Today being the New Moon Uposatha day for August, I have decided to share a brief excerpt I discovered during my sutta readings.
Patient forebearance is the highest sacrifice,
Supreme is Nibbana, so say the Buddhas.
He’s not ‘one gone forth’ who hurts others,
No ascetic who harms another.
Not to do any evil, but cultivate the good,
To purify one’s mind, this the Buddhas teach.
Not insulting, not harming, restraint according to rule,
Moderation in food, seclusion of dwelling,
Devotion to high thinking, this the Buddhas teach.
excerpt from Digha Nikaya: Sutta 14
This is what Buddhism is about, in a nutshell — not selfish pride, sectarianism, nor politicizing. It isn’t about proclaiming that you have attained mastery over a particular problem in your life (call it sin, or whatever), or self-righteously informing others that they will “end up in hell” if they fail to follow your path, but it certainly is about patiently and tirelessly working towards the greater good and goal of eliminating suffering, respecting life and its requisites, lovingkindness towards all beings, restraint with regard to the pleasures in life, and higher learning (both spritual and otherwise).
Sure, there is a lot of deeper meaning, but if I had to find a way to express what Buddhism “is” in 200 words or less, this excerpt is what would come to mind.
I hope you are well today and at peace, my friends. I will write again soon.