Buddhism Quotes

 By annihilating the desires, you annihilate the mind. Every man without passions has within him no principle of action, nor motive to act. 
Author: Claude Adrien Helvétius
Nationality: French
b. 26 January 1715  - d. 26 December 1771
  
 Enough is a feast. 
Author: Buddhist Proverb
Nationality: French   
 Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life..., our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: French
b. 11 October 1926
  
 If you haven't attained true clear vision, this causes you to lapse into extremes, so that you lose contact with reality. 
Author: Yuanwu Keqin
Nationality: French
b. December 1063  - d.  December 1135
  
 If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask 'What is your companion's opinion?' If you both agree, then I think I would say, if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay, 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 As for the failure of the Marxist regimes, first of all I do not consider the former USSR, or China, or even Vietnam, to have been true Marxist regimes, for they were far more concerned with their narrow national interests than with the Workers' International; this is why there were conflicts, for example, between China and the USSR, or between China and Vietnam. If those three regimes had truly been based upon Marxist principles, those conflicts would never have occurred. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes - that is, the majority - as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. For those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair. I just recently read an article in a paper where His Holiness the Pope also pointed out some positive aspects of Marxism. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 I think the major flaw of the Marxist regimes is that they have placed too much emphasis on the need to destroy the ruling class, on class struggle, and this causes them to encourage hatred and to neglect compassion. Although their initial aim might have been to serve the cause of the majority, when they try to implement it all their energy is deflected into destructive activities. Once the revolution is over and the ruling class is destroyed, there is not much left to offer the people; at this point the entire country is impoverished and unfortunately it is almost as if the initial aim were to become poor. I think that this is due to the lack of human solidarity and compassion. The principal disadvantage of such a regime is the insistence placed on hatred to the detriment of compassion. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 One girl wanted to know how to react to a shooter who takes aim at a classmate. The Dalai Lama said acts of violence should be remembered, and then forgiveness should be extended to the perpetrators. But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, he said, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 The purpose of our lives is to be happy. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Sleep is the best meditation. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.  
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 It’s part of what we Buddhists call bad sexual conduct. Sexual organs were created for reproduction between the male element and the female element - and everything that deviates from that is not acceptable from a Buddhist point of view. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 From a Buddhist point of view, men-to-men and women-to-women is generally considered sexual misconduct. From society's point of view, mutually agreeable homosexual relations can be of mutual benefit, enjoyable and harmless. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 Warfare has traditionally been carried out primarily by men, since they seem better physically equipped for aggressive behavior. Women, on the other hand, tend to be more caring and more sensitive to others’ discomfort and pain. Although men and women have the same potentials for aggression and warm-heartedness, they differ in which of the two more easily manifests. Thus, if the majority of world leaders were women, perhaps there would be less danger of war and more cooperation on the basis of global concern – although, of course, some women can be difficult! I sympathize with feminists, but they must not merely shout. They must exert efforts to make positive contributions to society. 
Author: Dalai Lama
Nationality: Tibetan
b. December 1935
  
 When you understand the roots of anger in yourself and in the other, your mind will enjoy true peace, joy and lightness 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 When you feel anger arising, remember to return to your breathing and follow it. The other person may see that you are practicing, and she may even apologize. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Your first love has no beginning or end. Your first love is not your first love, and it is not your last. It is just love. It is one with everything. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Seeds can produce seeds Seeds can produce formations. Formations can produce seeds. Formations can produce formations. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 One included all, and all were contained in one. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The leaf and his body were one. Neither possessed a separate permanent self. Neither could exist independently from the rest of the universe. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Contemplating the bowl, it is possible to see the interdependent elements which give rise to the bowl. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Freedom from suffering is a great happiness. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The Buddha also counseled the monks and nuns to avoid wasting any precious time by engaging in idle conversation, oversleeping, pursuing fame and recognition, chasing after desires, spending time with people of poor character, and being satisfied with only a shallow understanding of the teaching. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The same clouds that Buddha had seen were in the sky. Each serene step brought to life the old path and white clouds of the Buddha. The path of Buddha was beneath his very feet. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Venerable Svasti and the young buffalo boys were rivers that flowed from that source. Wherever the rivers flowed, the Buddha would be there. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is. A pessimistic attitude can never create the calm and serene smile which blossoms on the lips of Bodhisattvas and all those who obtain the way. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Reality is reality. It transcends every concept. There is no concept which can adequately describe it, not even the concept of interdependence. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 This capacity of waking up, of being aware of what is going on in your feelings, in your body, in your perceptions, in the world, is called Buddha nature, the capacity of understanding and loving. Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. No one can take it away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they cannot take away your true home and your freedom. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Going vegetarian may be the most effective way to fight global warming. Buddhist practitioners have practiced vegeterianism over the last 2000 years. We are vegetarian with the intention to nourish our compassion towards the animals. Now we also know that we eat vegetarian in order to protect the earth. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself – if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself – it is very difficult to take care of another person. 
Author: Thich Hanh
Nationality: Tibetan
b. 11 October 1926
  
