Buddhas' Little Book of Life: Daily Wisdom from the Great Masters, Teachers, and Writers of All Time

Buddhas' Little Book of Life: Daily Wisdom from the Great Masters, Teachers, and Writers of All Time

by Mark Zocchi


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Inspired by teachings of the Buddha, great masters, teachers, and writers, this is a book designed to help people connect to their inner divinity and find their spiritual path. It is overflowing with profound quotes, sayings, and insights, each presented on its own to allow the reader to dip in randomly and consider one insight at a time. Each reading is guaranteed to immediately inspire or provide food for thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942785095
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/30/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,207,376
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mark Zocchi, founding director of Brolga Publishing, has been in the book trade since 1978. His career includes managing independent book stores, working as the national marketing manager of a 200-store book chain, and consulting to high-profile authors, publishers, and retail book chains.

Read an Excerpt



Of what avail is it if we can travel to the moon, If we cannot cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves, This is the most important of all journeys And without it all of the rest are useless.


Always connected In my heart No need to grasp Smile with warm Heart


We accept the graceful falling Of mountain cherry blossoms, But it is much harder for us To fall away from our own Attachment to the world.


Simplicity, Patience, and Compassion These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and in thought, You return to the source of being. Patience with both friends and enemies, You accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, You reconcile all beings in the world.


When my house burned down I gained An unobstructed view of the moonlight sky


We find simplicity in our hearts and lives through paying attention to the roots of our complexity and letting go.


Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.


In the pursuit of Knowledge, every day something is gained. In the pursuit of freedom, every day something is let go.


To abandon what is harmful, To adopt what is wholesome, To purify the heart and mind: This is the teaching of the Buddha.


Before enlightenment, all things in the outer world are deceptive and confusing. After enlightenment, we see all things as magic shadow-plays, and all objective things become helpful friends.


To free oneself of knowledge is to die, and thus one lives.


Desire, anger and delusion are negative forces, but they also represent the energy and majesty of the Buddha-nature in its elemental state. The practice of Buddhism is concerned with becoming aware of these passions and calming them until they are transformed into joy, warmth, generosity, energy and wisdom. Once familiar with these forces, we can work with and transform them.


If you see the soul in every living being, you see truly. If you see immortality in the heart of every mortal being, you see truly.


What is the soul? The soul is consciousness. It shines as the light within the heart.


There are thousands of lives in one single life.


We may idealize freedom, but when it comes to our habits, we are completely enslaved.


The mind is like a fertile field — all sorts of things can grow there. When we plant a seed — an act, a statement, or a thought — it will eventually produce a fruit, which will ripen and fall to the ground and perpetuate more of the same. Moment by moment, we plant potent seeds of causation with our body, speech, and mind. When the right conditions come together for our karma to ripen, we will have to deal with the consequences of what we have planted.


The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral. Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness; they are like those who lick honey from a razor's edge. How pitiful are they who cling to concrete reality; turn your attention within, my friends.


A man who has had his way is seldom happy, for generally he finds that the way does not lead very far on this earth of desires which can never be fully satisfied.


Although we are responsible for what we sow, we forget that we've planted these seeds and either give credit to or blame people or things outside of us when they ripen. … In the moment, we have a thought, we speak or act. But we lose sight of the fact that each thought, word, and action will produce a result. When the fruit finally ripens, we think, "Why did this happen to me? I've done nothing to deserve this."


Does a flower, full of beauty, light and loveliness say, "I am giving, helping, serving?" It is! And because it is not trying to do anything it covers the earth.


He who is tolerant like the earth, firm as a pillar and clear as a mountain pool, such a man will never be reborn.


Without faith man can do nothing: with it all things are possible.


By ourselves evil is done; by ourselves we suffer. By ourselves evil is left undone; by ourselves we are purified. Purity and impurity are personal concerns. No one person can purify another.


