Bowing is a very important practice for diminishing our arrogance and egotism. It is not to demonstrate complete surrender to Buddha. This practice is to help get rid of our own selfishness
What is clinging to a self rooted in? Actually, it is not rooted in anything. If we see that, then naturally ego-clinging will not happen. The reason it has no root is that when we look for the object that we are clinging to as “me,” as a self, we cannot find it.
The future is made up of only one substance and that is the present moment. By taking care of the present, you are doing everything you can to assure a good future.
He who does not take the mind-and-body aggregate (nama-rupa) as “I and mine”, and who does not grieve over the dissolution (of mind and body) is, indeed, called a bhikkhu.
But it can happen that a phrase intended to indicate a state beyond concepts just becomes another concept in itself, in the same way that if you ask a person their name and they reply that they have no name, you will then perhaps mistakenly call them ‘No name’.
As long as you accept and practice these four truths (all compounded things are impermanent, all emotions are pain, all things have no inherent existence, nirvana is beyond concepts) you are a “practicing Buddhist.” You might read about these four truths for the sake of entertainment or mental exercise, but if you don’t practice them, you are like a sick person reading the label on a medicine bottle but never taking the medicine. On the other hand, if you are practicing, there is no need to exhibit that you are Buddhist. As a matter of fact, if it helps you to get invited to some social functions, it is totally fine to hide that you are a Buddhist. But keep in mind that as a Buddhist, you have a mission to refrain as much as possible from harming others, and to help others as much as possible. This is not a huge responsibility, because if you genuinely accept and contemplate the truths, all these deeds flow naturally.
On the clear mirror,
just a single speck of dust.
And yet, looking
closely, we see it before
all else — people thinking thus.
Empathy enables us to reach across differences and connect as equals. It does so by cutting straight through the walls that we build up around us and allowing us to touch the core of our equality: the ability to experience pain and joy
Practicing loving kindness meditation is like digging deep into the ground until we reach the purest water. We look deeply into ourselves until insight arises and our love flows to the surface. Joy and happiness radiate from our eyes, and everyone around us benefits from our smile and our presence. If we take good care of ourselves, we help everyone. We stop being a source of suffering to the world, and we become a reservoir of joy and freshness. Here and there are people who know how to take good care of themselves, who live joyfully and happily. They are our strongest support. Whatever they do, they do for everyone.
If, as in a dream, you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others.
Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in a quiet grove, you see a light, regardless of whether it’s bright or dim, don’t tell others and don’t focus on it. It’s the light of your own nature.
Of if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own mind about to reveal itself.
Or if, while you’re dreaming at night, you see the moon and stars in all their clarity, it means the workings of your mind are about to end. But don’t tell others.