would still not recognize the truth, like a wooden spoon cannot recognize the flavor of the soup.
~Gautama Buddha

December 22, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/23/2005

A fool who recognizes his own ignorance is thereby in fact a wise man, but a fool who considers himself wise -- that is what one really calls a fool.
~Gautama Buddha

December 21, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/22/2005

'I've got children', 'I've got wealth.' This is the way a fool brings suffering on himself. He does not even own himself, so how can he have children or wealth?
~Gautama Buddha

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/21/2005

Long is the night for the sleepless. Long is the road for the weary. Long is samsara (the cycle of continued rebirth) for the foolish, who have not recognised the true teaching.
~Gautama Buddha

December 20, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/20/2005

Sandalwood, tagara, lotus, jasmine -- the fragrance of virtue is unrivalled by such kinds of perfume.
~Gautama Buddha

December 18, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/19/2005

Just as one can make a lot of garlands from a heap of flowers, so man, subject to birth and death as he is, should make himself a lot of good karma.
~Gautama Buddha

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/18/2005

Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them.
~Gautama Buddha

December 17, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/17/2005

Death carries off a man busy picking flowers with an besotted mind, like a great flood does a sleeping village.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 15, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/16/2005

Seeing your body as no better than an earthen pot, make war on Mara with the sword of wisdom, and setting up your mind as a fortress, defend what you have won, remaining free from attachment.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/15/2005

With his mind free from the inflow of thoughts and from restlessness, by abandoning both good and evil, an alert man knows no fear.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 14, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/14/2005

Careful amidst the careless, amongst the sleeping wide- awake, the intelligent man leaves them all behind, like a race-horse does a mere hack.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 13, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/13/2005

Don't indulge in careless behavior. Don't be the friend of sensual pleasures. He who meditates attentively attains abundant joy.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 12, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/12/2005

Foolish, ignorant people indulge in careless lives, whereas a clever man guards his attention as his most precious possession.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 11, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/11/2005

Attention leads to immortality. Carelessness leads to death. Those who pay attention will not die, while the careless are as good as dead already.
~Shakyamuni Buddha

December 10, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/10/2005

In the same way that rain breaks into a house with a bad roof, desire breaks into the mind that has not been practicing meditation.
~Gautama Buddha

December 09, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/9/2005

The man who wears the yellow-dyed robe but is not free from stains himself, without self-restraint and integrity, is unworthy of the robe.
~Gautama Buddha

December 08, 2005

Loving-Kindness Meditation...Forgiveness

"Please put the attention on the breath.
Have forgiveness in your heart for anything you think you've done wrong . Forgive yourself for all the past omissions and commissions. They are long gone. Understand that you were a different person and this one is forgiving that one that you were. Feel that forgiveness filling you and enveloping you with a sense of warmth and ease.
Think of your parents. Forgive them for anything you have ever blamed them for. Understand that they too are different now. Let this forgiveness fill them, surround them, knowing in your heart that this is your most wonderful way of togetherness.
Think of your nearest and dearest people . Forgive them for anything that you think they have done wrong or are doing wrong at this time. Fill them with your forgiveness. Let them feel that you accept them. Let that forgiveness fill them. Realizing that this is your expression of love.
Now think of your friends. Forgive them for anything you have disliked about them. Let your forgiveness reach out to them, so that they can be filled with it, embraced by it.
Think of the people you know, whoever they might be, and forgive them all for whatever it is that you have blamed them for, that you have judged them for, that you have disliked. Let your forgiveness fill their hearts, surround them, envelope them, be your expression of love for them.
Now think of any special person whom you really need to forgive. Towards whom you still have resentment, rejection, dislike. Forgive him or her fully. Remember that everyone has dukkha. Let this forgiveness come from your heart. Reach out to that person, complete and total.
Think of any one person, or any situation, or any group of people whom you are condemning, blaming, disliking. Forgive them, completely. Let your forgiveness be your expression of unconditional love. They may not do the right things. Human beings have dukkha. And your heart needs the forgiveness in order to have purity of love.
Have a look again and see whether there's anyone or anything, any where in the world, towards whom you have blame or condemnation. And forgive the people or the person, so that there is no separation your heart.
Now put your attention back on yourself. And recognize the goodness in you. The effort you are making. Feel the warmth and ease that comes from forgiveness."
May all beings have forgiveness in their hearts!