 To while away the idle hours, seated the livelong day before the inkslab, by jotting down without order or purpose whatever trifling thoughts pass through my mind, truely this is a queer and crazy thing to do! 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 A certain recluse, I know not who, once said that no bonds attached him to this life, and the only thing he would regret leaving was the sky. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 Leave undone whatever you hesitate to do. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 The truth is at the beginning of anything and its end are alike touching. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 Ambition never comes to an end. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 A man who would be a success, the world must first of all be a judge of moods, for untimely speeches will offend the ears and hurt the feelings of others, and so fail in their purpose. He has to beware of such occasions. But falling sick and bearing children and dying - these things take no account of moods. They do not cease because they are untimely. The shifting changes of birth, life, sickness, and death, the real great matters - these are like the surging flow of a fierce torrent, which delays not for an instant but straightway pursues its course. And so, for both priest and layman, there must be no talk of moods in things they must needs accomplish. They must be free from this care and that, they must not let their feet linger. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 The hour of death waits for no order. Death does not even come from the front. It is ever pressing on from behind. All men know of death, but they do not expect it of a sudden, and it comes upon them unawares. So, though the dry flats extend far out, soon the tide comes and floods the beach. 
Author: Yoshida Kenko
Nationality: Japanese
b. December 1283  - d.  December 1350
  
 Among all the students from every quarter of the world who are followers of the Way, none have yet come before me without being dependent on something. Here I hit them right from the start. If they come forth using their hands, I hit them on the hands; if they come forth using their mouths, I hit them on the mouth; if they come forth using their eyes, I hit them on the eyes. Not one has yet come before me in solitary freedom. All are clamoring after the worthless contrivances of the men of old. As for myself, I haven't a single dharma to give to men. You followers of the Way from every quarter, try coming to me without being dependent upon things. Then I would confer with you. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 The real being, with no status, is always going in and out through the doors of your face. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 When it's time to get dressed, put on your clothes. When you must walk, then walk. When you must sit, then sit. Just be your ordinary 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. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 In Buddhism there is no place for using effort. Just be ordinary and nothing special. Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water, and when you're tired go and lie down. The ignorant will laugh at me, but the wise will understand. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 Followers of the Way - of Chán - if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. If you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk. Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 Those who have fulfilled the ten stages of bodhisattva practice are no better than hired field hands. Those who have attained the enlightenment of the fifty-first and fifty-second stages are prisoners shackled and bound. Arhats and pratyekabuddhas are so much filth in the latrine. Bodhi and nirvana are hitching posts for donkeys. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 The Master Linji saw a monk coming and held his fly whisk straight up. The monk made a low bow, whereupon the Master struck him a blow. The Master saw another monk coming and again held his fly whisk straight up. The monk paid no attention, whereupon the Master struck him a blow as well. 
Author: Lin Chi
Nationality: Chinese  - d.  December 867   
 In a lot of religions in this world, gays and lesbians are not accepted… from my point of view, and I would say from a Buddhist point of view, gay and lesbian are welcome in my world. I’m happy to see how they love and take responsibility for each other and for their family. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 Buddha never said to be gay is not good; to be lesbian is not good. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 Buddha only cares about your happiness. God only cares for your happiness. If they do not care about your happiness, what are they talking about? What is their point? 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 So don’t be sad, don’t be unhappy if you are gay or lesbian. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 In a relationship, it is appreciation of the other that is most important. This is the quality that will bring you happiness… whether you are heterosexual, gay or lesbian. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 In some relationships love comes first, deep appreciation comes later; in others appreciation comes first and love comes later. It doesn’t matter as long as you are happy in yourself and happy in your relationship. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 From outside everything looks very beautiful. But looking behind the glossy cover of the magazine, the reality is quite different. I really feel that a lot needs to be changed: Young children are mainly brought to the monastery to become monks because of their families’ financial difficulty. This is not the choice of the children . 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 Then they receive a religious education but not a regular education. This means that when the children grow up, if they decide to leave the monastery they have no way to live a good life. I have close friends who left the monastery when they became 19 or 20 yrs old, and now they are washing dishes in a restaurant or driving taxi. Since they have no training or education for living in the world, they will have a very difficult time to have a full and happy life. This breaks my heart. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 Also I see the young monks learning about Dharma without having any direct experience of life; nor without the expericnce of Dharma in life. For example, I learned, as many young monks learn, that samsara lies outside the walls of the monastery; that those who are in relationship, those who are married, those who work and are fully engaged in life are in samsara while those of us in the monastery are not in samsara. We are educated with this kind of pride, this kind of prejudice. Some of these monks then go into retreat and come out as Lamas. They are invited to the west to live and teach in a Buddhist center. And when they arrive, they discover that “Samsara is Beautiful”. They then want to experience everything that life has to offer, and too often get involved in dharma business, and abusing and taking advantage of innocent people. Too often they use the Dharma to cover up and justify their personal behavior. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 Another person might grow up outside the monastery, receive a regular education, and experience the joys and difficulties of life. And then having really understood that samsara is our own state of mind and our own attachment, decide to enter the monastery and follow a spiritual path. This to me is a much better approach. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 So my idea is to create a school for children whose families have financial difficulty. The children will receive both normal and religious training. Then when the children reach 19 or 20 years of age, they can freely decide if they want to leave and have a personal life with work and family which they can do in a good way, with full appreciation of Dharma in their lives; if they want to join the school and education system, they will be welcome; and if they want to enter the monastery and follow a spiritual path they will do so fully and completely as their own decision. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 For me the point of Dharma is to give us freedom and possibilities. Currently the system does not do that. I hope that this new approach will do so in my monasteries and Dharma communities. This is my vision. And I am determined to make it happen. 
Author: Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Nationality: Chinese
b. 17 September 1990
  