It is vitally important to remember that no matter what stage of meditation we are engaged with, we should, at all times, fully appreciate and respect our practice.


The happiness that we desire and the suffering that we shun come about as a result of causes and conditions. Understanding this causal mechanism of suffering and happiness is what the Four Noble Truths are all about.


Right understanding means to understand things as they really are and not as they appear to be. It is self-examination and self observation.


Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plain living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man's happiness really lies in contentment.


The practice of meditation takes us on a journey that is very personal and very lonely. Only the individual knows what he or she is doing, and it is a very lonely journey. However, if one were doing it alone without any reference to the lineage, without any reference to the teacher and the teachings, it would not be lonely, because you would have a sense of being involved in the process of developing the self-made man. So you would feel less lonely. You would feel like you were on the way to becoming a hero. It is particularly because of the commitment that one makes to the teachings and the lineage and the teacher that the meditative journey becomes such a lonely one.


If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.


Thus you shall think of all this fleeting world: a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.


The basic purpose, or the basic development that we are making in meditation practice is to develop more mindfulness and awareness and to gain, or to discover — to rediscover, so to speak — our basic wisdom to transcend our emotions. The reason we say "rediscover" here is that this wisdom to transcend our emotions is already there. It already exists as part of our mind, as a nature of our mind; it's not something new that we are learning from this spiritual journey. Therefore, in this meditation practice, on this meditation path, we are trying to develop the ultimate realization through developing greater mindfulness and awareness. We are trying to familiarize ourselves more closely with the basic nature of our mind so that we can realize the ultimate nature of our mind.


To know our soul apart from our ego is the first step toward accomplishing the supreme deliverance. It is necessary that we know with absolute certainty that in essence we are spirit. And we can only arrive at this knowledge if we render ourselves masters of our ego, if we rise above all pride, all appetite, all fear, by knowing that material losses and the death of the body can never take away the truth and the greatness of our soul.


There is no weapon more powerful in achieving the truth than acceptance of oneself.


Death is extraordinarily like life, when we know how to live. You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute.


The name given to the Buddhist teachings is Dharma in Sanskrit and Dhamma in Pali (an ancient Indian language). Dharma or Dhamma encompasses not only the teachings but also the universal law that is inherent in all things and informs all things. With a small "d," dharma and dhamma mean the smallest elements of existence that make up a moment of consciousness, such as the heat of a room, background sounds, the lingering taste of the orange you have just eaten, the smell of incense, the thoughts you have. All these scraps of information are dharmas or dhammas. They are in a continuous pulse of movement, of coming to be and ceasing to be; nevertheless, we experience them as continuous reality.


If you are in the moment, you are in the infinite.


The nature of your mind, which cannot be pinpointed, is innate and original wakefulness. It is important to look into yourself and recognize your nature.


It is important to become familiar with meditation. Once we've become familiar with it, we can use it however we want. To understand this more clearly, let's look at the word for meditation in Tibetan. In English, although we have different words for it, usually we simply use the word meditation.

In Tibetan, the word is Gom, which means "getting accustomed to," "getting used to," "getting familiar with." When we meditate, we're becoming familiar with something. What we're getting used to is the view of the meditation practice we're doing. As we get more and more used to it, the level of profundity deepens. The meditation penetrates deeper and deeper. This applies to all the different kinds of meditation we do.


There is no master, there is no instructor, there is no person to tell you what you must do.


Sometimes when we see too much truth about ourselves suddenly mirrored by the teacher or the teachings, it is simply too difficult to face, too terrifying to recognize, too painful to accept as the reality. And when there are things too difficult to accept about ourselves, we project them, usually onto those who love us and help us the most — our teacher, the teachings, our parent or our closest friend.


Those who are focused on the objects of the senses, become attached to those objects. From attachment comes desire; and from desire comes anger; from anger comes confusion of mind; from confusion of mind comes loss of memory; from loss of memory comes loss of intelligence; and from loss of intelligence comes destruction.


