Religious Matters

Brother, what sort of religion do you teach?
Who told you that I've got religion?

Brother, you teach us just like a prophet?
That's what you say, you lousy gangster!

The words
No Religion confuse me!
Just study the law of nature, that's enough!

But isn't that religion, or what is it?
Just see nature and it takes care of the rest!

What's the reason, then, for not calling it religion?
It's only ordinariness, naturally, nothing more!

Where, then, is religion?
Gangs of noisy authorities stuffing people's heads!


You Just Create Mara Yourself

Mara* exists when we want things good or to get, 
Even wanting to die Mara exists most peculiarly, 
Because the grasping of
ME is so excessive
Desire in all its guises never falls into disuse. 

If there's no wanting to get or be anything 
How could Mara exist? So why not oppose it! 
Don't go wanting anything through not knowing,
Then no Mara will ever appear before you!

Think, speak, and do everything with wisdom
You don't really need to crave anything, now, do you?
Without desires it's so much more cool & peaceful,
What Mara could happen then? There's just no way!


(*) Mara, The Killer, the Buddhist personification of evil

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The Supreme Buddhist Mantra

They arise, manifest, and then cease — 
this is the main mantra to use when getting
rewards, status, praise, or any kind of happiness,
so as not to be drowsy, forget ourselves, or indulge.

They arise, manifest, and then cease — 
this is the main mantra to use when losing
rewards, status praise, or even wife and kids,
so we aren't weakened, confused, or distraught.

They arise, manifest, and then cease — 
this is the mantra to use at the last lesson,
the best weapon for dueling with death,
fully at peace beyond Mara's snares.


No More Enemies

Enemies are those who surprise and test us 
So we know how good we actually are, or 
That we're only good at blazing up in anger 
Unable to control our hearts for even a moment.

Enemies are those who choose heaven for us 
In that our minds will notice, ponder, and realize 
That patience and tolerance are sainthood right here —
Without them, we become demons of hellish turbulence.

Enemies are those who teach us the truths 
That ill-will and vengeance are filthy waters. 
Don't hold them in your heart, you'll bruise yourself sore
Tossing and spinning in the seas of Samsara far too long.

So it is that enemies bestow upon us great benefits;
then, why do they become villains in our minds? 
Not knowing how to greet them, we react aggressively; 
Learn how to receive them and enemies disappear!


Fighting With Pillows

A low pillow makes it easy and pleasant to sleep supine!
But with a thick pillow you're in danger of sudden death, 
Your neck broken in a snap, all ready for the coffin —
It's so much more safe to sleep on one's side!

Dear Father rules over two or three fluffy pillows
Spooking himself just to excuse padding his body!
Don't even bother with them, they wear you out.
Whether on side or back, use an arm for support!

Sleep just enough. Don't linger after the pleasures 
Of sleep, not wanting to get up. It's a brain disease 
With selfish defilements puffing up the heart
Until we need far too many luxuries for our own good.


Why Revile Them?

Please tell me, why do you love to curse them?
What? I don't like cursing anybody at all!

Then why do all your words pierce the heart?
How can they pierce if the heart is good?

They rumor that you scold magnificently & loudly.
Only dirty minded souls think such a thing!

Well, it hurts and penetrates their hearts.
Those who eat lime will always get heartburn!

If you don't like to, why stir up such resentment?
They're in hopeless trouble already, so I strike!

Can't you hold back just a bit, can't you wait?
When else do you beat iron but when it's still soft!


Cats Never Brush Their Teeth

Have you noticed? Cats lack toothbrushes
but their mouths never stink like those of dogs.
They eat raw flesh & smelly food just the same
but their magic mouths don't smell like doggy breath.

Our own human mouths, if we fail to brush
or chew betel nut till they're red as a plum
Will stink to heaven even worse than an ogre's
everyone knows this dearly in their hearts.

Wouldn't it be good if we savored the
all day long and late into the night?
Our mouths will be fresh & fragrant from deep within.
If this isn't true, then come curse me to death.


Body Odors - Cats - Dogs - People

In nature, cats never take baths,
they're way too afraid of water;
Yet we all know they never stink,
While dogs can really prick our noses.

