Every one of us (whoever you are) has a body and mind. Mind is the chief and forerunner. Mind can be cultivated. The Buddha always said, "Avoid evil, do good and purify your mind." But Mind Cultivation is NOT EASY but it is IMPORTANT. It is self-training to be done regularly and daily. YOU yourself have to train yourself. No body can train your mind for you. The Buddha has made it very clear that 「You have to walk yourself, He can only show the way. He cannot walk the way for you.」 So in our own interest, we must walk the path.
We need to practice because We are Not Perfect. If we are perfect, we won't be here! We all make mistakes, but just because we make mistakes at some points in life that we have to be condemned for ever! WE can improve! Parent, children, husbands, wives ... all make mistakes. We must understand, recognise and be forgiving. Don't associate the mistake with the person. Separate it from the person. Just look at the mistake and consider how to correct it. The mistake can be corrected. Don't condemn the person for ever and ever. Because he is a human being. Learn from the mistakes.
The 5 precepts are not Commandments imposed on us by some supernatural beings. They are there just for training us Not to hurt ourselves and others. Try to do as much as you can to benefit yourself and others, Avoid as much as possible things that will hurt yourself and others. (These include restraint and moderation. All the time throughout the day, be Mindful and Heedful.)
An Ancient Indian(Sanskrit) Prayer
May the evil man become good,
May the good man have peace.
May he who has peace become free, and
May he who is free make others free."
("man" refers to man or woman; "he" refers to he or she)
Some doubt may arise in the minds of Western men how they could be helped in their present problems by a doctrine of the far and foreign East. And others, even in the East, may ask how words spoken 2,500 years ago can have relevance to our ‘modern world’, except in a very general sense. Those who raise the objection of distance in space (meaning by it, properly, the difference of race), should ask themselves whether Benares is truly more foreign to a citizen of London than Nazareth from where a teaching has issued that to that very citizen has become a familiar and important part of his life and thought. They should further be willing to admit that mathematical laws, found out long ago in distant Greece, are of no less validity today, in Britain or elsewhere. But particularly these objectors should consider the numerous basic facts of life that are common to all humanity. It is about them that the Buddha preeminently speaks. Those who raise the objection of the distance in time, will certainly recall many golden words of long-dead sages and poets which strike such a deep and kindred chord in our own hearts that we very vividly feel a living and intimate contact with those great ones who have left this world long ago. Such experience contrasts with the "very much present" silly chatter of society, newspapers or radio, which, when compared with those ancient voices of wisdom and beauty, will appear to emanate from the mental level of stone-age man tricked out in modern trappings. True wisdom is always young, and always near to the grasp of an open mind.
- The Heart of Buddhist Meditation (1965) by Nyanaponika Thera, pages 20-21
Blessed are those
who believe in Kamma (the law of cause and effects)
And follow the Buddha's advice :
Not to do evil deeds, do good and purify one's own mind.
"Buddhist or not Buddhist, I have examined every one of the great religious systems of the world, and in none of them have I found anything to surpass, in beauty and comprehensiveness, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha. I am content to shape my life according to that path."
- by Thomas William Rhys Davids
'Suppose a monk were to say: "Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord's own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master's teaching", then, monks, you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and expressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly understood by this monk", and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review they are found to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk."......'
- DN16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
― Dan Millman
There are NO BEST practices. There are ONLY BETTER practices, everyday.
A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
- An English language nursery rhyme Called "A Wise Old Owl"
You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.
“We are all accountable for our actions; their affect and influence on our lives and the lives of others. Understanding the true meaning of accountability makes us strong and enables us to learn”“我們都要對自己的行為負責；它們對自己與他人的生活都會有感染和影響。理解問責的真諦（真正含義）使我們變得強大（堅強），並使我們能夠學習” ― Sameh Elsayed
We are all accountable for our actions and inactions... You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.
"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
"It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?" - Henry David Thoreau