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11/06/202009:18(Xem: 111)

hoa hong bao hieu-9

Venerable Sumangalo

It is so easy to call oneself a Buddhist and to talk about religion. Man individuals like to talk about Buddhist doctrines, to recite devotions and to be a Buddhist “on the outside.” Our Lord’s Dharma is for “the inside” of a person as well as for outside and is far more than just something to argue about or words to recite. If we really have respect for Lord Buddha’s Dharma in our hearts, then our “outside” lives will be right and will set bright examples to others.

It is sad that a few of us seem to think that regular recitation of certain favourite devotions is all that is necessary in order to be a first-class Buddhist. Of course, recitations of holy texts are very good indeed, but this is not all there is to the Buddhist way of life. Unless we live the doctrines of our religion every moment of our daily lives, then we are not really sincere Buddhists. Let us not forget the well-known Chinese proverb: “Empty barrels make the most noise.” If we do not walk on the Noble Eightfold Path, then there is not much use in merely talking about it. Chatter about Buddha-dharma without living Buddha-dharma is just noise from an empty barrels make the most noise.” If we do not walk on the Noble Eightfold Path, then there is not much use in merely talking about it. Chatter about Buddha-dharma without living Buddha-dharma is just noise from an empty barrel.

Temptations come to us all. Character grows stronger each time we resist temptation to do anything we know we ought not to do. Another character-builder is hardship. Each of us really needs to go through a certain amount of hardship. If everything is too easy and comfortable for us we are likely to become “softies”, not only physically but also in our spiritual nature. It is also only too likely that living too easy a life may cause us to lose all feeling of sympathy with those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

The more we learn to resist evil temptations and the more we can endure a certain amount of hardship, whether it be poverty, sickness, disappointment, grief or any other sorrow, the stronger we grow in our moral nature and more and more we have sympathetic understanding of the problem of others.

Sooner or later there comes a time when we realize that the things we used to think were so very important are not so important after all. It is an old and true saying that “the best things in life are free.” Certainly this is true of the Buddha-dharma. It is free to all, rich and poor, sick and well, high and low, male and female, and to all races and nationalities. When we master this perfect teaching, we find that sorrow no longer has the power to overwhelm us and joy no longer can make us so falsely happy that we are silly. We reach a true understanding of life and “find our balance.”

Remember always that merely talking about following the Dharma is not enough. We must actually walk on the Noble Path. If we do less than this, then we are only “empty barrels.”



Of those who talk the Noble Eightfold Way,
How many walk the way?
How many know
The pitfalls and the snares;
The swampland and the plain,
The scorching heat, the snows,
The drenching rain?
The loneliness and heartache
That dismay
The pilgrim as he journeys
Night and day?
How many walk the way?

This would I know:
Of those who prate the Fourfold Noble Truths,
How many speak the truth?
How many know
Release of mind,
True wisdom comprehended?
Cessation from their pain
And craving ended?
Work out their own salvation,
Look within?
And in the silence
Find the strength to win?
How many?
This would I know.

                                               -Hesper Le Gallienne Hutchinson.


  1. Which is easier, to talk about being a Buddhist or actually to be one?
  2. What do we mean when we say we ought to be Buddhists “on the inside” as well as “on the outside”?
  3. If we resist temptation what happens to our character?
  4. What do we mean by the word “softie”?
  5. How can sorrow and disappointment be of help to us?
  6. Must we pay for everything or are some of the best things in life free?
  7. What are some of the good things that are free of charge?
  8. What do we mean by “finding our balance” between joy and sorrow?
  9. What is the ancient proverb about barrels?
  10. Can you explain the meaning of the poem with this lesson?
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28/02/201418:02(Xem: 2483)
There are three fundamental modes of training in Buddhist practice: morality, mental culture, and wisdom. The English word morality is used to translate the Pali term sila, although the Buddhist term contains its own particular connotations. The word sila denotes a state of normalcy, a condition which is basically unqualified and unadulterated.
28/02/201418:00(Xem: 2367)
According to the Buddhist monastic code, monks and nuns are not allowed to accept money or even to engage in barter or trade with lay people. They live entirely in an economy of gifts. Lay supporters provide gifts of material requisites for the monastics, while the monastics provide their supporters with the gift of the teaching.
28/02/201417:57(Xem: 2389)
This year, at the summer retreat, Vien Tu and Minh Hanh, the two novice monks, took turns to prepare the congee offering each evening. Many Buddhists were curious to know why the congee was offered but not the cooked rice or others. This article is writing about the congee services to the spirits.
28/02/201417:53(Xem: 2561)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word ‘chant’ is both a noun and a verb, also (now Scottish) chaunt, compared with the late 17th Century, old and modern French verb, ‘with chant’ which is derived from the Latin, ‘cantum’.
28/02/201417:50(Xem: 1828)
My dear friends, suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river, it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by.
28/02/201417:48(Xem: 2324)
We all know what happens when a fire goes out. The flames die down and the fire is gone for good. So when we first learn that the name for the goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana (nirvana), literally means the extinguishing of a fire, it's hard to imagine a deadlier image for a spiritual goal: utter annihilation.
28/02/201417:29(Xem: 1596)
This script was written and edited by: John D. Hughes, Arrisha Burling, Frank Carter, Leanne Eames, Jocelyn Hughes, Lisa Nelson, Julie O’Donnell, Nick Prescott, Pennie White and Lenore Hamilton. Consider a water tank as a model of understanding. When the water in the tank gets too low, you get sick and eventually die. For you to stay alive, the tank must be consistently replenished with water.
28/02/201417:27(Xem: 1905)
When we do walking meditation, the point is not to get somewhere, but rather to practice, using walking as the object of our attention. Even when we do have to get somewhere and must drive to do so, there is an opportunity for practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen master and poet, has written a number of gathas, or brief verses, for enhancing our mindfulness during everyday activities, even driving a car.
28/02/201417:23(Xem: 1783)
The word Buddhism is derived from Buddha, meaning the Enlightened One or the Awakened One. Buddha is not a proper name, but a generic term or appellative, referring to a founder of a religion, one who has attained supreme enlightenment and who is regarded as superior to all other beings, human or divine, by virtue of his knowledge of the Truth (Dhamma).
28/02/201417:16(Xem: 2027)
Lama Thubten Yeshe gave this teaching during a five-day meditation course he conducted at Dromana, near Melbourne, Australia, in March, 1975. Edited by Nicholas Ribush. This teaching appears in the November/December 1997 issue of Mandala Magazine.