A Thought For Today A Teaching a Day From the Dhammapada

Thought for Today

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

A spark of Buddhist wisdom for the 21st day of this month.

Suffering and joy follow each other.



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 21 

Once there was a wealthy though foolish man. When he saw the beautiful three-story house of another man he envied it and made up his mind to have one built just like it since he, too, was a wealthy man. 

He summoned a carpenter and ordered him to build it. The carpenter consented and beginning with a strong foundation, proceeded to frame the first story, and then the second story, slowly but surely preparing the base for a sturdy third story.

The wealthy man, noticing this with irritation, shouted as if he were in a great hurry, "What I ordered you to build was not a foundation, nor a first story, nor a second story, but a beautiful three-story mansion. Build it quickly." 

Foolish men only think of results; impatient with the effort that is required to bring them about. But, just as it is impossible to build a third story without a foundation and two lower stories, no good can ever be obtained without proper effort. 


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 World...

175. Swans fly along the path of the sun; those with superhuman power go through the air; having conquered the evil king and his army, the sages leave this world forever.