Tidbits

A soldier came to the master and asked is there really a heaven and a hell?  “Who are you?” Demanded the master. ” I, am a Samurai!”  “You!  A soldier?  What idiot would have you as a guard, you look more like a beggar!”  The soldier grasped and began to draw his sword.  “So, you have a sword, big deal, it’s probably too dull to cut anything anyway.” As he drew his sword the master replied “Here, open the gates of Hell!”  At this, and seeing the master’s discipline, the Samurai was illumed with understanding, so he sheathed his sword, and bowed.  “Here, open the gates of heaven.”  said the MasterMy paraphrase from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.

Weapons are instruments of fear, they are not a wise man’s tools.  He uses them only when he has no choice.  Peace and quiet are dear to his heart, and victory no cause for rejoicing.  Tao Te Ching 31             

First, establish yourself in the way, then teach, and so defeat sorrow.To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing – straighten yourself.   You are your only master.  Who else? Subdue yourself, and discover your master.  Teachings of The Buddha The Dharmapada, 12

For him who has conquered the himself by the Self, the Self is a friend; but for him who has not conquered himself, the Self remains hostile, like an enemy. The highest Self of him who has conquered himself and is peaceful, is steadfast in cold, heat, pleasure, and pain; thus also in honor and dishonor.  The Bhagavad Gita 6, 6-7

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