This is a photo I took in 2013, when I visited the Vietnamese Buddhist temple not too far from my home. I had completely forgotten I had taken this photo, but stumbled upon it recently and wanted to share.
The Ten Thoughts of the Buddha (佛教十項心念) do not appear to be a standard Buddhist list, but might be something local to this temple. Anyhow, the translated list is:
- While meditating on the body, do not hope or pray to be exempt from sickness. Without sickness, desires and passions can easily arise.
- In your life, do not hope or pray not to have any difficulties. Without difficulties, arrogance can easily arise.
- While meditating on the mind, do not hope or pray not to encounter hindrances. Without hindrances, present knowledge will not be challenged or broadened.
- While working, do not hope or pray not to encounter obstacles. Without obstacles, your willpower and focus will not strengthen.
- In life, do not hope or pray to achieve success easily. With easy success, arrogance can easily arise.
- When interacting with others, do not hope or pray to gain personal profit. With the hope for personal gain, the spiritual nature of the encounter is diminished.
- While speaking with others, do not hope or pray to not be disagreed with. Without disagreement, feelings of self-righteousness can easily arise.
- While helping others, do not hope or pray to be paid. With the hope of remuneration, the act of helping others will not be pure.
- If you see personal profit in an action, do not participate in it. Even minimal participation will stir up desires and passions.
- When wrongly accused, do not attempt to to exonerate yourself. Attempting to defend yourself will create needless anger and animosity and only perpetuate the endless cycle of karma.
I bet everyone can identify with at least one of these warnings. I know I do. 🙂