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/8/2005

The Tempter cannot master a man who dwells on the distasteful side of things, self-controlled in his senses, moderate in eating, resolute and full of faith, like the wind cannot move a mountain crag.
~Gautama Buddha

December 07, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/7/2005

The Tempter masters the lazy and irresolute man who dwells on the attractive side of things, ungoverned in his senses, and unrestrained in his food, like the wind overcomes a rotten tree.
~Gautama Buddha

December 06, 2005

Buddhist Concept of Friendship

Some critics have a tendency to label Buddhism as a religion with supra-mundane goals, devoid of the concept of love and friendship for living in this world. But the Tripitaka furnishes us with ample evidence to prove that the Buddha considered living in harmony and friendship without disputes (Samagga Sammodamana avivadamana) an important human relationship based on love. Metta or Loving Kindness envelopes much more than mere love. Etymologically the word Metta means the nature of a friend - (mittassa sabhavo).
In other words, a friendly spirit which is edified, not only on love, but on loving kindness. In modern parlance, the word "love" has rather a cheap connotation, but Metta when taken in its real perspective encapsulates all the noble human feelings a person could shower on another." Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Muditha (altruistic joy) and Upeksha (equanimity), which are known as Satara Brahma Vihara or the Four Noble patterns of behaviour form the very sheet anchor of Buddhist friendly, ethical conduct. The spirit of love and friendship promulgated by these, cover a much wider spectrum than mere love, which is supposed to be lacking in Buddhism.
It is mentioned in Samyutta Nikaya that once Ven. Ananda approached the Buddha and remarked that "half of the dispensation is based on friendship, companionship and association with the good." to which the Buddha replied " Ven. Ananda, do not say so. Not half, but man's entire life is established on friendship, companionship and association with the good."The friendly disposition among the Bhikkus towards each other was so admirable and imitable that King Ajatasattu who was not so well disposed towards Buddhism had remarked according to Samananaphala Sutta of the Digha Nikaya that "the monks lived in unity talking to each other with mutual friendliness ..... mixing with each other like milk and water and seeing each other with pleasing eyes." (Nirodha Ki Dhuta annamannam Piya Cakkhuhi Sampassamana) and had even gone further and said, "How nice it would be if my son Udayabhadda too could possess these friendly qualities."
Again, it occurs in Majjhima Nikaya that once the Buddha questioned Ven. Anuruddha how the Bhikkhus were getting along with each other, and the Venerable replied thus, "Lord, we have diverse bodies but assuredly only one mind." (Na na hi kho pan a bhante kayam ekam ca kho manne cittam).
Two types of friendsAs far as the laity is concerned, the Tipitaka abounds with examples to show that the guidance of good friends is very essential for life here and hereafter. The Buddha has described two types of friends, Kalyana Mitta (the good friend) and Papa Mitta (the evil friend). A famous stanza in the
Dhammapada says, "Do not keep company with evil friends or those who are mean. Associate with the good and bold friends." (Na bhaje papake mitte-na bhaje purisadhame, bhajetha mitta kalyane-bhajetha purisuttame). All parents should instil into the minds of their children the noble advice conveyed by this stanza. The Buddha has advised us to lead a lonely life in case we cannot find a decent friend. But never keep the company of a fool. (eka cariyam dalham kariya-natthi balo sahayaka). Mahamangala Sutra which enumerates 38 blessings to guide one in life's journey starts with avoiding the company of fools as the first blessing.
Friendship is a force that has no parallel; there is no other single power that can generate good qualities in a person as friendship with the good because, after a certain age children stop emulating their parents and start imitating their friends.
The Buddha's advice regarding friends could be well comprehended by absorbing the contents of the Sigalovada Sutra. Sigala, who had very devout Buddhist parents was indifferent to religion. The Buddha explained inter alia who an evil friend and a good friend are:- A foe in the guise of a friend or a Papa Mitta will appropriate a friend's possessions, render mere lip service, flatter, will give little with the idea of taking much, will associate for his own advantage, tries to gain favor by empty words and when the opportunity arises for action, he will give an excuse and express his inability to render any service. An evil friend also praises and approves his friends bad deeds whlle the good deeds go unnoticed and upraised. He praises the friend in his presence and rebukes him in his absence.
The Buddha has explained further how a foe in the guise of a friend (mitta patirupaka) brings about the ruin of a person in four ways. He is a companion in indulging in intoxicants which gives rise to infatuation and heedlessness. He is a ready companion to frequent the streets at ungodly hours. He is a companion to attend theatrical shows and he is a companion in gambling which causes one's downfall.

