Quotable Quotes That Have Inspired You, like 人无远虑,必有近忧

#1

Master Ri-Chang has often used this phrase:
人无远虑,必有近忧
one that does not consider a higher objective, will be beset with present worries (please pardon my attempt at translating :neutral_face:)

所以“人无远虑,必有近忧”,普通的世间人都贪小便宜,现在如果我们修学佛法,在这个概念上面不认识的话,那自己害自己,自己对自己最大的损害,莫过于此,别人也没办法救,佛没有办法救我们。我们只看见小的地方,并不是不讲利害,这一点我们要了解的。所以不要贪小便宜堕落懈怠,要为了求大利益策发精进,眼前虽然苦,将来毕竟好。
~Lamrim Commentary Track 26B

I try to use this when faced with difficult decisions: being conscious of a further goal normally helps me in deciding between my options.

What are other quotes and sayings that you find useful? hope to hear more sharings!

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#2

This is shared by my 班长, translation again (badly) provided by me

《入行论》说:
若事尚可为,云何不欢喜?
若已不济事,忧恼有何益?

《A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life》says:
If there is a remedy,then what is the use of unhappiness ?
If there is no remedy,then what is the use of frustration?

Again, good to dispel getting worried unnecessarily.

#3

于予与改是

Comes from a Confucius anecdote that Master Ri-Chang provided in his Lamrim Commentary Track 56B:

我们中国一个孔老夫子门下一个典型的公案—子张,那是一个能说善道的人。啊!脑筋很聪明。孔老夫子怎么讲啊?他说:“以前哪,人家怎么讲我就相信他,现在啊,人家怎么讲,我不!先要看看他的行为。我为什么这样啊?于予与改是。”予就是宰予,就是子张(编者按:疑应为子我或宰我)。所以说:“我因为看见了子张以后,就改了。”子张这个人哪,哦,这个讲起话来,讲得非常好听,脑筋非常聪明啊!可是你一看他的行持,对不起!“我看见了这个人以后,不,我不听他的话,先要看看他的行为。”非常简单!这是别人来看你,我们自己修行,自己看自己,再清楚不过,非常清楚。所以这一点我们要了解,我们要晓得我们的愚痴,努力改善,

My learning here is not to blindly follow advice - especially important when faced with views from someone adept at convincing his audience. Thus one should observe, reflect and understand on the advice before taking it to heart.

#4

若真修道人,不见他人过
If one is a true practitioner, one will not be looking at the faults of others.

Implying that as a practitioner, we should be looking at our own faults and striving to correct them.

Referencing Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 12 B:

我这个卑鄙的、恶劣的行为,这个影子啊,欸!被这个法镜一照,照出来了。那个时候才是真正我该痛恨的、厌恶的地方。所以真正修行人,一定是这样。岂不见六祖大师说“若真修道人,不见他人过”,不管是印度,不管是中国,乃至于哪一个修道人都是这样,真正修道人看不见人家过失,为什么?看自己都来不及啊!等到你自己做好了以后,然后你看见别人,救人都来不及!

#5

法尚应舍 何况非法

这是《金刚经》的句子,如来常说汝等比丘,知我说法如筏喻者。法尚应舍何况非法。
如来说法如筏喻者(将法比喻为渡河的木筏),因为法不可说,凡有所说,皆如帮助他人渡河的木筏,筏仅仅是渡人之工具,人如果已经渡河(超度),木筏就应当舍弃,若人不舍即为痴人。“法”都应当舍弃,何况不是佛门所说的“法”。
学习、修行佛法应当联系上下文,切不可断章取义,推荐你读智谕法师对《金刚般若波罗蜜经》的释义。

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#6

I first heard of this quote from my dad - “Slow and steady win the race”. It’s from Aesop Fables but as years went by, I slowly understood that it means not to just rush to get things done to accomplish the results, but to focus on taking the time to understand the process and building up strength to improve it.

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#7

Master Ri-Chang shared this quote
“我做这一件事,可是做给我自己看的哦!”