Good friends, my teaching of the Dharma takes meditation and wisdom as its basis. Never under any circumstances say that meditation and wisdom are different. They are one unity, not two things. Meditation itself is the substance of wisdom, and wisdom itself is the substance of meditation.


We must refuse to be lifted off our feet. A drowning man cannot save others.


When you walk, just walk. When you sit, just sit. Just be your ordinary, natural self in ordinary life, unconcerned in seeking for Buddhahood. When you're tired, lie down. The fool will laugh at you but the wise man will understand.


The one thing common to all mediation practice is having the right motivation of wanting to benefit all persons, not just ourselves. Besides this, we also need to have very strong devotion to our guru and all the gurus of our lineage. If we pray to them with really sincere devotion, we can receive their blessings, which lead to a very rapid growth of our meditation.


There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly.


Earth brings us to life and nourishes us. Earth takes us back again. Birth and death are present in every moment.


To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness — these are gifts which money cannot buy.


When the soil of trust that is a pure mind is soaked by the rain of merit, the sprouts of the wholesome and healthy in the world grow large and the crop of excellence of the Victorious One ripens.


They are learned and compassionate, their profound intelligence and their spiritual horizon is like the sky. In their kindness they are never lazy but always diligent. And they apply themselves to raising mankind.


Something to do. Someone to love and Something to hope for.


Instead of really practicing dharma, we often only talk about practicing dharma. The more we talk without practicing, the more we lose our energy in words and so the more our point of view is lost.


Do not believe a thing simply because it has been said.

Do not put your faith in traditions only because they have been honored by many generations.

Do not believe a thing because the general opinion believes it to be true or because it has been said repeatedly.

Do not believe a thing because of the single witness of one of the sages of antiquity.

Do not believe a thing because the probabilities are in its favor, or because you are in the habit of believing it to be true.

Do not believe in that which comes to your imagination, thinking that it must be the revelation of a superior Being.

Believe nothing that binds you to the sole authority of your masters or priests.

That which you have tried yourself, which you have experienced, which you have recognized as true, and which will be beneficial to you and to others; believe that and shape your conduct to it.


When we begin to practice the basic meditation of tranquillity meditation [shamatha], we may find that our mind won't stay still for a moment. But this condition is not permanent and will change as we practice. Eventually we will be able to place our mind at rest at will, at which point we will have successfully alleviated the manifest disturbance of the disturbing emotions. After developing tranquillity meditation, we can then apply the second technique, of insight meditation [vipashyana], which consists of learning to recognize and directly experience the nature of our own mind. This nature is referred to as emptiness. When we recognize this nature, and rest in it, then all of the disturbing emotions that arise dissolve into this emptiness and are no longer afflictions. This is the freedom, which is called Buddhahood.


The most important aspect is to cultivate a good motivation and to carry out your daily program within it. Early in the morning as well as late in the night, you can spend at least half an hour in practice — meditation, recitation, daily yoga, or the like. Then, while working during the day, you should remember the motivation.


It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.


What are the characteristics of worthy people? Their bodily presence inspires calmness and their actions are pure and faultless. They are wise in dispelling doubts and their words are pleasant and clear. Their mind is very calm and a veritable treasure of omniscience.


Think about death and impermanence for a long time. Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions nor difficult to do what is right. After that, meditate for a long time on love and compassion. Once love fills your heart you will no longer find it hard to dispel all your delusions. Then meditate for a long time on emptiness, the natural state. Once you fully understand emptiness, you will no longer find it hard to dispel all your delusions.


Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.


Whoever wishes to quickly become a refuge for himself and others should undertake this sacred mystery: to take the place of others, giving them his own.


When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found.


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.


By selfless giving, by being generous, we cease to be niggardly and become liberal not only with our wealth but with our thoughts.



Excerpted from "Buddhas' Little Book of Life"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Mark Zocchi.
Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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