Zen Talk: The Teaching of the Enlightened

“Not to do any evils, to accomplish good, to purify one’s own mind – this is the teaching of the enlightened.”

This quote by Buddha is a nice one, but probably one of the more difficult to accomplish.

Don’t do evil. Okay, I might be able to handle that. Of course, establishing where the line for evil is is important. A devout Catholic might tell you that contraception is evil. But is it really? Setting aside that complicated line, I think I could manage to avoid evil.

Do good. Alright, similar problem, but I even think I can manage that … if I concentrate really hard, become a total bore and really think about everything. Eventually, I think doing good would become rote and possible, and then I could start introducing excitement again.

And now the tough part: Purify my mind. Uh, okay. How do I do this? Well, a lifetime of practicing and implementing the teachings of Buddhism, no doubt, but for many of us that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, there are a number of great techniques, starting with Mindfulness, that can help us begin purifying our minds.

Whether you start implementing the first, second or third directives of this quote, best of luck!

What did you think of the quote? What do you do in your life to make sure that you are abiding by these words? Is it hard?

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3 Responses

  1. Hi!
    I’m a 29 years old Japanese man living in Kyoto, Japan. I am also interested in Zen. And, I do Zen meditiation (Zen) everday. So, I’m now, searching friends who talk about Buddhism.

  2. right intentions leading to right action for the benefit of all God’s creation. Some non-christian religions have this idea in common that creation—including “Man” is inherently good. That, we must align with the universal energy/creation energy/God’s breath in order to bring about balance and harmony in mind and spirit. ( “God’s breath” =Prana–sanskrit, Ruach–Hebrew, Ruh–arabic, Chi–Chineese…..). Alignment with universal energy/God’s breath strengthens with right intentions and right action. However, “perfection” is not the goal—the spiritual journey itself is what is important. “we” as in self –atman(sanskrit) /Nefesh(hebrew)/Nafs(arabic) are travellers. The ideal destination of our travels is nirvana/ Neshama (Judaism) /Nafs mutmainna(Islam)or enlightenment but it is allright if we do not reach it. We all have our unique “destiny”, our individual capabilities and trials. It is the balance that is important——–just my opinion.

  3. And it’s a great opinion, Kay – I’m really glad you shared it with us. I must agree wholeheartedly about the importance of balance. It’s really all about walking the middle path.

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