Tag Archives: Proverbs

Buddhist Proverbs

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This Sunday, April 15th 2012, I have been asked to give the message at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. I decided to discuss the “Four Dharma Seals.” In my research I came across many Buddhist Proverbs at http://japanlifeandreligion.com, the following ten are the my favorites. I am not going to add commentary at this time but I hope to do so in the future. Furthermore, If you live in Chicago please come on by as I would love to meet you.

I also suggest using these proverbs as an object for contemplation/meditation.

  1. 悪事身にとまる (akuji mi ni tomaru) – All evil done clings to the body.
  2. 頭そるより心をそれ (atama soru yori kokoro wo soré) – Better to shave the heart than to shave the head.
  3. 会うは別れのはじめ (au wa wakaré no hajimé) – Meeting is only the beginning of separation. (This one I am using!)
  4. 凡夫も悟れば仏なり (bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari) – Even a common man by obtaining knowledge becomes a Buddha.
  5. 仏法とわら屋の雨、出てきけ (Buppō to waraya no amé, dété kiké) – One must go outside to hear Buddhist doctrine or the sound of rain on a straw roof.
  6. 仏になるも沙弥をへる (Hotoké ni naru mo shami wo heru) – Even to become a Buddha one must first become a novice.
  7. 地獄極楽は心にあり (Jigoku Gokuraku wa kokoro ni ari) – Hell and Heaven are in the hearts of men.
  8. 露の命 (Tsuyu no inochi) – Human life is like the dew of morning.
  9. 陰の形にしたがうごとし (kagé no katachi ni shitagau gotoshi) – Even as the shadow follows the shape.
  10. この世は仮の宿 (Kono yo wa kari no yado) – This world is only a resting-place. 

    You can also check out the below sources for many others.

Sources:
  1. http://japanlifeandreligion.com/2010/11/26/ten-great-buddhist-proverbs-by-lafcadio-hearn/ Thanks to Doug 陀愚 for his wonderful kanji.
  2. http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/igj/igj12.htm
  3. http://oaks.nvg.org/buddhist-proverbs.html