The mind is a garden. If we tend it, there will be fruit. No need to add any thing but see
The mind is a garden. If we tend it, there will be fruit. No need to
add any thing but seeds. Goodness is the fertilizer. We must do good
deeds. The finest loam topsoil will grow weeds if it is not tended.
Yang bu jyau, fu jr gwo;
Jyau bu yen, shr jr duo;
You bu sywe, lau he wei?
If the child is not taught, the father is to blame;
If the classes are not strict, the teacher takes the fault.
But if the child won't study, the fault is all his own.
A child who does not study comes to nothing when he's grown.
Surely the purpose of life is to do righteous deeds. Our lives
become what we do. We are ever advancing from the results of our
deeds. We are gardeners of our own lives, and the growing season
goes on from life to life.
Prize of a book from University after ten years. Story of the
hospitalier, the lawyer, and the hermit. Both thought service was
the road, without examining the mind. Both burned out, after
learning the bitter lesson of the pettiness and greed of the human
They went to seek out the hermit for advice.
"Look within! There is no sweeter sound than the sound of your own
mind, there is no higher truth than the truth of self-knowledge.
When you find your own stillness, all of Nature comes home. If you
look outside, there is no day when you find your safe refuge. Look
into your own mind, there you will discover the source of your true
service to the world."
Tell the story of the poor woodcutter, who got fed up with the
suffering of life and decided he wanted out. Stop the world! I want
to get off! Too much trouble. He threw his load of wood to the
So he called for death to come take him away. Death did! "What did
you call me for?!" Uh, nothing! Just help me pick up this load of
wood, it won't take you a minute, and you can be on your way!"
The old man, like all of us, is attached to life.
"Le trepas tout guerir, mais nous bougeons d'ou nous sommes. Plutot
souffrir qu'ue mourir, c'est la devise des hommes."
Humanity is in touch with the misery and the fragility of life. It
comes as a gift, it is taken away like a breath of wind. It lasts as
long as a tomato in the garden. It goes and leaves no trace. What is
there to hang on to? What is there to rely on?
An eleven year old knifes to death a forty-year old father of two
just for sport; he has seen thousands of murders on television. He
was well-rehearsed for his act. He had learned his lessons well on
the t.v. We become what we observe. My friends do not own a
television; their daughter listens to her parents read at night from
the Sutras; she listens to the lectures at the CTTB. This is
goodness. Her garden is being fertilized with wholesome seeds.
Read to children. Give your life to goodness. This man has sent two
children to the Sangha. THey became monks and nuns before they
reached puberty. They have a chance to grow the most rare of good
gardens. This man teaches for no salary at a Buddhist free school.
His efforts at gardening till others soil. His seeds will bring in
more than one harvest. The joy of teaching young minds is
incomparable. One true act will echo for years in the lives of young
A teacher who made a difference to you. A coach, a volunteer mom.
Life is precious. Space is black and cold and empty. Life has the
qualities of the sun, radiant, nurturing, and expansive. The mind
can bring joy to life. Or it can bring disaster. The mind is the
same garden. It depends on how we use it.
Society tell us we should all fight for the very best,for the top
spot, for number one. How many people can cram into that tiny
corner, the tip of the pyramid? How many others must settle
unhappily for the second and third and so forth rewards? Is this a
sensible goal? Is it a false goal? Is it worth pursuing? The
sickness of our world is the head-long rush for affluent
consumer-hood. The gets and the haves are the only winners in this
society, and they are miserable! Tbe winners have to trade their
hearts and veins for the cow bodies they feed on; they have to give
up their families for the job hours they work to earn enough to
support the two cars, three t.v.s., four insurance policies, and ,
five credit cards they own. They give up their personal safety for
the fancy goods they buy and then have to protect with locks,
electronic alarms, and handguns. They give up the clean air and
water they share for the lethal automobiles we drive, they trade
their marriage vows for quick thrills in the name of emotional
expression and growth.
The image is of a fish biting a worm, and taking a fly. He doesn't
know that it hides a hook, and the hook bites deep in his mouth, it
will be his death. We look at magazine ads with the eyes of trout,
the eyes of salmon.
Doug discussed Kearns' book, Winning the Brain Race
Why can't we teach morality in the schools?
Discussed causality as a secular teaching, not tied to religious
dogma or faith. The Buddha introduced causality scientifically,
experientially, not religiously. This is the starting point for
entry into rational, unsuperstitious cultivation of the mind.
Only because religion came under fire from science and economics,
did its moral aspect also come under fire and get torn out of the
Buddhism teaches morality as the problem of causation. No values
implied. It is universal, and practical. It is the starting point
for deeper entrance to principles of the mind.
Desire is the main cause of affliction, and any avoidance of desire
is considered in the West as repression and unhealthy. The taboo
against disciplining the lower urges.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank