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Buddhist Aphorisms

Below is part of a long list of aphorisms which one of our friends Brent Scott, has a personal goal of translating into as many languages as possible. If you would like to help him, please contact him at brentscottbrent <at> gmail.com. I have just copied a few of these here. (Some slightly edited).

By the way, I don't consider myself a Buddhist and I don't agree with everything people who call themselves Buddhists believe. For example, another popular quote or aphorism is this one, which "Be grateful to those who have hit you for they have reduced your karmic obstacles".

We also looked at the list of quotes on the source page and found some to be invalidating, like the one about karmic obstacles, whatever those are believed by some to be. The quotes I have selected below, however, feel helpful and true to me.

In any case, we encourage people to use their own judgment, and listen to their feelings as well as trying to control them with thoughts. We feel worried that too many people are using thoughts and beliefs to avoid getting the messages we need from our negative or painful thoughts.

S. Hein

The source page for this list is Philosophyblog.com.au

- Even if everyone else is not doing good, I alone will. Even if everyone else is doing wrong, I alone will not.

- Just as water cools both good and bad and washes away all impurity and dust, in the same way you should develop thoughts of love for friend and foe alike, and having reached perfection in love, you will attain enlightenment.

- The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy (empathy / understanding) between them, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other, always using friendly and sincere words.

- If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us? Indifference brings indifference; loving kindness brings loving kindness.

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

- Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love.

- In the light of one's vision one finds freedom: thoughts are peace, words are peace, work is peace.

- Wisdom, tranquility, compassion arise from our love, our sincerity, our understanding.

- In separateness, lies the world’s great suffering. In unity, lies the world’s true strength.

- Phenomena are preceded by the heart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart. If you speak or act with a corrupted heart, then suffering follows you -- as the wheel of the cart, the track of the ox that pulls it.

- Develop the quiet, even state of mind. When praised by some and condemned by others, free the mind from the judgments of others and gently go your own way in peace.

- As a single slab of rock won’t budge in the wind, so the wise are not moved by praise, by blame.

- Irrigators guide the water. Fletchers shape the arrow shaft. Carpenters shape the wood. The wise control themselves.


Brent adds this note: I have an Italian version that needs proofreading. The Mandarin translation is nearly complete and will need proofreading, and the Spanish translation is under way.

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