Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Buddha गौतम बुद्ध

(Siddhartha Shakyamuni Gautama)

563 – 483 BCE

Awakened Truth

While living at about the same time as Lao Tzu, the Buddha was more of a traditional teacher. His teachings, often called Buddha Dharma (“Awakened Truth”) extend and adapt to people in all walks of life: monks, householders, wandering yogis, kings and secular leaders of all kinds. Born into luxury and privilege, Siddhartha realized the meaninglessness of pleasure-seeking, fame, fortune, power and set off on a spiritual quest leading him to the deepest realization and insight. He cautioned against belief systems, herd instinct, and uncritically following leaders, philosophies, and religions.

Eras

Sources

Dhammapada धम्मपद

Dhammapada धम्मपद

Diamond Sutra

Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Unlisted Sources

Supreme Jewel Mound

The Surmon at Benares

Quotes by Buddha (85 quotes)

“I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes. I observe treasure of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Fame Wealth

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“what is of value and wisdom of one man seems nonsense to another.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

Themes: Conformity

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“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

Chapters: 36. The Small, Dark Light

Themes: Less is More

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“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Friendship Evil

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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Belief

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“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

Themes: Books Belief

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“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Chapters: 40. Returning

Themes: Dream

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“Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel. Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

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“Don’t treat others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Golden Rule

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“Doubt everything. Find your own light.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Know Yourself

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“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

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“Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression. We experience joy in forming the intention to be generous. We experience joy in the actual act of giving something. And we experience joy in remembering the fact that we have given.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

Themes: Compassion

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“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are, it solely relies on what you think.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Happiness Mind

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“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

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“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Anger Conflict

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“How wonderful! How wonderful! All things are perfect, exactly as they are.”

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things

Themes: Basic Goodness

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“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

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“If you propose to speak always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.”

Chapters: 69. No Enemy

Themes: Kindness

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“In separateness lies the world's greatest misery; in compassion lies the world's true strength.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Oneness

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“It is better to travel, than to arrive.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Travel

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“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Forget Memory

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“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

Themes: Ambition

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“Most problems, if you give them enough time and space, will eventually wear themselves out.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Problems

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

Themes: Teachers

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“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.”

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

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“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

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“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

Chapters: 61. Lying Low

Themes: Peace

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“People with opinions just go around bothering one another.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“The greatest prayer is patience.”

Chapters: 32. Uncontrived Awareness

Themes: Patience

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“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There's only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

Themes: Here and Now

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“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Chapters: 79. No Demands

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“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Happiness

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“Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.”

Chapters: 70. Inscrutable

Themes: Moon Truth

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“To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles
38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Letting Go

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“Victory breeds hatred. The defeated live in pain. Happily the peaceful live giving up victory and defeat.”

Chapters: 8. Like Water

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“What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now.”

Chapters: 64. Ordinary Mind

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“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

Themes: Gardening

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“You only lose what you cling to.”

Chapters: 10. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Letting Go

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“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

Themes: Anger Conflict

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“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.”

Chapters: 6. The Source

Themes: Meaningfulness

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“I have shown you the methods that lead to liberation but you should know that liberation depends only upon yourself.”

from Journey to Enlightenment

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Skillful Means

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“Examine my words the way a goldsmith examines gold. Don't just take my word because it is my word.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Teachers

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“I have shown you the path of liberation. Now liberation depends on you.”

Chapters: 52. Cultivating the Changeless

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“All things have no inherent existence.”

Chapters: 11. Appreciating Emptiness

Themes: Emptiness

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“I look upon all sentient beings as my children.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

Themes: Education

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“When I attained unexcelled, perfect enlightenment, there was nothing that I attained.”

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“The cause of suffering is the desire to change things, to try to make them different, or hope they change.”

Themes: Suffering

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“We refer to it as life and death, but there is no life or death.”

from Diamond Sutra

Themes: Death and Dying

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“You might not be aware of your own enlightenment.”

Themes: Enlightenment

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“Those who relinquish all forms are called Buddhas, Enightened Ones.”

from Diamond Sutra

Themes: Emptiness

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“The objective world, like a vision, is a manifestation of mind itself.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Mind Reality

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“We must go beyond word and discrimination and enter upon the path of realization.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“To see things as they really are means to transcend what are nothing but perceptions of your own mind.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“People who foolishly cling to words and phrases are like elephants in a quagmire.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Delusion

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“When the great river quits flowing, waves no longer stir. When conceptual consciousness ceases, forms do not arise.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Emptiness

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“As long as people desire Enlightenment and grasp after it, it means that delusion is still with them.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“Transcending all the categories constructed by mind and seeing into the state of Suchness is the awakened inner consciousness.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“All things we see in the world are like a dream, an image miraculously projected.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Dream

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“The ignorant and simple-minded burn with the fires of greed, anger and folly. Obsessed with ideas of birth, growth and destruction, they fall into the habit of grasping becoming fixated and attached.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“Truth cannot be cut up into pieces and arranged into a system. Words are only a figure of speech.”

from Diamond Sutra

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“What is known as the teaching of the Buddha is not the teaching of the Buddha.”

from Diamond Sutra

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“Those on a spiritual path can easily become so intoxicated with the bliss of mental tranquillity that they fail to realize that the world is nothing but Mind.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

