can anyone tell me what this buddhist quote is saying??

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As rain penetrates the poorly thatched dwelling,
So passion penetrates the untended mind.
As rain does not penetrate the well-thatched dwelling,
So passion does not penetrate the well-tended mind.
If one, though reciting much of texts, is not a doer thereof, a heedless man;
He, like a cowherd counting others’ cows, is not a partaker in the religious quest.
If one, though reciting little of texts, lives a life in accord with dhamma,
Having discarded passion, ill will, and unawareness, knowing full well, the mind well freed,
He, not grasping here, neither hereafter, is a partaker of the religious quest.
Let one regard neither the discrepancies of others,
Nor what is done or left undone by others, but only the things one has done oneself or left undone.
Even as a solid rock does not move on account of the wind,
So are the wise not shaken in the face of blame and praise.
Few are they among humans, the people who reach the shore beyond.
But these other folk only run along the hither bank.
To one who has gone the distance, who is free of sorrows, freed in every respect;
To one who has left behind all bonds, fever there exists not.
Many for refuge go to mountains and to forests.
To shrines that are groves or trees–Humans who are threatened by fear.
This is not a refuge secure; this refuge is not the highest.
Having come to this refuge, one is not released from all misery.
But who to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha as refuge has gone,
Sees with full insight the four noble truths;
Misery, the arising of misery, and the transcending of misery,
The noble Eightfold Path leading to the allaying of misery.
This, indeed, is a refuge secure. This is the highest refuge.
Having come to this refuge, one is released from all misery.
Let go in front, let go behind, let go in between!
Gone to the further shore of existene, with mind released as to “everything.”
You shall not again come upon birth and old age.
The gift of dhamma prevails over every gift,
The flavor of dhamma prevails over every flavor.
The delight in dhamma prevails over every delight.
The dissolution of craving subdues all suffering.

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~michael P.

Pure, condensed wisdom. Thanks for that.

Andrew E

It says that in order to be truly fullfilled, you need to focus on your own strengths and do things well. Don’t let what other people are doing distract you. Only through learning to focus on the important things can you live a full life. And I think the final sentence is a good summary of what it all means. “The dissolution of craving subdues all suffering.”
I read the Tibetan Book of the Dead a few years ago and it had a lot of similar passages. It’s an interesting idea, if anything.


As indoor rain is a pain, so indulged passion is just as harmful. Passion arises from desire, and desire is the source of misery. Pay attention and keep passion from overwhelming you.
Understanding is not about the book. It’s about the action, owning and using what you’ve learned, whether it’s in class or on your own.
Mind your own business, not the spiritual progress of others. And the opinions of others should not matter to you. Reputation is another form of desire.
Even if you think you perceive the goal, you still have to make the spiritual journey, get your feet wet.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you are no longer excited about the journey. Excitement, anxiety and fear are all manifestations of desire.
But don’t assume you’ve made it and have no more worries. Security is yet another desire to be extinguished.
The example of the Buddha, the rules of Buddhism, and living in the Buddhist community keeps you focused on the right principles and path.
Then it goes on about how concentrating on following the dhamma helps you extinguish desire, which is the essential problem. The dhamma itself is not the goal, merely a superior method to achieving enlightenment.


There’s a lot of quotes there that you’re lumping together. It would take a lot of space to explain them all one by one. The underlying principle in many of them is that a mind cleared of attachments and evil thoughts is good, while the reverse is bad.
There are also some terms that might be confusing to non-buddhists:
Dhamma (also known as Dharma) is a concept that refers to the nature of reality. The Buddha’s teachings are referred to as the Dhamma, also, because they are considered sacred truths (reality).
Sangha means “community,” and it refers to the community of monks that carry on the Buddha’s teachings and share them with other people.

