Buddhist Etiquette

Dr. Frederick Lenz, Zen Master Rama, quotes on buddhism, enlightenment, nirvana, zen, tantra, tibetan and mahayana.


The outer form of Buddhism, of practice, is etiquette -- a series of ways to live intelligently that keep you alive, awake and happy, wakeful.


In Buddhism we have a great deal of etiquette. Etiquette is simply ways of living to conserve energy. Etiquette allows people to live in harmony with their environment.


Etiquette is an intelligent way to live. There are certain ways of living you will learn being around advanced students and mostly your teacher. These are methods that have been handed down for thousands of years.


When we lack etiquette, we trash things. We trash each other. We trash the environment. We lose sight of the value of things. We suffer alienation when our spirit is disconnected from our physical awareness.


In the beginning we define what is spiritual. But as you go on, you see that everybody and everything is an instrument of infinity.


The sign of an advanced spiritual person is that they don't think they're an advanced spiritual person until after liberation.


If you attain liberation do not feel that it matters or it is important. You had nothing to do with it. If you are bound by ignorance do not feel bad. You had nothing to do with it.


People enter states of consciousness where they think they've become enlightened. The best thing to do, if you've gone through one of those phases, is to be sensible, laugh at yourself for how foolish you were.


Being a Buddhist monk means never losing one's optimism in spite of all difficulties. It also means being harder on yourself than any of your teachers ever were.


From a Buddhist perspective, it is incorrect to always assume that we know what is best.


As Buddha points out, you should not rely on the opinions of others for validation of your internal progression.


People who are advanced meditators don't worry about liberation and self-realization; they instead are interested in the welfare of others and aiding others in their liberation.


It has been my experience as a teacher over the years and incarnations that what really counts are not techniques. What really counts is spirit, love. What really counts is a sense of propriety and dedication.


What is important in self-discovery is the person who keeps going, who has a smile, who is kind to others, who works hard at everything, and who keeps their mind on their own business and not everybody else's.


Sometimes there are people who only meditate with a teacher. They ride the teacher's energy. They don't really learn how to meditate. They learn how to ride the energy.


One person's cult is another person's spiritual organization.


It's necessary to respect all other ways and other teachings on the subject because even though they may not make a lot of sense to us, they might to someone else. Who are we to say?


Just because it doesn't work out for you, doesn't mean that it's not wonderful for someone else.


I think cosmopolitan spirituality is the best, where we go beyond "My teacher is better than yours" or "My meditation form is better than yours." It's not Ford versus Chevy. But it's rather the transition of our limited awareness into eternity.


What's important is to be supportive of all who practice. Anyone on any level, even if they don't call it self-discovery, who is seeking to awaken to their own potentials and possibilities, to the inner freedom, deserves your respect and support.


Don't become a spiritual bigot. Don't feel that just because you meditate and you are striving for enlightenment that you are in any way superior to any other person. Be even. Be easy. You will last longer on the pathway to self-discovery.


If you respect it in others, you respect it in yourself.


Don't preach about meditation.


As you change and grow, as you love more, as you become kinder and more sensitive, help people. Help the world in any way that you want to. I have found that the more light you give and spread, the more you will evolve.


Get your emotions under control and your life under control. Work really hard and don't make a big deal out of yourself. Have humility. Believe in yourself. Don't get a fanatical fixation on a teacher.


One should never become devoted to a teacher, any more than one should become devoted to a statue of a god. There is only one thing to be devoted to, and that is your mind.


Once in a while, you will see someone really drippy. The person has to stare at the teacher all the time with that devoted and disgusting and sick look. It's boring, misplaced devotionalism.


The hallmark of a person who is following the pathway to enlightenment is that they bring excellence into everything, no matter how crappy they feel.


This study is not for the amateur. It's not for the dilettante. It's not for the cult follower. It's not for someone who wants everything done for them. It's not for the one who just wants to stare with that fixed dog-like devotion towards the teacher.


There is no such thing as spiritual achievement; it is simply an awareness intrinsic to all of life.


Do not be selfish and feel new people will take more of the teacher's attention and you won't get it. That's nonsense. With that attitude, you won't get it. The teacher sees that attitude and will have very little to do with you.


A teacher had two types of students. One type of student is a close student. The other is also a close student, but not in the sense of physical proximity. The close students rotate a lot.


It's never been necessary in the history of spiritual teaching in this world for a teacher to turn away someone who could have been a close student because all the slots were filled. Never feel that your teacher is turning you away because they have too many close students. That's nonsense.


