5 Great Buddha Quotes
ONE — “Things are not what they seem. Nor are they otherwise. Deeds exist, but no doer can be found.”
What does he mean by ‘no doer’? This connects directly with the concept of no self; just as all other things, phenomena are transient, illusory, etc., so is the self. Actions are real in that they have an effect on people and produce certain outcomes (everything is interdependent), but the self that can look back on the action is already not the same self anymore, because of impermanence… Funny, isn’t it?
TWO — “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
To the extent that we have any self at all, it is that which stems from our thoughts — these are the bases of the words we speak and the actions we perform. And our thinking patterns largely determine the ways in which we view all the things that “happen to us”, from the biased, individual perspective that is. Perception is reality, basically.
THREE — “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
We all have those days when one person’s unexpected kindness turns us around, snaps us out of the gloom, leads us to do a double-take on the stinky-rotten-nature of this ugly Monday morning, or whatever morning it happens to be. Lift each other up, people! One cookie may be enough…
FOUR — “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”
Wait too long and the universe will find some way of getting you out of your house, out of your pajamas, and you very well may not like it. Attack the day, non-violently that is, be proactive and claim your fate — or else you’ll be letting it claim you. Perhaps with one of those new sloth-seeking anvils. Watch out!
FIVE — “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
(Looks at sky and laughs — “Ha HA!”) … This quote is symbolic of the irony of realizing that enlightenment is nothing more than a direct experiencing of reality. And of course once you have done all the work needed to clear your mind of obstructions, it becomes exceedingly easy to maintain clarity. A perfect ‘enlightened’ experience is also a perfectly accurate experience of reality. How easy it is to ‘keep arriving’ once you get there…