All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
"So-and-so is sick. So-and-so is suffering financially. I must do my best to give them encouragement." To think in this way, to offer prayers and take action for others' happiness-this is the behavior of a true Buddhist.
Depending on the use to which it is put, religion can be a demonic force. Religion should bring us together, but it is exploited by some to create greater schisms among us. Nothing could be more unfortunate. Religion must always be for the people. People do not exist for the sake of religion. This must be the fundamental guideline of religion in the twenty-first century.
Throughout his life, Shakyamuni encouraged people with his clear, sonorous voice. A Buddhist text describes how Shakyamuni warmheartedly welcomed everyone he met, expressing his joy at meeting them. He showed affection, joy and gentleness in all his interactions. To put others at ease and encourage them to speak up, Shakyamuni would always break the ice by initiating conversation. It was the power of Shakyamuni's eloquence and sincerity that made it possible for Buddhism to gain wide acceptance among the people of his time.
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