Zen meditations! Inspirational quotes! Sick burns! Buddhism offers them all. As many American college students do, I enjoyed studying and practicing Buddhist rituals in college. As a recovering Catholic from a weirdly fundamentalist, Germanic-ish family tradition, I found the "bells and smells" of Buddhist temples familiar in a comforting way and the anti-dogmatic edge of Zen exhilarating in a refreshing way. I learned that extreme prayer and self-control are not owned by Christians, nor is smug superiority. What valuable lessons for a young person to learn.
So valuable, in fact, that in our late 30s, my husband and I are still paying the bills for our private college educations.
Can you put a price on ancient wisdom?
Is that a koan?
Is that a koan?
In my earliest adulthood, I took solace in the meditations below. Please enjoy them here on the Magic Nutshell, free of charge.
The Buddha sought a middle path between asceticism and materialism. All over the world, people are happiest who have enough material goods to take care of themselves but not much more than they need. Only where people compare themselves to the wealthy are they dissatisfied with having only enough. After our basic needs are met, poverty is in the mind. Here are some Buddhist quotes on wealth, ownership, sharing, and happiness:
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared."
"Having a wider heart and mind is more important than having a larger house."
"Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little."
-Venerable Cheng Yen
"If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue."
"The creatures that inhabit this earth--be they human beings or animals--are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world."
-H. H. The 14th Dalai Lama
"In fact, everything we encounter in this world with our six senses is an inkblot test.
You see what you are thinking and feeling, seldom what you are looking at."