It is rather hard to translate the meaning…
but some context of it will help:

所以,关于这一点,为什么我对我的老师这么赞叹,为什么我现在才懂得他这一句话:“我做这一件事,可是做给我自己看的哦!”那我现在懂了:对啊!做给我自己看的,没有错,做的不是做给别人看的。到了这个时候,我才了解为什么上一次讲那个故事,说在全西藏供养三宝,最好的是奔公甲这一把灰。你们还记得吧!他拿出这一把灰来,往那个供桌上面撒了一把,结果一个大成就者说:“喏,全西藏最好供养的,就是奔公甲这一把灰!”要我们现在跑到灶里面,拿了一把灰,在佛台上面撒着,这个最好的供养吗?这不是颠倒吗?为什么?他就了解,欸,他心里面起心动念不对,他要做给别人看,马上:不对!净化—自净其意呀!这个我们要了解,这样
Lamrim Commentary Track 60B

My understanding will be that when we do good, the priority is to better ourselves in our practice rather than with the intent to show to others that we are good.

#8

做好事, 说好话, 存好心
Do good things, say positive stuff, maintain a good heart

Taken from this discourse by 如得法师 on how to better respond what facing your aging parents that have become more and more obstinate:

父母老了變固執怎麼辦?《 與善知識心靈對話 》

We should of course start trying this mantra out with our parents but I think it is equally applicable to anyone we interact with

#9

《集法句》云:“若愚自知愚,是名为智者。”
The 《Collection of Indicative Verses》: Those who are childish and know themselves to be childish are wise in this regard.

集法句》云:“若愚思为智,说彼为愚痴。”
The 《Collection of Indicative Verses》: Those who are childish but consider themselves To be wise—they are called childish.

Translation taken from Lamrim Commentary Track 62A

Useful verses to help temper our pride and continue to work on improving ourselves.
Considering that these quotes were by the past sages, it shows the incongruity if we were to think that we have attained some wisdom and then slacken off right there.

#10

骗别人容易,骗自己是一点都骗不了的
It is easy to fool others (on your intentions) but to deceive yourself, it is not possible (you know best whether your intentions are good or bad).

Taken from Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 64A:

我建议你们,不要说:“啊!我不怕。”这个话千万不要说。因为以前我就犯了这个大毛病,总觉得自己英雄好汉,“欸!我不在乎!”乃至于说:“嗯,我要修学佛法,那下地狱去度众生!”等到我后来受了一点小苦,唉呀,觉得这个大口是万万不敢开,不要说这样啊!所以我常常说啊,你只要内心真正能够反省观察一下的话,没有一个人例外的,他只有一条路—拼命忏悔,拼命修行。不要说你拿那个手指头摆在水里面,今天很简单,吃饭了,分菜了,好的东西分给别人了,然后呢坏的东西摆在那里,你心里面老那个嘀咕,嘀咕了半天都放不下,这不是很清楚、很明白的道理嘛!所以在这一点上面,大话容易说,骗别人容易,骗自己是一点都骗不了的

Again, a reminder to constantly examine our own thoughts and intentions.

#11

I am going through lessons on Karma now and my 班长 shared this saying:

欲知前世因,
今生受者是;
欲知来世果,
今生作者是

The translation (taken from a Dharma Realm Buddhist Association page):
We are what we have done; and
what we do we will become.

I must admit the English translation is quite catchy too.
Good reminder when we think about our daily actions.

#12

不是说我懂得一点法,然后拿照妖镜到处照别人
My own translation:
**don’t just because one knows a bit of Dharma, **
one goes around with a “magic mirror” to judge others.

I often fall into this trap. I must remember to use this “magic mirror” on myself rather than on others!

Quote taken from Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 63B:

“法”,什么是法?前面刚说过了,你一提,马上校对自己,“哎呀,我差得十万八千里!”那个时候才算是有信心。不是说我懂得一点法,然后拿照妖镜到处照别人,那时你完全错了,完全错了,你完全世智聪辩哪!

#13

Master Ri-Chang quotes 密勒日巴尊者 in his Lamrim Commentary Track 71A :

低处修时高处到,慢慢修时是快快到,一人修时是两人到

Master Ri Chang’s explanation of this quote:

你修的时候你慢一点,结果你到得快;你低的地方去修的话,你可以爬到高的地方;你不必忙要帮一切人,你先把你自己弄好。

My own interpretation is “to be mindful of the foundation and work on the basics will naturally get one to the higher practice, being patient with our practice will speed up our progress, to focus on helping oneself will in turn help others”

#14

宁愿千年不悟,不要一日错路

Master Ri-Chang’s explanation for this quote can be found in his Lamrim Commentary Track 77b:

我们常常听祖师们说:“宁愿千年不悟,不要一日错路。”就是你宁愿你一千年不开悟,不要一天走错。这个话怎么讲呢?就是说,如果你走错了以后,那个非常危险、非常危险!你在这儿慢慢地做对了,慢慢地摸进去,哪怕一千年,你只要做,总有开悟的时候,总有解决的时候;万一你走错了,那永远摸不到!

and further down…

所以我们一开头时候,我要特别说明一下,我们正式修学佛法之前,哪怕你已经懂了,还是要记着:**我还是个瞎子,就算摸到象了,我还是摸到象的一部分哦!**你那个时候能够这样地认识,所以你还自己觉得我还在病当中,然后你还要努力,那个时候有机会;如果说你这个心情生不起来,自己觉得很懂的话,那对不起,那就害了!

