Thought for Today

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

A spark of Buddhist wisdom for the 17th day of this month.

To teach means to learn as well.



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 17 

People have worldly passions which lead them to delusion and suffering. There are five ways to gain freedom from the bonds of these worldly passions. 

First, one should have correct ideas. This cor­rect view of things should be based on careful obser­vation while understanding the relationship between causes and effects. 

Second, one can rid mistaken observations and the resulting worldly passions by careful and patient mind-control. By overcoming desires it is possible to quiet the demands of worldly passions. 

Third, one must understand the proper function of all material things. The function of clothing and food is umelated to pleasure and comfort. Clothing is necessary to protect the body against extremes of heat and cold and to cover the shame of the body. Food is necessary to fuel the body while training for Enlightenment. Worldly passions do not arise when an understanding of the proper function of material things occurs. 

Fourth, it is most important to learn endurance. One must learn to endure the discomforts of heat and cold, hunger and thirst, and to be patient in the face of abuse and scorn for it is the practice of endurance that quenches the fire of worldly passions. 

Fifth, one must learn to recognize and avoid all danger. Just as a wise man avoids wild horses or mad dogs, one should not go to places where wise men avoid; nor make friends with evil men. 


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. 

The Ignorant ...

60. Long is the night to one who is awake, and long is the way to one who is weary; long is samsara to the ignorant, who do not know the true Dharma.
61. On walking the path, if you are not able to accompany someone who is superior or equal to you, go on by yourself. There is no merit in having an ignorant man as your friend.
62. “I have children,” “I have wealth.” With these thoughts, the ignorant person is tormented. Even he himself is not his, so how can he possess children and wealth?