Next, the Buddha tells Sigala the four types of friends who could be reckoned as warmhearted and dear. He who is a helpmate, does not change in happiness or sorrow, gives good counsel and sympathizes. Upakaro ca ya mitto-yo ca mitto sukhe dukkhe dtthakkhayi ca yo mitto-ya ca-mittanukampike." A wise person having understood these four kinds of friends, should cherish them and associate with them as a mother tends her only son. (etepi mitte cattaro-Iti vinnaya pandita, sakkaccani payiru paseyya Mata puttamva orasam).
According to Nettippakarana there are seven qualities by which you can judge a friend. He should be pleasant and loveable, respectful, worthy of emulation, willing to engage in useful conversation, willing to tolerate words, engages in profound talk and never exhorts groundlessly. Today, the younger generation have a tendency to shun good advice and show resentment when their faults are pointed out by even parents. A stanza in the Dhammapada spells out a bit of excellent advice. "Someone who points out your mistakes, declare them as weaknesses and condemns them, think of such a person as one showing you a treasure. Associate with wise people of that nature. (midhinam va pavattaram-yam passe vajja dassinam; niggayhavadim medhavi tadisam pabditam bhaje). This shows that a friend need not be always sweet and soft spoken, but could resort to constructive criticism.
How to win FriendshipThe Buddha has explained how to win and keep friends. By being generous one can surely win friends (dadam mittani ganthati) and also by being courteous and benevolent. Rajoice in your friend's achievements, praise any commendable acts and strong points. But the Buddha says that if you always keep on talking of your friend's goodness, kindness, greatness and so on, then you are trying to deceive him. In dealing with friends, one's word should be as clean as the actions.
According to the Jataka Pali, striking a friendship is one, maintaining it is another. Buddha has given invaluable advice not only to keep the friendship but also to make the bonds stronger. One should not visit the friends too often or overstay the welcome.This changes the friend to a foe. If your friend loses something, then you may be under a cloud. Visiting a friend too often invariably leads to gossip, which will involve you in a vortex of trouble. Buddha says that, it is equally bad not to visit your friends at all. You should judge for yourself how often you should visit your friend, how long you should stay and so on. Buddha has pointed out that a friendship deteriorates by asking favours, especially at wrong times. If at all you ask a favour, it should not be unreasonable or of a demanding nature. Asking favours far too often makes you a pest more than a friend.
Buddha has explained that if someone wants to bring about his own ruin or downfall, he could associate with Papa mitta or evil friends who are gamblers, libertines, tripplers, cheats, swindlers or violent thugs. Buddhist Commentarial Tradition defines a friend thus: - "A friend is one whose association leads to spiritual profitability, protects you from evil that may befall you and is inclined towards your welfare."
In this manner, Buddhism points out the basic ingredients to foster a healthy friendship, minimize friction and displeasure, promote good will, and companionship and ultimately bring about one's welfare here, and spiritual progress leading to the realization of the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana.
The foregoing facts show that Buddha's admonition regarding how to chose friends, win them and keep them expounded in the 6th Century before the common era surpasses all books of the twentieth century on this subject and the Buddhist Concept of Friendship remains a vibrant force forever.

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/6/2005

Those who have not lived the holy life, and have not acquired wealth in their youth, grow old like withered cranes beside a fishless pool.
~Gautama Buddha

December 05, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/5/2005

An ignorant man ages like an ox. His flesh may increase, but not his understanding.

December 04, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/4/2005

Look at the decorated puppet, a mass of wounds and of composite parts, full of disease and always in need of attention. It has no enduring stability.

December 03, 2005

BigHappyBuddha Makes the Front Page!

Local Sales Boom Online

Offering products from sheet music to original art to garden Buddha statues, Madison-area companies are cashing in on the national surge in online shopping. Some have developed far-ranging reputations in their product niches and many are doing much better than statistics that project a 24 percent national increase in online shopping to $19.6 billion this year.
If you think a giant Buddha statue might be a perfect addition to the yard, Ryan Burda runs an online site called in Middleton. The company sells Buddha statues and other Buddhist- related items nationwide.
Burda said sales are up 50 percent this year, especially during the holiday season, causing him to hire three part- time workers and perhaps add more employees. He said singer Ricky Martin once bought a garden statue from the site, and he provided 500 Buddha figurines for party favors at an inauguration party for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"We're not looking to sell products to everybody," he said. "We're trying to have a big selection of fun, spiritual products at reasonable prices."

Wishing My Grandma a Happy 81st Birthday!

Today December 3rd 1924, my grandmother Eleanor Concetta Anzelone was born. She is just awsome, always has been and always will be. I love you Gram!

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/3/2005

What is this laughter, what is this delight, forever burning (with desires) as you are? Enveloped in darkness as you are, will you not look for a lamp?

December 02, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/2/2005

Neither naked asceticism, matted hair, dirt, fasting, sleeping on the ground, dust and mud, nor prolonged sitting on one's heels can purify a man who is not free of doubts.

December 01, 2005

Early Morning Buddhist Inspiration - 12/1/2005

Like a cowherd driving cows off to the fields, so old age and death take away the years from the living.