Thought for Today

  Each year BDK shares a daily calendar of Buddhist thoughts paired with colorful images.

A spark of Buddhist wisdom for the 19th day of this month.

Action before words.



A Teaching a Day

As a simple approach to basic Buddha's teachings, BDK America has provided 31 short lessons. Each day we provide a new lesson so that busy people will only need a minute or two each day to learn more about Buddhism.  

The Teaching of Buddha - Day 19 

Human beings tend to move in the direction of their thoughts. Those who think about greed become greedy; those who think angry thoughts become angrier; and those who think harmful thoughts will mirror those thoughts in their own behavior. 

At autumn harvest, farmers gather their herds and confine them so that they will not break into the fields and trample the harvest giving cause for com­plaint, or to be killed in retribution. Similarly, people should be aware of the disasterous possibilities that arise from their own thoughts, carefully scrutinizing and discarding those that may cause such problems. They must eliminate thoughts that stimulate greed, anger and foolishness and encourage thoughts that stimulate charity and kindness. 

When spring comes and the pastures are abun­dant with green grass, the farmers can once again turn their herds loose. However, they must still watch their animals and not neglect their supervi­sion. Similarly with one's mind, it is important to bear watching over one's thoughts even under the best of conditions. 


All 31 lessons are collected in a small booklet called A Teaching a Day, as edited from our small hardcover book, The Teaching of Buddha. Both print items are available to order; you can also download a PDF of A Teaching a Day.



From the Dhammapada

We hope you enjoy today's excerpt from the Pali Dhammapada, an anthology of Buddhist ethical thoughts and precepts. With its simplicity of expression and poetic beauty, the Dhammapada has been a popular introduction to Buddhist wisdom through the centuries.  

Diligence ...

30. Indra rose to become the king of the gods by diligence; the diligent are praised, while the indolent are disparaged.

31. One who delights in diligence and is fearful of self-indulgence burns away like fire the bonds of defilements, big or small.

32. He who delights in diligence and is fearful of negligence will not fall back; he is close to nirvana.