Spiritual knowledge is fresh


In the Buddhist lineage, knowledge is not handed down like an antique. One teacher experiences the truth of the teachings and hands it down as an inspiration to his students. That inspiration wakens the student who passes it on further. The teachings are seen as always up to date, they are not thought of as “ancient wisdom”.

It is like a recipe for bread. Each baker must apply his general knowledge of how to bake bread, but each time it is cooked completely fresh.

Jane Hope and Borin Van Loon
Introducing Buddha: A graphic guide



A man approached the Blessed One and wanted…

A man approached the Blessed One and wanted to have all his philosophical questions answered before
he would practice. In response, the Buddha said, “It is as if a man had been wounded by a poisoned
arrow and when attended to by a physician were to say, ‘I will not allow you to remove this arrow until I
have learned the caste, the age, the occupation, the birthplace, and the motivation of the person who
wounded me.’ That man would die before having learned all this. In exactly the same way, anyone who
should say, ‘I will not follow the teaching of the Blessed One until the Blessed One has explained all the
multiform truths of the world’ – that person would die before the Buddha had explained all this.”

Source: The Teachings of the Buddha by Jack Kornfield

The golden begging bowl

The great Buddhist saint Nagarjuna moved around naked except for a loincloth and, incongruously, a golden begging bowl gifted to him by the King, who was his disciple.

One night he was about to lie down to sleep among the ruins of an ancient monastery when he noticed a thief lurking behind one of the columns. “Here, take this,” said Nagarjuna, holding out the begging bowl. That way you won’t disturb me once I have fallen asleep.”

The thief eagerly grabbed the bowl and made off – only to return next morning with the bowl and a request. He said, “When you gave away this bowl so freely last night, you made me feel very poor. Teach me how to acquire the riches that make this kind of light-hearted detachment possible.”