“These days many voices proclaim the sanctity of human life. Human life should of course be valued highly, but at the same time the lives of other living beings should also be treasured. Human beings snatch away the lives of other creatures whenever it suits their purposes. The way of thinking that encourages this behavior arises from a specifically human brand of violence that defiles the self-evident laws of the universe, opposes the growth of the myriad things in nature, and destroys feelings of compassion and reverence arising from our Buddha-nature. In view of such needless destruction of life, it is essential that laymen and monks together conscientiously uphold this precept.”

~ Hakuun Yasutani-roshi on the Precept of Non-Harm
As quoted in To Cherish All Life


“Human beings also kill animals not just for food. They take the animals’ skin to make shoes and hats and clothes. And even that is not enough. They take these animals’ bones to make necklaces or buttons or earrings. In short, they kill many, many animals in order to sell the animal parts for money. Because of these desires and this strong animal consciousness, human beings fight with each other, and destroy nature. They do not value life. So now this whole world has many problems; problems with the water, problems with the air, problems with the earth and food. Many new problems appear every day. These problems do not happen by accident. Human beings make each and every one of these problems. Dogs, cats, or lions, or snakes – no animal makes as many problems for this world as human beings do. Humans do not understand their true nature, so they use their thinking and desire to create so much suffering for this world. That is why some people say that human beings are the number one bad animal in this world. So human beings must soon wake up and find their original seeds, their original nature.”

~ Zen Master Seung Sahn
The Compass of Zen

“We are all here on this planet, as it were, as tourists. None of us can live here forever. The longest we might live is a hundred years. So while we are here we should try to have a good heart and to make something positive and useful of our lives. Whether we live just a few years or a whole century, it would be truly regrettable and sad if we were to spend that time aggravating the problems that afflict other people, animals, and the environment. The most important thing is to be a good human being.”

A few of the Buddha’s quotes that I am going to try live by everyday.“Contentment is the greatest wealth.”“It is good from time to time to think about your own faults.
It is good from time to time to think about the faults of others.
It is good from time to time to think about your own virtue.
It is good from time to time to think about the virtue of others.”

“Do not wish pain on another out of either anger or rivalry.”

“Just as a mother protects her own child even at the risk of her own life, so too, one should have unbounded love for all beings in the world.”

“Those who keep thinking ‘He abused me!” “He struck me!” “He oppressed me!” “He robbed me!” never still their hatred. But those who let go of such thoughts will. For in this world hatred is never still by more hatred. It is love that stills hatred. This is an eternal truth.”