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Thought for Today

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

A spark of Buddhist wisdom for the 13th day of this month.

Waves rise and fall with the wind.



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 13 

The concept of universal oneness - that all things in their essential nature have no distinguishing characteristics - is called Sunyatii. Sunyatii means non-substantiality, the un-bom, having no self-na­ture, no duality. It is because things in themselves have no form or characteristics that we can speak of them as neither being born or being destroyed. There is nothing about the essential nature of all things that can be described in terms of discrimi­nation; that is why things are called non-substan­tial. 

All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Noth­ing can ever exist entirely alone; rather, all things exist in relation to everything else. 

Whenever there is light, there is shadow; whenever there is length, there is shortness; whenever there is white, there is black. Just like these examples, the essential nature of things cannot ex­ist alone and is hence non-substantial. 

Further, without ignorance Enlightenment would not exist; without Enlightenment ignorance would not exist. These two apparent opposites, in reality do not differ because of the non-substantial­ity of their essential natures. 


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. 

Twin Verses ...

1. Everything is led by the mind; the mind is the leader; everything is made up of the mind. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox that draws it.

2. Everything is led by the mind; the mind is the leader; everything is made up of the mind. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows him like the shadow that never leaves him.