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 Arhat ...

93. The path of those who have conquered defilements, who are not attached to food, who thoroughly discern the void and the formless, and who have been spiritually emancipated, cannot be traced, as that of birds in the sky cannot.

94. Those who have subdued their senses like well-trained horses, who have eliminated arrogance, and who have freed themselves from defilements are envied even by the gods.

95. Those who observe well the disciplines are free from vexations, like the great earth, or the great pillar; they are like clear lakes without mud; there will be no more transmigration for them to go through.