Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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What Makes You Not a Buddhist

By Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Quotes from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

“A tourist makes a show of giving a ten-dollar tip to the doorman for pushing a revolving door, and the next minute he’s bargaining for a five-dollar T-shirt from a vendor who is trying to support her baby and family.”

Chapters:

Themes: Family Confusion

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“All emotions are basically a form of prejudice.”

Chapters: 26. The Still Rule the Restless

Themes: Delusion

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“At the point of total realization, you must abandon Buddhism. The spiritual path is a temporary solution, a placebo to be used until emptiness is understood.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Buddhism

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“By understanding emptiness, you lose interest in all the trappings and beliefs that society builds up and tears down—political systems, science and technology, global economy... you become like an adult who is not so interested in children's games anymore.”

Chapters: 11. Appreciating Emptiness

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“Clinging to the fallacy of the self is a ridiculous act of ignorance that… permeates everything we do, see, and experience… our whole existence is based on very flimsy premises.”

Chapters: 12. This Over That

Themes: Egolessness

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“From time immemorial we have been addicted to the self that loathes suffering and loves the causes of suffering.”

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

Themes: Suffering

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“Happiness is a flimsy premise upon which to base one’s life.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Happiness

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“Hell is merely the perception of your own aggression.”

Chapters: 69. No Enemy

Themes: Hate Aggression

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“If it were not for certain people's greed for wealth, the highways would be filled with cars powered by the sun, and no one would be starving. Such advances are technologically and physically possible, but apparently not emotionally possible.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“If you dream that you are flying and continue to believe that you can fly even after you wake up, that becomes a problem.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Dream Problems

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“If you still define yourself as a Buddhist, you are not a buddha yet.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

Themes: Buddhism

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“Ironically, we never truly appreciated the experience for which we are nostalgic because we were too busy clinging to our hopes and fears at the time.”

Chapters:

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“Like a child at the cinema, we get caught up in the illusion. From this comes all of our vanity, ambition, and insecurity. We fall in love with the illusions we have created and develop excessive pride in our appearance, our possessions, and our accomplishments. It’s like wearing a mask and proudly thinking that the mask is really you.”

Chapters: 39. Oneness

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“Like an adult no longer interested in children’s games… you lose interest in all the trappings and beliefs that society builds up and tears down — political systems, science and technology, global economy, free society…”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

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“like salad to a tiger… no longer falling prey to small praises and criticisms.”

Chapters: 15. Inscrutability

Themes: Moral Freedom

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“One who desires unending praise and attention is like a butterfly trying to find the edge of the sky.”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: Butterfly

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“Proud families spend fortunes on a one-day wedding ceremony for a marriage that may or may not last, while on the same day, in the same village, people are dying of starvation.”

Chapters: 30. No War

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“Siddhartha’s path does not ultimately lead to happiness… it’s a release from the the straitjacket of delusion… a direct route to freedom from suffering and confusion.”

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

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“Struck by the arrows of greed, we don’t see that it is our own desire for conveniences… that actually supports the wars that are devastating our world.”

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

Themes: Greed War

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“The only view that truly works for a dharma practitioner is that there are no solutions to the sufferings of samsara and it cannot be fixed… absolutely nothing genuinely works in samsara.”

Chapters:

Themes: Suffering

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“Those who do not pursue praise and gain, those who do not shun criticism and loss may be stigmatized as insane because they cannot be lured by material gain, don’t look for thrills, have no face to lose, never do anything to impress people.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“True buddhist meditation - using any techniques or practices that help transform our habit of thinking that things are solid into the habit of seeing them as compounded, interdependent, and impermanent.”

Chapters: 16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

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“We are lured by the expectation that… one day we will reach ‘happily ever after’ … We believe our grand performance is yet to come, so we do not live for today.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Here and Now

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“We live behind bars of responsibility and conformity.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Conformity

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“When struck by the desire arrow, all our common sense… go out the window, we… might even find a streetwalking hippopotamus sexy, even as a beautiful girl loyally waits at home.”

Chapters:

Themes: Sex Beauty

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