Favorite Buddhist quotes


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What are your favorite quotes about Buddhism or from Buddhists?

This robe of freedom from cold
isn't matched by ordinary clothes.

This concentration free of hunger
is unequaled by ordinary meat and beer.

This draught at the stream of enlightenment
isn't matched by ordinary drink.

This satisfaction born within
isn't equaled by ordinary treasure.

[font=VERDANA, ARIAL, SANS-SERIF]-Milarepa, "Drinking the Mountain Stream"[/font]
Namaste Haruko,

thank you for the post and welcome to CR :)

i am quite partial to this explanation:

If people ask me what Zen is like, I will say that it is like learning the art of burglary.

The son of a burglar saw his father growing older and thought: "if he is unable to carry out his profession, who will be the breadwinner of this family? I must learn the trade." One night the father took the son to a big house, broke through the fence, entered the house, and opening one of the large chests, told the son to go in and pick out the clothing. As soon as he got into it, the lid was dropped and the lock securely applied. The father now came out to the courtyard, and loudly knocking at the door woke up the whole family, whereas he himself quietly slipped away. The residents got up and lighted candles, but found that the burglars had already gone. The whole time, the son remained in the chest, and thought of his cruel father. Then a fine idea flashed upon him. He made a noise like the gnawing of a rat. When the lid was unlocked, out came the prisoner and fled. Noticing a well by the road, he picked up a large stone and threw it into the water. The pursuers gathered around the well trying to find the burglar drowning himself. By then, he was safely back in the house with his father, whom he blamed for his narrow escape. When the son told him of his adventures, the father remarked, "There, you have learned the art!"

D.T. Suzuki
My favorite quotes/teachings from Buddhism are those said to be the Buddha's last words, something to the effect of:

Be a lamp unto your own feet. Work out thy salvation with diligence. :)


Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible.
Allan Watts

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Sutta Nipata

I have two that I am partial to. I do not recall the authors or the full text of the lessons, yet here are their summations.

1> If you meet the Buddha on the road Kill him.

I believe this is about ridding oneself of the final attachment. Corrections please.

2> If your bladder is full what good does it do if I pee?
I am fond of these well-known lines in the Diamond Sutra:

Thus shall you think of this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

And also, a well-known prayer:

May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness
May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering
May they never be separated from bliss without suffering
May they dwell in equanimity, free from passion, aggression, and prejudice.

And Trungpa Rinpoche's famous statement: "There are no guarantees."
Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.

The rice plant flowers and bears grain, but its spirit remains in the soil. This is the reason the stalk sprouts to flower and bear grain once again. The blessings that Nichiren obtains from propagating the Lotus Sutra will always return to Dozen-bo. How sublime!
The Four Reliances:
Rely on the teaching (dharma) not the teacher.
Rely on the spirit/meaning not the letter/word.
Rely on the final/definitive meaning (nitartha) rather than non-final/interpretive meaning (neyartha).
Rely on gnosis (jñâna) rather than on discursive thinking (vijñâna).
This one makes my mind works overtime:
The mind cannot see the mind just as a knife cannot cut itself.
"Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.

Kalama Sutta
Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry
Dhammapada 1:1-6

1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.
4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.

5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
6. The world does not know that we must all come to an end here;--but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.​
Has this already been posted a million times?:

"Before enlightenment chop wood carry water;
After enlightenment chop wood carry water."
Hi to the both of you!

(btw, Chop Wood, Carry Water: one of my favorite books :)