Special Topics

​Dharma Quote

How much power can a single word have? How can a few simple words move one's heart and give people unwavering courage?
We often hear the word "motto". When we were young, our teachers always wanted us to set a motto as our guiding compass, hoping that it would sustain our faith when facing difficult challenges. In actuality, mottos do not necessarily contain profound moral principles. Sometimes, a simple phrase can bring positive energy to our dampened spirit and provide courage when we feel lost in our lives.
A Dharma quote refers to words that were spoken by Buddha. It is very different from common encouraging words and inspirational quotes. A Dharma quote contains a deeper and more profound meaning of the Buddhadharma. The content within a Dharma quote carries impactful religious words and divine energy.
Many monastics use Dharma quotes as an expedient way to introduce Buddhism to people. Although it is part of the Buddhism lexicon, a Dharma quote does not necessarily use esoteric Buddhist term. In fact, a Dharma quote can easily convey Buddhism ideas and concepts by using common everyday words and examples.

Master Sheng Yen is a Chan master who excelled in transforming everyday wordings into Dharma quotes. Some examples include:

1.m"We don't need much but we desire plenty"
2. "With compassion, there are no enemies. With wisdom, there are no troubles and worries."
3. "One's mind should be immense, and the self should be small and insignificant."
In Master Sheng Yen's 108 Adages of Wisdom, every sentence is full of Buddhist wisdom, without any difficult and cryptic words.

Resource: Issue 294 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Text: 林鍾妏 (Lin Chung-wen)
Translation: Carrie Fu
Editing: Hsiao Chen-an, Eucario

Extended Reading: