Không nên nhìn lỗi người, người làm hay không làm.Nên nhìn tự chính mình, có làm hay không làm.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 50)
Người ngu nghĩ mình ngu, nhờ vậy thành có trí. Người ngu tưởng có trí, thật xứng gọi chí ngu.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 63)
Để đạt được thành công, trước hết chúng ta phải tin chắc là mình làm được. (In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.)Nikos Kazantzakis
Lửa nào bằng lửa tham! Chấp nào bằng sân hận! Lưới nào bằng lưới si! Sông nào bằng sông ái!Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 251)
Mỗi ngày khi thức dậy, hãy nghĩ rằng hôm nay ta may mắn còn được sống. Ta có cuộc sống con người quý giá nên sẽ không phí phạm cuộc sống này.Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Hãy lặng lẽ quan sát những tư tưởng và hành xử của bạn. Bạn sâu lắng hơn cái tâm thức đang suy nghĩ, bạn là sự tĩnh lặng sâu lắng hơn những ồn náo của tâm thức ấy. Bạn là tình thương và niềm vui còn chìm khuất dưới những nỗi đau. (Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior. You are beneath the thinkers. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.)Eckhart Tolle
Người ta có hai cách để học hỏi. Một là đọc sách và hai là gần gũi với những người khôn ngoan hơn mình. (A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.)Will Rogers
Chúng ta nên hối tiếc về những sai lầm và học hỏi từ đó, nhưng đừng bao giờ mang theo chúng vào tương lai. (We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us. )Lucy Maud Montgomery
Chúng ta không thể đạt được sự bình an nơi thế giới bên ngoài khi chưa có sự bình an với chính bản thân mình. (We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.)Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Bất lương không phải là tin hay không tin, mà bất lương là khi một người xác nhận rằng họ tin vào một điều mà thực sự họ không hề tin. (Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.)Thomas Paine

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Văn học Phật giáo - Aloka và băng cướp

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Relax, close your eyes and picture yourself deep in a jungle in Thailand, far from the nearest village. This story is about a clever boy called Aloka, who was sent away from his village to study in the great temple of Golden City. One day he was walking home to his village for the holidays when he met a band of robbers! Would you like to find out what happened? Listen carefully to his story.

Night was drawing in as Aloka made his way along the jungle trail. Ferns and palm trees lined the path and vines climbed into the sky. He was preparing to camp for the night when he met a family of merchants returning from market.

“Why don’t you camp with us tonight?” said Taai, the father of the family.

“Yes, come and share our meal,” said Rajini, his wife.

Aloka smiled gratefully. He had been walking for several days on his own and was very glad to have some company. He joined the family around a blazing camp fire and shared a delicious meal with them.

After they’d all eaten their fill, Taai put more logs on the fire. Then his six children gathered around to listen to him tell a story.

“Once upon a time there was a young Prince called Siddartha,” began Taai. “Although he was very rich and handsome, he was not happy. Siddartha could see that many people in his kingdom suffered. He wanted to help them but he didn’t know how, until one day he found the secret. Now children, do you know what that secret was?”

The youngest child, little Mai, spoke up. “The power to be happy is in your own mind,” she said.

“Very good, Mai,” said her father. “That’s exactly what the prince learned. Once he could control his mind through meditation, nothing had the power to frighten or upset him. He could help people, because he was at peace. And he taught people how they could help themselves.”

The children listened to Prince Siddartha’s adventures. They'd all heard the story many times before, but they loved it just the same. A large silver moon climbed into the night's sky and Taai’s gentle voice lulled the family into sleep. Then Taai himself closed his eyes and began to snore softly.

But young Aloka was wide awake. He was very excited by Prince Siddartha’s story. Now everything he’d learned at school about controlling his mind seemed to make sense.

Aloka wrapped himself in a blanket and walked over to a nearby fig tree where he would not disturb the family. He wanted to think about the ideas calmly and walked slowly back and forth in the cool night air. As he let his attention focus on his breathing, his mind began to settle. Aloka's teacher at the temple had taught him to do this whenever he got over-excited. Now he felt calm and at peace.

What Aloka did not know was that he and the family were in terrible danger. A band of robbers had spied the family’s camp fire from afar and quietly made their way through the jungle. Now they were hiding behind a boulder, watching Aloka and the sleeping family.

“Look at that family all fast asleep,’’ whispered their leader, Cha. “It'd be easy to steal from them.’’

“Yes, and they’re just back from market from the looks of it,’’ said his deputy Jao. “Look at all those bundles of cloth.’’

The family all slept on peacefully. Now Aloka spied the robbers but he decided to remain calm, as he’d been taught. “It’ll do no good if I panic,’’ he thought to himself.

“I’ll try to control my fear.” He continued to walk slowly back and forth under the tree, practising concentration.

“That man pacing there must be on guard,” said Bahn, the third robber. “Let’s wait until he falls asleep.”

“And then we can tie up the adults and take everything they own!” said Jao. “I’ve the ropes ready.”

The robbers waited for Aloka to go to sleep. They waited and they waited, but Aloka continued to walk back and forth under the tree. One by one, Cha, Jao and Bahn fell into fitful sleep. Every now and then, one of them would stir and open his eyes. But when he saw that Aloka was still awake, each robber would fall asleep once more. Finally, when the sun rose in the sky, all three robbers woke up.

“That guard is still awake!” growled Cha. “And now it’s daylight. It’s too risky for us to try to rob them now. They’ll wake up before we have a chance to tie them up.”

The angry robbers fled through the jungle as the morning light flooded into the valley. Jao was so annoyed he forgot to take his ropes with him. The leader, Cha, couldn’t resist calling out, “Hey, you lot, sleeping there without a care in the world! You were lucky this time. Your guard who never sleeps saved you! You should reward him well.”

Aloka watched them leave and at last stopped walking. He stretched his arms and legs and smiled quietly to himself. Soon everyone was up and bustling about preparing breakfast. Taai began gathering wood for a fire and found the trampled-down patch of ferns where the robbers had hidden. And then he discovered the ropes.

“Aloka, do you know how these got here?” asked Taai. He was concerned and confused.

“Oh yes, they belonged to the robbers who were watching our camp during the night. They left this morning” replied Aloka calmly.

“Robbers!” cried Taai. “Weren't you scared?”

“No,” said Aloka. “I felt very peaceful as I walked. I realized that robbers are only interested in rich people. I’d only my blanket and a calm mind and neither would be of interest to robbers. So why should I be afraid?”

“You’re very brave,” said Taai. “Because you remained calm in the face of danger, danger passed us all by.”

The family walked with Aloka back to his village. When they reached Aloka’s home, Taai met Aloka’s father and bowed to him. He told him the story of the robbers.

“Your son is the wisest young man I know,” Taai said. “You should be very proud.”

Aloka’s father smiled and nodded. “I am,” he said.

Right concentration or meditation is about training your heart and mind. Once you’re calm and at peace, bravery and wisdom will come naturally to you. 

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