Whether they bathe or not, dogs still stink.
Compared with cats they are rather silly.
But what of people, that's the real issue:
Sometimes they stink far worse than any dog.

So we spend fortunes on perfumes & fragrances,
Uncountable resources wasted without a care.
Never daring to bathe in the stream of Dhamma,
That alone washes away the worst odors for life.


Mind Training Principles

Dukkha always occurs through three causes:
1. doing abundant evil in the past,
2. not doing any good right now, which is common,
3. not lifting the mind above worldly things.

There's no dukkha when three causes occur:
1. much supporting good done in the past,
2. right now, always doing only what is good,
3. keeping the mind upright, undeluded, & sober.

If you know how to train the mind even higher, 
not messing around with pleasure & pain, 
letting go of everything, freed of all moods, 
done with sweet and bitter, calm and cool in Nibbana.


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The More One Brags Of Being Straight,  The More Deeply Crooked One Ends Up

The straighter you try to be, the more deeply crooked 
Turns out a hidden, secret enemy surprisingly nasty. 
Wanting to be straight, to show off and succeed —
How straight is it really? Come on, be honest. 

One brags
straight according to what they praise
Too straight one sinks into the strict mess created
Wanting to be straight so that somebody will accept us
So that this little kid will grow up for once. 

A mind clear enough to let it all go, 
Not seeing a problem between straight and bent. 
Beyond crooked & straight not deceived by
me or it  
So purely at peace, freed of the world, unburdened.


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I Work More Than I Can Bear

I work more than I can bear, but  
     am happy hearted enough to leap and dance. 
This is because my mind thinks and aims 
     only to live in line with the Dhamma, 
Wherever the causes and conditions lead, 
     according to the karma I laid down in former moments. 
To die is like a pause from work, 
     to sleep for a night, to rest for a time; 
With the new dawn, I take up the work 
     vigorously carrying on the work left over from before. 
The new day is a new birth, these two are the same: 
     born with the day and dying at night, 
As the waves of the samsaric cycles create   
     the myriad products that soothe and comfort our hearts. 
Whoever wishes for joy and bliss must know  
     that it depends on the one who can see joy for himself. 
As for me, there is no meaning beyond 
     the fact that I was born only to work 
According to conditions, so that myself and others 
     will know the world, conquer it, and vanquish sorrow. 
Nature created us perfectly, physically and mentally 
     thriving — boundless thanks to Nature! 
Although we are created for birth, decay, and death, 
     yet Nature gives me the chance to vie 
Struggle, and contend in all duties to break ahead 
     in order to reach the end before anyone else. 
While friends encourage each other to lie around, 
     I am working hard as if they were chasing behind. 
The duties of life that besiege constantly 
     are like debts ever piling up on top of me 
Blocking my way almost like a whirlpool, 
     when will I pass beyond and find the place of freedom and peace? 
From here to Nibbana we must pass through  
     the checkpoint which is the work of our lives 
This Law is more certain than any scales; 
     no matter how skilled, no one can escape this rule. 
For this reason, in any activity that 
     aims for the benefit of others or oneself 
We should hurry, struggle, and strive  
     to make it beautiful and work off our debt to Nature. 
Until the heart’s attachments to all things  
     weaken, dissolve, and fade away 
So that wisdom sees directly that greed, anger, 
     and delusion are finished and samsara stopped. 
Hurry friends, don't be late! 
     Whatever work you may meet, tackle it immediately. 
Much work may bring a faster death, 
     but it rolls along towards the final rest, just the same. 


13 February 1938
(translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu)

Better For Being Cursed

Isn't it funny that I'm much better for being reviled?
It delights me the more that they curse me.
No matter how badly they lay into me, I don't mind.
Don't worry, things aren't as bad as they claim.

Whoever has something good, others will envy. 
They'll look for something to pick apart and despise,
Once their mouths tire they'll clam up on their own.
As they get noisier, I challenge them to revile at will!

I'm someone who has benefited from being cursed.
All their nasty words have turned into blessings.
However they revile none of it turns out to be true,
So I get all the benefits of their curses, isn't it fun?!


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