Daily Dharma

 

Published week by week, you will find a quote for each day

of the year from the past and present masters of Buddhism

Sunday

 

Just like an arrow shot by a skillful archer - as soon as the string is released, it does not stay, but quickly reaches its target - so also is the life of humans.

 

Gampopa

Monday

 

The more you are preoccupied by your own physical aging, the more anxious you will become. Do not worry so much about your physical appearance. Concentrate, rather, on not wasting your life. Practice the Dharma. The more you engage in it, the more your satisfaction will grow.

 

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Tuesday

 

Even though we sometimes plan to practice the Dharma, we usually plan to do so tomorrow or the day after. However, we can't tell when we're going to die. If we were guaranteed a hundred years to live, we'd be able to plan our practice long-range, but we have not the slightest certainty of when we're going to die. Therefore, it's very foolish to put our practice off. Some people die in the womb before they're even born; others die as small babies before they've even learned to walk. There's no logic in thinking that we're going to live long.

 

Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche

Wednesday

 

Outside enemies are like reflections in a mirror, reflections of our own image reflected back at us. Just as there is no one in the mirror apart from the reflected image of our own body, all of these outside problems, obstacles, enemies, and so on are the reflections of our own defilements. Therefore, if we control our inner defilements, all of our outer enemies and obstacles naturally disappear.

 

His Holiness Sakya Trizin

Thursday

 

May I be an isle for those desiring landfall,
And a lamp for those who wish for light,
May I be a bed for those who need to rest,
And a servant for all who live in need.

 

Shantideva

Friday

 

Getting butter from milk is only possible because milk already contains cream. No one ever made butter by churning water. The prospector looks for gold in rocks and not in wood chips.

 

Likewise, the quest for perfect enlightenment only makes sense because buddha-nature is already present in every being. Without that nature, all efforts would be futile.

 

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

 

Saturday

 

As for some further explanation of the term "bodhisattva", its definition is very specific. Sometimes "bodhisattva" is misunderstood as simply meaning somebody who has concern for other sentient beings, and who cares for them. Although this is very good, and constitutes one of a bodhisattva's ways of dealing with others, it does not make a person a bodhisattva.

 

The defining characteristic of a bodhisattva is the development of bodhicitta - the wish to attain enlightenment in order to benefit all beings. Once this wish has arisen one becomes a bodhisattva.

 

When we like to give people food, clothing, and shelter, this is very good, and a bodhisattva should do these things if he or she can do so - but through such actions alone we will not become bodhisattvas.

 

A bodhisattva is someone who is totally inspired by the aspiration to realize enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. This is bodhicitta, the characteristic of a bodhisattva.

 

The Tibetan expression for bodhicitta is 'jang chub kyi sem'. Here, 'jang chub' means "enlightenment", and 'sem' means "mind"; 'kyi' is a particle indicating that "enlightenment" describes a type of "mind". Thus the phrase means "mind of enlightenment", or "mind focused on enlightenment".

 

The word for bodhisattva, 'jang chub sem pa', means one who has this 'jang chub kyi sem'. The word for buddhahood also uses these terms: it is called 'jang chub kyi go pang', or "the state of enlightenment". So all these are interrelated; in this way the term "bodhisattva" is totally connected with enlightenment.

 

Tai Situ Rinpoche

To see more quotes, select a different week

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