Being halfhearted is such a waste. If we go around as if we’re half-asleep all the time, we can’t hope to savor a life that is free of regret. Enthusiasm and vigor are vital ingredients for a fulfilling life.
Buddhism teaches that a single day of life is worth more than all the treasures of the universe.
Everyone born in this world has a unique role that only he or she can fulfill. Were this not the case, we would not be here. The universe never acts without cause; everything invariably has a reason for being. Even the weeds people love to loathe serve a purpose.
Everything passes. Both soaring joys and crushing sorrows fade away like a dream. However, the knowledge of having lived one’s life to the fullest never disappears.
Human society can be full of contradictions. It can be unfair; unforgiving, too. Yet we cannot afford to dismiss and turn our backs to the world. A person who does loses, and no excuse can gloss that over. Given a choice whether to sink or swim, one must swim to the very end, no matter how the seas around us may rage.
If we suppose this lifetime to be the be-all and end-all of existence, we cannot lead a truly profound life. Belief in something eternal brings out our full humanity.
If you hope for a peaceful death as the final summation of your life, live each and every day with vitality, never failing to take everything that happens as an opportunity to open and expand your inner life, exerting yourself to the fullest in the place you find yourself now.
In life, we should not be totally absorbed with only immediate realities. We must have ideals and strive to achieve them, transcending present realities. On the other hand we should not allow ourselves to become alienated from reality. We can change nothing unless our feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Keep moving forward, even one or two steps, in your own way. Those who live out their lives to the fullest, unperturbed by the noisy clamor around them, are the true winners.
Life is a never-ending struggle to grow.
Life is a struggle, and ultimate victory is only decided in its final chapter. That is why it is important not to become intoxicated by one’s success or become disheartened in defeat.
Life is about scaling one mountain, then facing the next one, and the one after that. Those who persevere finally succeed in conquering the highest of mountains. On the other hand, those who avoid such challenges by taking the easy route will only descend into the valleys.
Life is an ongoing succession of births and deaths. From this perspective, we must seek our goal and mission in something that transcends birth and death, something that we can give our whole life to. Only then can we tap the inexhaustible potential of life. In other words, we must advance beyond the mere struggle to stay alive and be prepared to ask ourselves for what purpose we live our lives.
Life is the blossoming of flowers in the spring, the ripening of fruit in the fall, the rhythm of the earth and of nature. Life is the cry of cicadas signaling the end of summer, migratory birds winging south in a transparent autumn sky, fish dancing in a stream. Life is the joy beautiful music instills in us, the thrilling sight of a mountain peak reddened by the rising sun, the myriad combinations and permutations of visible and invisible phenomena. Life is all things.
Life may be more akin to a series of meets than a single marathon. You can lose a race here or there, as long as you win in one contest, in one area. All the struggles you endured will become a prized investment in your own person.
Of course, people want to live long. But in the end, what matters more is what we have been able to leave behind―the value we have created in our lives, the number of people we have made happy and how much we have been able to grow and expand as a person.
Take heart, and do not let the critical opinion of others stop you from moving forward. The true outcome of life is only apparent at the very end.
The course of our lives is determined by how we react― what we decide and what we do―at the darkest of times. The nature of that response determines a person’s true worth and greatness.
The struggle between happiness and unhappiness is the story of human existence. The struggle between peace and war is the history of the human race. The power that leads us to eternal victory amid these struggles is the power of good within us.
The sweetness of a life well lived can only be savored when our life has a great purpose. That purpose, that goal, is our own. There is no need to compare ourselves to others. We should choose our own goal and move forward toward achieving it in our own distinct way.
The voice is a mirror of our being, of our state of life. Our voice forthrightly reveals our true character, our cultivation as a human being. Our voices are ourselves.
The voice is the vibration of the whole living entity. A person’s being and character are revealed by their voice. A French writer once said that the voice is our second face; we may conceal our true appearance but we cannot hide our voice.
The worst mistake you can make is to give up on yourself and stop challenging yourself for fear of failure. Keep moving forward with a firm eye on the future, telling yourself, “I’ll start from today!” “I’ll start afresh from now, from this very moment!”
The years pass. The times change. The only thing that survives and transcends this inevitable process, that shines brighter with each new era, is the record of a great human spirit that has endured struggle and remained true to its deepest convictions to the very end.
What Buddhism teaches us is that only you can write the script of your life. The scenario of your life is not written by some external power; it is not a result of coincidence nor predetermined by destiny. You write the story of your own life and you are its star player.
When people remain ignorant of the fact that their life is infinitely precious and at one with the eternal universe, they become indifferent to the dignity of others. This becomes a cause of conflict and harm.
When we are aware that each moment of each day, each gesture and step we take, is truly mystical and full of wonder, we will live our lives with greater thought and care. We will also have greater respect and appreciation for the lives of others.
When we have a clear purpose in life we can overcome anything. Without a sense of purpose, even though we may possess everything else, our lives begin a slow decline.
Whether in life or in a specific undertaking, there will undoubtedly be times when you achieve genuine progress, only to come up against a wall or feel yourself regressing. There will be times when you just need to stop and rest. Such are the vicissitudes inherent to any struggle. Experiencing such swings in the process of achievement is to be expected.
Whether it be individuals, organizations, nations, civilizations, all forms of life in nature―for all entities in this universe, life is an ongoing challenge. In this struggle we find the essence and unchanging truth of life. When one stops challenging, decline begins.