Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Believe not...

From time to time I am asked what drew me to Buddhism and the practice of Zen...I remember reading this quote from the Buddha when I was a teen:

"Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, believe not because you have been made to believe from your childhood, but reason truth out, and after you analyzed it, then you find it will do good to one and all, live up to it, and help others live up to it."

This spoke to me immensely. Maybe because the Viet Nam War was raging and we were questioning a lot of beliefs during that era.  I was also growing as a teen with lots of 'rebellious thoughts' going on anyway...either way, this quote made me investigate more of the Buddha's teachings. I liked what I read and eventually went on to practice Zen and receive the precepts.

These wise words have always been dear to my heart. I hope they speak to you as well.

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Shinzen, do you happen to know the specific source of that quote? Thanks.

  2. Not sure exactly...If you searched the dhammapadha or works on it, the quote might be in there with the source. You could google the quote for which sutra it came from.