The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.

A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation.
After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own. With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation.
But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake. At that moment, the monk achieves self-realization, and understands that the anger is within him; it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him.
From then on, whenever he comes across someone who irritates him or provokes him to anger, he reminds himself, “The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.”

The most mindful and compassionate response

“When something upsets you, when something happens that is not to your liking in your family or your community, you want to change it right away. You are tempted to use the little power that is available to you, as a father, a mother, a teacher, somebody, to change the situation. This is exactly the moment to stop and contemplate. Practice looking deeply into the nature of what upsets you to see what the most mindful and compassionate response may be.”

Entering into the quiet that is already there

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there — buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

– Deepak Chopra

A lot of thinking without wisdom is extreme suffering.

When we know the truth, we become people who don’t have to think much, we become people with wisdom. If we don’t know, we have more thinking than wisdom or no wisdom at all. A lot of thinking without wisdom is extreme suffering.

Ajahn Chah

Like unto this great cloud, to pour enrichment on all parched living beings.

Know, Kashyapa!
It is like unto a great cloud
Rising above the world,
Covering all things everywhere,
A gracious cloud full of moisture;
Lightning-flames flash and dazzle,
Voice of thunder vibrates afar,
Bringing joy and ease to all.
The sun’s rays are veiled,
And the earth is cooled;
The cloud lowers and spreads
As if it might be caught and gathered;
Its rain everywhere equally
Descends on all sides,
Streaming and pouring unstinted,
Permeating the land.
On mountains, by rivers, in valleys,
In hidden recesses, there grow
The plants, trees, and herbs;
Trees, both great and small,
The shoots of the ripening grain,
Grape vine and sugar cane.
Fertilized are these by the rain
And abundantly enriched;
The dry ground is soaked,
Herbs and trees flourish together.
From the one water which
Issued from that cloud,
Plants, trees, thickets, forests,
According to their need receive moisture.
All the various trees,
Lofty, medium, low,
Each according to its size,
Grows and develops
Roots, stalks, branches, leaves,
Blossoms and fruits in their brilliant colors;
Wherever the one rain reaches,
All become fresh and glossy.
According as their bodies, forms
And natures are great or small,
So the enriching rain,
Though it is one and the same,
Yet makes each of them flourish.

In like manner also the Buddha
Appears here in the world,
Like unto a great cloud
Universally covering all things;
And having appeared in the world,
He, for the sake of the living,
Discriminates and proclaims
The truth in regard to all laws.
The Great Holy World-honored One,
Among the gods and men
And among the other beings,
Proclaims abroad this word:
“I am the Tathagata,
The Most Honored among men;
I appear in the world
Like unto this great cloud,
To pour enrichment on all
Parched living beings,
To free them from their misery
To attain the joy of peace,
Joy of the present world,
And joy of Nirvana….

Upon all I ever look
Everywhere impartially,
Without distinction of persons,
Or mind of love or hate.
I have no predilections
Nor any limitations;
Ever to all beings
I preach the Law equally;
As I preach to one person,
So I preach to all.
Ever I proclaim the Law,
Engaged in naught else;
Going, coming, sitting, standing,
Never am I weary of
Pouring it copious on the world,
Like the all-enriching rain.
On honored and humble, high and low,
Law-keepers and law-breakers,
Those of perfect character,
And those of imperfect,
Orthodox and heterodox,
Quick-witted and dull-witted,
Equally I rain the Law-rain
Unwearyingly.”

Buddhism. Lotus Sutra 5

Lotus Sutra 5: This Parable of the Rain Cloud describes the impartial and equal care which the Buddha gives to all creatures. In addition, it speaks to the specific issue of this sutra, which is the unity of the various paths (shravaka-vehicle, pratyekabuddha-vehicle, and bodhisattva-vehicle) as stepping stones in the overarching dispensation of the Buddha–the One Vehicle.

Returning to that place where you started with

In terms of the nature of mind, the true nature of mind, I don’t know what I could say about that. It’s just there. Usually we think of the true nature of mind as something really high, and although I haven’t done a lot of practice in relation to the true nature of mind, if I speak from my own experience of this, I could say that eventually we will return to what we were bored with in the beginning and discover that was it.

So we start off by thinking that what we have right now is too simple, too ordinary. The true nature of mind must be something special, something high, something prettier than what we have now. And what we have now doesn’t really satisfy our desires, it’s not very attractive to us, but if you put some serious effort into your practice, then eventually I think that recognizing the true nature of mind means returning to that place where you started with — your boring unattractive, not new, not high, mental state — and actually recognize that it has been what you’re looking for.

– 17th Karmapa

Don’t count your practice in years or months

Until you perfect the view,
Don’t count your practice in years or months,
But decide to dedicate the whole remainder of your life to Dharma practice.
This is the approach of the very best practitioners.

– Yangthang Rinpoche

A Brief Presentation of View, Meditation and Action