Do Not Believe…

Achieving a Mind at Rest

Since I forsook the world and broke off its ties
I have felt neither fear nor resentment

I have committed my life to fate
without special wish to live or desire to die

I have few attachments
Like a drifting cloud I rely on no one

My only luxury is a sound sleep
All I look forward to is the beauty of the changing seasons

The World of Desire     The World of Form     The World of No-form
are entirely of the mind

If the mind is not at peace
palaces and pavilions are of no help

Within this lonely cottage
I am content

There is room to sleep at night
room to sit in the day

In Kyoto people stared at my poverty
I felt ashamed

Here I only feel compassion
thinking of those who are bound by their attachment to earthly things

Consider the fish
They do not tire of water

Birds love the woods
yet no one knows how they feel

It is so with the life of a hermit
How can anyone understand unless they experience it?

Now the moon of my life has reached its final phase
My remaining years draw to their close

As I approach the Three Ways of the Hereafter
what do I regret?

In the quiet hour before dawn
I ask these questions

Thus to dwell alone in the woods
has it really been to follow the path of enlightenment?

Do desire and ignorance still control my actions?
My heart does not reply

The most I can do is to murmur two or three times
an invocation to the Buddha

and practice patience

                                                                          Kamo no Chomei

I teach one thing and one thing only
 “suffering” and the end of suffering
                                                                                       The Buddha

Do not believe ...
in traditions merely because they are old

and have been handed down for many generations and in many places

Do not believe ...
anything on account of rumours or because people talk a great deal about it

Do not believe ...
anything because you are shown the written testimony of some ancient sage

Do not believe ...
in what you have fancied, thinking that, because it is extraordinary
it must have been inspired by some god or other wonderful being

Do not believe ...
anything merely because presumption is in its favour
or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true

Do not believe
anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests

But whatever
after thorough investigation and reflection
you find to agree with reason and your experience
as being conducive to the good and benefit of one and all
and to the good and benifit of the world at large
accept only that as

Shape your life in accordance with it

                                                                                                                 The Buddha