 But it has an even deeper lesson to teach us: the problems inherent to a spiritual philosophy that dehumanizes us. When we believe in supernatural realities to the extent that some young kid is somehow considered to be the reincarnation of a “Supremely Wise Being” we have essentially erased the person, the human being, behind all of our idealizations. Critiquing the corruptive power of such spiritual idealization is an oft cited and very relevant observation to make - which definitely applies to the monks who abused Kalu - but Kalu’s story is more than that. It is the story of a young man who is and was being crushed beneath the cultural and religio-political burdens of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He is definitely a remarkable young man. Very few human beings are subjected to such a powerful machine of personal erasure as the Tulku tradition and yet he has come out of it with his humanity, while bruised, intact. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 Again, I can relate to this. As a young boy my yogic community held me in high regard and, by the time I was twenty-five, had officially declared me to be a fully enlightened being. This conferment of spiritual authority produced a revelation in me, but not the one expected. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 What I saw so clearly were four things, two of which Kalu touches upon in his video: 1. We are all human beings, no one person is superhuman or has some privileged connection to a hidden domain of consciousness kept just out of the reach of other normal human beings - no matter their title or religious esteem (or cultural pedigree for that matter). 2. There are very dark politics seething beneath all forms of religious hierarchy. Kalu describes a key motivator behind this cutthroat political underbelly and the attempts on his life when he states, “and then my own manager tried to kill me… I mean my teacher. And it’s all about money, power, controlling. Because, if you can control the president you can get what you want” (min 5:03 - 5:14). Disheartening words for a spiritual tradition that promotes selflessness and compassion. The third awakening is one that Kalu barely and only briefly gestures to in his video. This elision has to do with a number of things but most importantly: he is still operating as Kalu Rinpoche, which only perpetuates the hypocrisy he has been the victim of. If this revelation has dawned upon him he has yet to put it into practice. I will describe this third awakening in the paragraph below. But here I want to say that I have profound sympathy for Kalu. He has so much personal trauma to work through, so many cultural and religio-political burdens placed on his shoulders, and - not to sound condescending - a very significant educational gap to overcome due to his monastic training (I speak from experience). He needs a lot of help and my heart goes out to him. Nonetheless, he has yet to leave the Tulku machine. I know I will get a lot of flak for saying this, but, I truly hope he does. Of course, I understand that he is living under intense social pressure, as a Tibetan. Still, that doesn’t change his very human need for help, which requires the time and appropriate space to heal. I don’t see this type of healing as forthcoming in his maintaining the role of spiritual educator, and divine incarnation, in an orthodox tradition. 3. The third observation has to do with the pernicious effects of mind-body dualism. Whether it be Tibetan Buddhism, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, or Christian mysticism, there is a deep and abiding disgust for the human body. This negative view of our human biology stems from a belief in the existence and superiority of the spirit. Most traditional forms of spirituality (whether Eastern or Western) are predicated upon a metaphysical identification with an invisible spirit that survives the death of the body and contains our essence. In Tibetan Buddhism this spiritual “imprint” may be devoid of “true self” but it nonetheless survives the death of the body and contains the continuity of self necessary for the demands of reincarnation. The second commonality within religious traditions is that the body is viewed as an obstacle to the evolution of the spirit. In Patanjali’s system, this problem is resolved through the abnegation of the body’s essential needs and wants, including food, sex, intimacy, and love. Both the Buddhist and yogic traditions teach us to not grieve the dead, for all things are impermanent. This speaks to not only a profound fear of death but it is also a fear of life - for it is life denying. In order to guard against death, life itself is rejected in the form of militating against the physical body via spiritual detachment. I spent years engaging in this form of metaphysical asceticism. I