The teacher has nothing to do with people who use their mental powers to block the enlightenment of others. These people lack control. What can you teach someone who lacks control?


Never think too much of yourself. Realize you are only an instrument of eternity. Do not get stuck in that terrible trap. You can lose everything.


Do not envy others. If someone gets a larger piece of cake, be happy for them. They'll get fat and you'll stay thin.


Everyone feels some jealousy, some anger, and some hostility. Don't feel guilty. But to allow them to become dominant expressions of your way of life is off the wall. You can't let it happen. If you do, you are a beginner.


In advanced practice there is a sense of commitment to the study. It is happy; it's never forced. It is a natural evolutionary process of an evolved being.


How do you become enlightened? Have fun, meditate, don't take yourself too seriously, brush between incarnations and have a good teacher.


If you have humility, you are willing to undertake anything to spread the dharma.


Another way of spreading the dharma is just telling people, sharing with them your experiences. Never push it, never be a missionary. Be completely selfless; realize you're only an instrument of eternity.


Some people like a harsh teacher. They feel the demands make them learn more quickly. Some like a gentle teacher because they feel that makes them learn more quickly.


Flaky devotionalism, bowing and scraping and sucking up to the teacher is very phony. It is counterproductive to enlightenment and spiritual development. What is necessary is mutual respect.


The more moral you pretend to be, the less moral you are; the less moral you try to be, the more moral you are.


Without humility, all spiritual progress stops.


Some people just chase the glittery stuff and they have no substance to their life whatsoever. Actually all they really want is power. But they pretend they're interested in enlightenment.


It takes tremendous self-restraint on the part of the student not to want to monopolize the teacher's attention, to live a very controlled life and a happy life, and of course, be dedicated to the cause.


Studying with a teacher doesn't simply mean going to an occasional seminar or Zen retreat. It means fully applying yourself to what the teacher says, most of which is not verbal.


Don't judge others. Always be open to them. Avoid the cult mentality, you know, the super-slick, "I'm superior because I meditate, because I'm on the pathway to enlightenment," the subtle ego nonsense, terrible trap


If one thinks of an enlightened person in a negative way, as it hits their aura, it returns very strongly.


We must control the tendencies within our being that are destructive, when we want to slam somebody else, hurt them, injure them, or push them out of the way. A reverence for life needs to be developed, in which all things are sacred.


If you can't think of an enlightened person positively, don't think of them at all.


It is very important to always hold the thought of an enlightened teacher in your mind in a very positive way. When you direct negative energy towards someone who is powerful, it has a terrible bounce-back effect.


Some come to a teacher for power. They still have all the desires, angers and jealousies of an unevolved person. Consequently, they become destructive both to themselves and to others.


There is enough room in eternity for everyone to be enlightened. We gain or lose nothing by the success of others.


If you become obsessive in spiritual practice, if you just try and try, you are not going to be happy. You are going to be obsessive.


Can you control your anger, lust, frustrations, and jealousies? Those are the only people worthy of the higher teachings. By worthy, I mean that they are the only ones capable of it.


People over-focus on teachers as an excuse to avoid their own life, and that way they fail to take responsibility for themselves. They have this feeling that the teacher will just take care of them.


The etiquette is higher consciousness, sensitivity, gentleness, gracefulness, intensity, power, and knowledge.


When you could be sloppy, you're not. When you could be indulgent, you're not. When you could be sad, you laugh instead. If you fall down, you pick yourself up again and again and again.


Emotional control is essential for attaining higher levels of mind. The thing that the teacher looks for in a student is the degree of self-control, not coldness that someone has.


In order to effectively interlock with higher spheres of mind and attention, you must have tremendous balance and control. You learn that it is more fun to have control than not to.


Spiritual balance is the ability to remain happy, to not be hostile to your neighbor when they are being hostile, and not to get caught up in the trivia.


You need to have the humility to accept your limitations as long as they're there, and have the humility to accept their end when that time comes.


Any individual is capable of realizing the truth at any time. No tradition is necessary, no chain, no lineage. Once you have realized the truth, once you have become consciousness itself, then you go beyond all such distinctions.


Spiritual balance is to be straight with yourself.


The way you increase your energy is by letting go, ultimately. There is something inside you that knows what it should do, and you fight it all the time. When you let go of that part, you become perfect.


Simplify your life and your mind. Think more of infinity and less of yourself.


All of the systems that present different worlds, planes of being and energy centers ultimately fail if you try to make them all-inclusive. They are symbolic representations of something that lies beyond the world of thought and analysis.