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“Just as varieties of objects are seen and discriminated in dreams and in visions, so ideas and statements are discriminated erroneously and error goes on multiplying.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Ignorance

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“Cease to cherish any arbitrary conceptions as to your own self, the selfhood of others, of living beings, of a Universal Self.”

from Diamond Sutra

Themes: Egolessness

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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought… if we speak or act with a pure thought, happiness follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

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“Those who live for pleasure alone will certainly fall like weak trees in a great wind.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Themes: Pleasure

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“Genuineness is the path of immortality, thoughtlessness the path of death.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

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“Like rain breaking through an ill-thatched house; ignorance, passion, and aggression will break through an unreflecting mind.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

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“Those who imagine truth in lies and see lies in truth, only follow a meaningless path of unhappiness and suffering.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

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“Don’t chase after fame, fortune, pleasure and power; but instead, find true joy.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Themes: Power Fame Pleasure

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“Hate never dispels hate. Only love can do that.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Themes: Hate

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“Go ye, O Bhikkus, and wander forth for the benefit of the many, for the welfare of the many, out of compassion for worldly beings, for the benefit, good, and happiness of men and gods.”

Themes: Travel

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“Nothing in the world is faster than the mind; but the mouth is a close runner-up.”

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“All things that appear in this world are transient. If you view all things that appear as never having appeared, then you will realize your true self.”

from Diamond Sutra

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“The only real failure in life is not being true to the best one knows.”

Themes: Failure

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“Avoiding extremes, the wise gain the experience of the Middle Path which produces insight, calms, and leads to higher knowledge, enlightenment.”

from The Surmon at Benares

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“Birth is painful, old age is painful, sickness is painful, death is painful, sorry, lamentation, dejection, and despair are painful. Contact with unpleasant things, not getting what one wishes is painful. In short, the five groups of grasping are painful.”

from The Surmon at Benares

Themes: Suffering Old Age

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“Craving is the cause of suffering: the craving for pleasure, the craving for existence, the craving for nonexisistence.”

from The Surmon at Benares

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“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

Themes: Non-Thought

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“Suffering follows a negative thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”

from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Themes: Suffering

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“For men who have no faith, it is impossible to have pure dharma, like planting a burned seed in a field and expecting a green shoot to come.”

Themes: Belief Confidence

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“Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise.”

from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Paradox

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“My form appeared like a dream to sentient beings who are lie a dream. I taught them dreamlike teachings to attain dreamlike enlightenment.”

from Supreme Jewel Mound

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“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

Themes: Victory

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“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

Themes: Family Control

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Quotes about Buddha (9 quotes)

“In general, people speak as if there is a kind of religion created by Buddha Shakyamuni. That is not a correct point of view. Buddha never created any kind of school or religion.”

Namkhai Norbu ཆོས་རྒྱལ་ནམ་མཁའི་ནོར་བུ་ 1938 – 2018 CE via John Shane
Dzogchen Master
from Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State

Themes: Religion Buddhism

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“Buddha accomplished a training for himself and his pupils, exercised a discipline, set up a goal, and produced results before which even the genuine heroes of European action can only feel awe... if we allow Buddha to speak to us as vision, as image, as the awakened one, the perfect one, we find him, almost independently of the philosophic content and dogmatic kernel of his teachings, a great prototype of mankind.”

Hermann Hesse 1877 – 1962 CE
from Speeches of Buddha (1921)​

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“And there he did abide [the Buddha] leading a life of great hardship and sanctity, and keeping great abstinence, just as if he had been a Christian. Indeed, and had he but been so, he would have been a great saint of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so good and pure was the life he led.”

Marco Polo 1254 – 1324 CE
Epitome of adventurous business, political, and geographical exploration
from Travels of Marco Polo

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“Buddha, Moses, Plato, Socrates, Schopenhauer are to me the real sovereigns.”

Leo Tolstoy 1828 – 1910 CE

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“Political leaders are never leaders. For leaders we have to look to the Awakeners! Lao Tse, Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Milarepa, Gurdjiev, Krishnamurti.”

Henry Miller 1891 – 1980 CE
from My Bike & Other Friends (1977)

Themes: Leadership

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“No other soul has ever been so influential... let us take the date of Buddha as the beginning of a civilization that has known every vicissitude, every injustice, every slavery, and yet in the midst of it has produced geniuses and saints from Buddha and Ashoka to Gandhi and Tagore.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

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“Buddha called men to self-forgetfulness five hundred years before Christ. In some ways he was near to us and our needs. Buddha was more lucid upon our individual importance in service than Christ, and less ambiguous upon the question of personal immortality... You see clearly a man, simple, devout, lonely, battling for light, a vivid human personality, not a myth.”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

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“One of my sons accused me of being a follower of Buddha... I feel even proud of being accused of being a follower of the Buddha... I owe a great deal to the inspiration that I have derived from the life of the Enlightened One. There is the imprint of Buddhistic influence on the whole of Asia,... it has to re-learn the message of the Buddha and deliver it to the whole world. His love, his boundless love went out as much to the lower animal, to the lowest life as to human beings. And he insisted upon purity of life.”

Mahatma Gandhi 1869 – 1948 CE

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“From the point of view of samsara, Buddha is mad.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Illusion's Game

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