rejected my body, denied it sex, fasted continuously and abstained from all “impure” foods. I was starving for intimacy, for love, for the permission to grieve those cherished ones who had died (including my father). I was desperate to be human. And yet, my whole spiritual life was predicated on denying my essential humanity. This note of desperation I do hear in Kalu’s video. He implores us to take care of our families, to be human. And I applaud him for that. But I, personally, think this effort to be human demands a reinvestment in the body itself. (See Julian Walker’s excellent article that touches upon these same themes, and in greater depth) It is, in many ways, an ethical decision. In order to treat others well I must value them, not an imaginary supernatural idea of “who they truly are as invisible spiritual beings,” but as living breathing persons that I can touch and know and speak to right now with my own body and my own eyes made of flesh. This also means that I can hurt those people if I don’t invest in the value of the human body. Spiritual idealizations, such as mind-body dualism, have the tendency to not only obscure but also erase the value of the physical - for it is the physical body that invalidates and casts doubts/threatens the world of spiritual idealizations. These are the dangers engendered by losing contact with the real, the tangible, the physical, for it is the erasure of persons replacing them with concepts - which is anti-body and therefore has profound implications for our very human lives. 4. The fourth observation I made soon after being officially declared a superhuman divinity is intimately connected to this third awakening. It has to do with the implications of reinvesting in the body. It is a revisioning of spirituality and ethics. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 When we understand the importance of this living breathing human body, the questions are no longer about metaphysics, but ethics. The question is no longer “what is the meaning of life?” but is much more vitally “what should I do with this life?” This kind of spirituality, which is rooted in the reality of the body, elicits an interpersonal experience we can all share in. And it therefore generates an ethic of intimacy. This re-embodiment of our common humanity, based upon the value of the body itself, is in fact an ethical practice. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 By reinvesting in the body, we reinvest in our ecology, economy, and society. Understanding that all things lean into one another we can develop an ethical philosophy that has immense force. The force of this ethic is grounded in the experience of inhabiting your own skin. From there we inhabit our environment, our community, and this earth. If I invest in my body then I naturally care about the rivers and the lakes, from which I get water to live. By investing in my own body I come into greater intimacy with the bodies of others, which makes me care for the wellbeing of others as well as myself. Therefore, the ethics of this embodied life are about intimacy and the world of relationship. By this simple act, this reinvestment in my humanity, the ethical and environmental ramifications are enormous. I have in one simple philosophical shift become an environmentalist and an embodied humanist.  
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 The fourth observation I’ve come to call embodied spirituality (see Julian Walker’s wonderful sutra on this very topic), which is a type of embodied ethics and embodied ecology. Of course, I have not originated any of these ideas but they have been the touchstones by which I have learned to heal myself from years of metaphysical asceticism. It is also why I am no longer a monk or a guru, for both “occupations” perpetuate and engender beliefs I consider to be harmful to myself and others. Hence, my weariness regarding the Tulku theocracy via belief in reincarnation and its tendency to breed the kinds of exploitation and scandal Kalu is simultaneously mired in and exposing. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  
 It is inhuman to deny yourself the pleasures of the body and it is inhuman to deny the overwhelming precedence and value of our embodied lives. If such an embodied spirituality were to gain traction in the world, as I am advocating for, we would see less moral travesties, exploitation, and sexual abuse in the guise of religious holiness, such as the sad story of Kalu Rinpoche. I also believe that if such an embodied spirituality were to take hold it might stir a revolution in ethics, that would extend into all spheres of our religious, political, and social lives. For it is about becoming more human, not less. 
Author: Shyam Dodge
Nationality: Chinese
b. 31 December 1984
  




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