My take on this quote is to be always mindful of our conceit and vigilant about our assumptions that our thinking is correct.

#15

Master Ri-Chang said:

小病可以忍受,那个大病才能忍受;
小苦,小苦忍受,这大苦可以忍受啊!
If I can endure small illnesses, the big illnesses I will then be able to endure;
Small suffering I endure, the big suffering I can then endure.

Taken from his Lamrim Commentary Track 81b:

现在生一点小病,我常常很高兴:哎呀,小病好啊!真好!我这个小病可以忍受,那个大病才能忍受;小苦,小苦忍受,这大苦可以忍受啊!任何一点小小的事情,你如果说缩在那个地方的话,你就没有用。小的地方挺起来,那你这心情慢慢、慢慢地一步一步增强,你就力量增大。

A reminder for me not to kid myself that I will be ready for the big challenge of death if I don’t even train myself with the small, daily challenges of life.

#16

Throughout his Lamrim Commentary, Master Ri-Chang will often exclaim:

你修什么啊?
What are you practising?

And in various forms and intonations:

你为什么要修,修些什么啊?他也不知道!那既然不知道你怎么修?

请问你修什么?你根本没有办法修,所以你不知道怎么修啊!

但是你到底是修些什么呀?对不起,你还是含糊一片。

A search through the text reveals many more examples:
https://bwmonastery.org.sg/search?q=你修什么

I think what Master Ri-Chang is trying to emphasise is that we should understand what we are practising otherwise we will be expending much effort and accomplishing little.

So how do we understand better the practices? My take is to read more of the scriptures and listen to more discourses by Venerables and Masters.

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#17

A beautiful verse that encapsulates how we can see the world as it is - undesirable:

【如《七童女因缘论》云:“见住世动摇,如水中月影,观欲如瞋蛇,盘身举头影。见此诸众生,苦火遍烧然,大王我等乐,出离往尸林。”】
Consequently, as Guhyadatta’s 《Edifying Tale of the Seven Maidens》 states: We see the things of the world as wavering images of the moon in water. We see attachments as shadows of the hoods and coils of angry snakes. We see these beings to be ablaze with the flames of suffering. We therefore go to the cremation grounds, O King, delighting in the determination to be free.
reference: Lamrim Commentary Track 82B

#18

@adrian: The term “wavering images of the moon in water” reminds me of the photos of beautiful models in magazines. I feel envious of how pretty they look and wish I look like them too. But then, it’s rather foolish of me to want to look like them because I’m not and I can’t because the pictures have been air-brushed, computer altered etc. So my foolishness about this is really undesirable. What are the other things of the world that you can think of which is like wavering images of the moon too? :rofl:

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#19

another thing that I am beginning to see as more of a illusion…I would even call it a trap…is striving for wealth…(I still get seduced by it more often than not).
:sweat_smile:

I try to remind myself that a person can get by with less.

#20

Master Ri-Chang had something to say on wealth too:

有钱的人呢要去守护,唉呀,这个的确千辛万苦。唉呀!要保险箱,保险箱不行,还要保险公司,保险公司不行,还是要被人家抢掉,然后要打官司,然后要弄这个、又要忙这个,没有一件事情……实际上这个毫无意思,无非是痛苦。那么穷人呢?唉,穷了是没有了,要追求的痛苦,这个里边是无量无边哪!不但如此,于明明是痛苦的,还愚痴地执为安乐。所以这三件东西当中,无一不是增长我们生死轮回的染业啊!要晓得,这是恶业之果啊!以前的因,感得现在的果;现在这样去做,又要将来感得将来的果,是一无是处啊!
Taken from his Lamrim Commentary Track 83A

My interpretation:

  • the rich get troubled protecting their wealth and busy themselves on it
  • the poor experience much pain trying to get wealth
  • both of them suffer and it is all for nought
  • it is a result of the fruits of their karma past and in turn this becomes the cause of their future fruits. It is totally pointless!