As a student of enlightenment your attitude should not be to become enlightened. It should be to learn.


Love makes you wise. Love unites. Pain divides. Hate divides even more.  Hate separates and brings us down to a very physical plane. Love elevates us to a plane of spirit.


Enlightenment is not about being political. It is not a social club. Ashrams often turn into that, I know. Societies of enlightenment often just become cliques.


If someone is in the same state of mind and doesn't seek to block your success, you have a friend. Such friends are rare, and if you find such a friend, value them.


You have to come to the world of enlightenment with open hands, not clinched fists, without an agenda.


An enlightened teacher simply expresses enlightenment in their life by living. It is the student's job to gain the teachings. The teacher's job is just to be perfectly enlightened.


In America people have this funny idea about enlightenment and money. Money expresses a level of commitment. Studying enlightenment is like going to a university.


In the esoteric teachings, a transference process takes place between teacher and student where knowledge is actually transmitted from one to the other. This requires that the student be receptive.


Most individuals on earth are not drawn to the higher light at this time. That doesn't make you superior to anyone else. If you are in the eighth grade you're not better than someone who is in the fourth grade.


Without balance and wisdom, power becomes very destructive. It creates unhappiness and not happiness. To simply see a teacher to gain power is a mistake.


When you live a life devoid of ritual, devoid of convention, with honesty and self-effacement, then you are on the road to freedom.


In self-giving you must be so careful of egotism. You must be so careful when you are aiding others in their liberation not to have a sense of self.


You are a part of everything. You are like the guys in the bar and that gal on the corner with the red dress. We are a little bit of everyone. Let's not get too fancy here.


Faithfulness, faith, all of the words that so few people live, you must live. Only then are you worthy of immortality.


You must be accommodating with your teacher. You must have a sense of humor about your teacher and the impossible things they ask you to do.


Self-honesty is absolutely necessary in the practice of Buddhism.


As you become more aware of your own imperfections, you simultaneously become more aware of the overall perfection of the universe.


You must be kind to others. You must foster a caretaker personality of gentleness and perseverance, even in the midst of adversity.


As we hate ourselves less, we tend to hate other people less too.


In the process of self-discovery you will learn to be kind when you could be harsh. You will learn to forgive, mostly yourself. You will learn to be patient because you may have to wait quite a while to become that which you will eventually be.


The purpose of enlightenment is certainly not the teacher, nor is it you. It doesn't have a purpose. Enlightenment simply exists.


All things are spiritual. It doesn't matter what you do or who you are or what kind of blue jeans you wear, or whether you wear an ochre robe or whether you're sober or asleep or dreaming. It's all the same.


You must live the life of a saint. You have no choice because to do anything else is to enter into the human kingdom, which is a land of unfulfilled opportunity.


Those who practice deserve your respect. If you respect them, you respect yourself. It's easy to be critical, but it does no good. What's important is to be supportive of all who practice.


Select companions who are striving for enlightenment. They all have their imperfections, certainly, but at least their attention is moving in the right direction.


The order of self-discovery, those who practice, deserve your respect. If you respect them, you respect yourself. It's easy to be critical, but it does no good, that kind of critical.


To know that these are people who for a moment, in glory, in light, were true warriors, and you had the chance to associate with them, to live with them, to share with them, words and moments of power - this is the nature of spiritual study.


If we don't get violent with ourselves, castigate ourselves, ostracize ourselves and excommunicate ourselves because we didn't live up to the standards we set down for ourselves, then maybe we don't have to do that with other people.


Your mantrum is the awareness of the dream -- to enjoy and appreciate and have gratitude for all; neither to condemn nor to liberate, but to observe.


A great deal of humility is necessary in the process of self-discovery. Humility is the ability to accept what and who you are at this moment.


You need to search your awareness and consider the limitless possibilities of existence in all things and not be so narrow-minded in your self-discovery.


There's no point in getting frustrated at yourself. Just be truthful


Perhaps you're not the next Buddha. Perhaps you're not the Maitreya. Perhaps that's not your job in this incarnation. Perhaps you have to enjoy life and learn about life through whatever way that you find yourself going.


If you are going to set out to develop mystical powers to impress your friends and do other things to your enemies, the difficulty with it is that you will not be moving towards enlightenment.


People want to will their self realization. They want to know what the right thing to do all the time is. There is no right thing. There's no code. There are certain basic recommendations.


Do not feel that you are destined to enlightenment in this life. You have no idea. This is an illusion of selfhood. It's gross ignorance and egotism.


