Simple Words of Wisdom


After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master's temple told a friend:

"Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person's face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice. Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy. When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world.

"In all my experience, however, Bankei's voice was always sincere. Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness, and whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard.


The good deeds performed by many people are greater than those done by a single person. No matter how big a candle is, its light is still limited. But when one small candle can light hundreds of thousands of other candles, their light can shine everywhere. Opportunity knocks only once. We should grasp every chance to do something good, or else the chance will be gone and it will be too late. Some people want to do good deeds, but they want to wait until they have more money or time. Know that life is impermanent. When the opportunity comes, don't be afraid that you have only a little strength - just go do it! Do whatever you are capable of doing. Don't think that any good deed is too small to do.


A student of Tendai, a philosophical school of Buddhism, came to the Zen abode of Gasan as a pupil. When he was departing a few years later, Gasan warned him:

"Studying the truth speculatively is useful as a way of collecting preaching material. But remember that unless you meditate constantly, your light of truth may go out."


Very few people realize that life is filled with changes. We can hardly predict if we will be as healthy or fortunate tomorrow as we are today. People often think, "if only I had..." Many people have good intentions, but they never carry them out. It is too late to regret, and at the end of their life they feel anxious and fearful. Suicide is wrong for three reasons: First a person who commits suicide destroys the body given to him by his parents. Second, suicide creates bad karma. Third, a person who commits suicide abandons his responsibilities to his parents, spouse and children. When life is easy, people tend to lose themselves. It is therefore good luck when we occasionally face setbacks and frustrations, for they wake up our consciences and help us grow. If we joyfully accept the bad karma from our past lives, then our penance will be lighter. Even though the bad karma caused by our past sins is very long, we can end it much sooner if we endure it gladly.


Anger hurts people by destroying their good relations with others. A momentary intolerance not only damages good reputations, but it also destroys all your past good merits. An angry heart is worse than a blazing fire. Things that are burned up by a fire can be replaced, but when a person's character has been destroyed, it cannot be bought back for any amount of money.

The invisible tornado in our hearts is ignorance. The invisible sword in our hearts is jealousy. The invisible demonic possession in our hearts is suspicion, and the invisible prison is superstition and magic. These four can destroy the roots of goodness and demolish a forest of good deeds.


Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku. Desiring to show his attainment, he said, "The mind, Budda, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"


Twenty monks and one nun, who named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master. Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting. Eshun did not reply. The following day, the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written to her, she said: "If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now."


In order to maintain good judgement, we should use our reason and intellect to understand the impermanence of life. All people, regardless of status or wealth, can live in peace and freedom, without concern for what they might gain or lose. We must focus our concentration and make the right choice. If we keep changing our minds, we will always remain at the very first step and will never be able to progress to the next step.

A medida que envejecemos, las cosas se complican. Nos conformamos y el compromiso... Preferimos vivir en la comodidad de nuestra "vida monotona"... Tendemos a olvidar lo que es sonar, a asumir riesgos, y divirtirse... Que albergamos temores en vez de cuestionarlas...
Vamos a la deriva con los deseos de los demas... Podemos elegir ser feliz y vivir nuestros suenos... Para ello es mejor tener un derroche de energia en algo emocionante y no... Que enterrado para siempre en una parcela con sombra...
Nos hacemos mayores... Nos convertimos en los amos de la vida... Compartimos la experienca mas dulce y mas duro... Vivimos para ser completa...

"Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.
You are on the path... exactly where you are meant to be right now... And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love."
 - Caroline Adams

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