The Four Reliances

First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings,

not on the words;

Second, rely on the teachings,

not on the personality of the teacher;

Third, rely on real wisdom,

not superficial interpretation;

And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind,

not on judgmental perceptions.

Traditional Buddhist teaching

From Everyday Zen…

Everyday Zen

Intelligent practice always deals with just one thing: the fear at the base of human existence, the fear that I am not.

And of course I am not, but the last thing I want to know is that.

I am impermanence itself in a rapidly changing human form that appears solid. I fear to see what I am: an ever-changing energy field…

So good practice is about fear. Fear takes the form of constantly thinking, speculating, analyzing, fantasizing. With all that activity we create a cloud cover to keep ourselves safe in make-believe practice. True practice is not safe; it’s anything but safe. But we don’t like that, so we obsess with our feverish efforts to achieve our version of the personal dream. Such obsessive practice is itself just another cloud between ourselves and reality.

The only thing that matters is seeing with an impersonal searchlight: seeing things as they are. When the personal barrier drops away, why do we have to call it anything? We just live our lives. And when we die, we just die. No problem anywhere.

— Charlotte Joko Beck,
in Everyday Zen

On Life’s Journey

On life’s journey Faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him, If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.-Buddhist Quote

Recognizing the Power…

Recognizing the power of our minds means that even as unfortunate or terrible things happen to us, we can receive them in a more spacious and ultimately more enlightened way. The Buddha taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that the mind becomes like space that cannot be tainted. If someone throws paint, it is not the air that will change color. Space will not hold the paint; it will not grasp it in any way. Only the walls, the barriers to space, can be affected by the paint. The Buddha taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that their minds become like a pure, flowing river that cannot be burned. No matter what kind of material is thrown into it, it will not burn. Many experiences–good, bad, and indifferent–are thrown into the flowing river of our lives, but we are not burned, owing to the power of the love in our hearts.

–Sharon Salzberg