Do not feel that you are destined not to make that final liberation in this life. This is egotism in a reverse form. Don't be concerned one way or the other.


The way you succeed at all this stuff is by stopping trying to succeed and just working very hard without thinking about it, just trusting, completely. It's that faith that creates the bridge on which you walk across to eternity.


Advance yourself by advancing others. Do not judge others. Be of service to them, but realize that you are not necessarily the instrument of perfecting and immortalizing others.


Self-hate doesn't create enlightenment. It just causes you to not enjoy the current moment.


We must be able to deal with ridicule and scorn, which it always seems that Buddhists receive. But we feel that it doesn't matter. God's laughing at us; God's laughing at God. We can take a joke too. We're pretty funny.


As Buddhist monks, our task is to bring ourselves resolutely more and more into light, to forgive and forget, to forget those who create problems for us because to remember them is only to keep problems is mind.


Feel eternity around you. Not as an idea, not as a nice intellectualization, but to really feel it; not to be some religious fanatic who's strung out on some weird idea of salvation to the exclusion of common sense.


We get caught up in an idea of how we think we should be. That's just another mind fuck. You are just enamored of a view of how you think you should be.


Put the mind in alignment with the ten thousand radiances of enlightenment and experience them in various gradations forever. That's the total purpose of a monk.


Are you still carrying everyone who's insulted you, injured you or interfered with you? That's a lot of weight. I'd let it go, personally, and just move on and forget. Be in the moment. Don't even notice.


Don't care what anybody says about enlightenment, except the enlightened and those who seek it.


As a monk you have a responsibility to meditate many hours a day.  Not just to sit there but to think of the ten thousand radiances.


A Buddhist monk has a responsibility first and foremost to themselves, and that's to find the truth each day in every part of their life.


Our sense of being worthwhile, our sense of being good, our sense of being anything must go - Final clearance sale.


It's considered very, very bad karma, if I can cut to the chase, to take power from a teacher and not use it for something very positive.


We seek to unify ourselves with the endless light of truth, of God, of nirvana. We recognize the infinite playing through all beings and all forms, but we only have to concern ourselves with ourselves.


That's what self-discovery seems to mean to most people. You're going to beat yourself up. You're going to reduce what  you're supposed to be and do to a set of rules so you can defy them, or so you can perform them and feel smug.


Humility simply means that you do a great job at everything and it isn't really a big deal.


When you could get angry with someone and separate yourself from them, don't do that. If you have people who are difficult to deal with, be neither attracted nor repulsed. Go a step higher.


The study of meditation is the entrance into the world of Wonderland. It has nothing to do with how you'd like it. You want a nice neat little study that's easily understandable.


Spiritual dignity says that I don't have to compete with anyone; I don't have to do what my friends do. All I have to do is be myself and be dignified in my meditation and my lifestyle.


I have a great deal of spiritual dignity. It's on loan from eternity, and you do too, and we have to use it in our relationship with each other.


Without that poise and balance and gentle humor and caring sense, nothing happens at all. It's just egotism and vanity and jealousy and possessiveness.


I am humility - nothing more and nothing less. I am one blade of grass in a sea of grass. I am one wave in an endless ocean of waves. I am one glowing star in a galaxy of stars.


The universe is complicated and we're not going to get it all in one night or one incarnation or one infinity.


You've gained some powers by your entrance into other dimensions and you use them to attack others or to make  others miserable, then power reverses on you and it pulls you apart because it's not supposed to be used that way.


There are really only three important things to remember in life: To care, to share, and to be fair. This is not a new idea at all, and yet, observing how most people live their lives, you might think it was.


Spiritual Balance is the obvious answer to the obsession that sometimes accompanies religious practice, occult  practice, philosophical understandings - the assertion that one is right - that something that you're doing is better  than something somebody else is doing, the way you're doing it is better than the way someone else is doing it.


What matters is that you meditate, you're seeking enlightenment, you're on the pathway to enlightenment, and you're having fun. Don't look for reassurance in the eyes of others. Look for reassurance in your own eyes. Only you know if Buddhist practice is improving the quality of your life.


Buddhism is a practice in which we learn to avoid injuring others, and ourselves. It's a practice in which we learn to respond to beauty, and to respond to difficult circumstances with patience, with a sense of calm, with clarity.


Dr. Frederick Lenz, Zen Master Rama, quotes on yoga, Buddhism, enlightenment, nirvana, zen, tantra, tibetan and mahayana.