Greg L

Each paragraph I write, corresponds to the respective paragraph you gave me.
Rain is false thoughts or events that move you. Thatched dwelling is your mind. If we are not focused and allow ourselves to be moved and swayed by passions, desires, and false-loose-scattered thoughts, then we are weak. Anything that comes your way, whether it be sounds, scorn, beauty, atrocity, etc, will easily cause us to wander off in false-material thoughts. When something doesn’t sound good, you start thinking and trailing off into a bunch of nonsense thoughts, muddling in a world of your own as you digress. The unattended mind is one that is not focused.
A well-attended mind is one that is focused and unmoved. If you’re not bothered by things, then it just encounters you and slides off or passes by. You don’t bother or care about things. You don’t see differences. So if no differences, then nothing is better or worse, nothing is prettier or uglier, etc. You don’t care to bother. You’re thusly unmoved. Nothing bothers you.
You can study as many buddhist texts as you want. But if you do not practice the buddha dharma and apply the fundamental principles to your lifestyle, then you are merely a spectator. What good is it to know so much about the buddha dharma if you do not practice it? Knowledge won’t liberate you. Your practice is what will liberate you. What’s the point of being a cowherd bothering with other peoples’ cows? You need to take care of your own cows! Don’t be a spectator! Watching people herd their cows while your cows wander off is inefficient.
It’s what you do that makes you Buddhist, now what you claim or say or study. Read all the texts you want, but if your lifestyle does not befit the buddha dharma, you are a fraud. If you are busy seeking the dharma, but not practicing, you attain nothing.
Worry about yourself. The kharma of others are not yours, so why do you spectate? It’s like being a cowherd counting others’ cows! Worry about your own actions. Don’t point the finger and be moved by others’ actions. That’s (rain) penetrating your roof! If you judge others’ actions, you plant causes with them and those actions.
One that is truly unmoved, impenetrable, and with a supremely still mind, like a mountain in the wind, is unaffected by things that affect emotion or reaction, whether good or bad. A sage can be praised or blamed or scorned, but he does not discriminate between sounds or events or actions. He doesn’t think one thing is good, one is bad, one is comfortable, one is horrible, etc. If you see differences between senses and feeling, then you are moved. You give rise to thinking, “oh this is nice. Oh that’s not nice”. Rain has penetrated your roof already. That is why one that has a still mind, is unmoved by these things. Therefore, praise or blame, is nothing to them.
Few choose the buddha dharma and the Way and actually cultivate. Fewer are those that vigorously cultivate to reach Buddhahood while the others waste time being lazy… cultivating here n there, but also wasting time fooling around. The other group just kind of practices a little bit, attains a little bit. The very few do not waste a single moment.
One that has ended their attachments, meaning, they don’t attach to desires or tastes. They don’t discriminate b/w flavors and senses. Thusly, they don’t attach to anything. They don’t see value in anything. You wouldn’t attach to an antique after finding out it’s worth $00.00
Some people escape to mountains or solitude out of fear and escape from the material world. These people are merely escaping, not confronting and conquering.
Running away is not the way. You must understand and overcome in order to conquer. A king that escapes in war does not conquer but surrender his kingdom. Some people go to the mountains to cultivate so they aren’t bothered. That is okay. But there are those in heart that go to the mountains to hide out of fear. There’s a difference!
Who really practices and fathoms the true meaning of the buddha dharma? Many claim to be buddhists. Many take refuge under the triple jewel. But how many really practice and diligently work to understand the dharma that they take refuge under?
If you truly understand and practice the 8fold path, then you will be liberated from suffering.
Going to mountains as refuge and escape isn’t the greatest. Even cultivators that merely go into mountains to cultivate undisturbed, do not count the mountains as a refuge. That is not their refuge, that’s the difference I was referring to earlier. These cultivators consider their true refuge as the buddha dharma. That is their key to salvation, not the mountains. A person sitting up in the mountains won’t get anywhere. The cultivator of the buddha dharma in the mountains will get somewhere. Therefore, a mountain is a mountain and has no knowledge or wisdom to give you. That dharma does. The mountain is like an oven. It doesn’t do any good. If you don’t put anything in the oven, what good is it? The pie that you bake, which is the dharma, is what becomes ready to eat.
Let go of everything and you won’t have to come back. People reborn and come back because of desires. What is desire? It’s an attachment to things. If you can’t let go, then you’ll be stuck here. If you want to gamble, then come back to earth and go to a casino. If you want to have sex, then come back and have sex. If you want to sleep, then find a home and bed to sleep in, on earth. If your mind can see everything as empty and just a unity… like the unity of all emptiness in an empty cup where there is nothing; no shapes, smell, taste, touch, etc, then you will easily detach. If there’s no value in an antique, you wouldn’t attach to it would you? Unless you like garbage, but then you’re in trouble.
The Buddha Dharma is what gives you an end-result that is eternal bliss. Other material gifts just expire, leaving you with sadness and the mental trouble of wanting, needing, and yearning and heart-ache. If you end your cravings, you won’t suffer anymore. If you desire, then you give rise to the need to produce materials and actions to gratify the desire. As a result, you give rise to being busy and troublesome in the mind. You yearn and can’t rest. You can’t even eat at times because you are troubled by your desires. Even when you obtain the material you desired, you can’t stop thinking about it. You protect it like gold and have fear of losing it. You have fears of being stolen from. After the item has expired and broken down, or died, or perished, you are disappointed. How much suffering comes from one material desire alone? How much more suffering do we trouble ourselves with from all our desires? How much more suffering when you count the attachments to what actions you approve of from your neighbors. You trouble yourself with the affairs of others too! How much more suffering is there when you don’t like certain smells or sights or sensations in the landscape? Ending your desires and attachments causes the mind to no longer need to move. It’s only by desires do we think more and ponder more about materials and how to obtain them.


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