Silence cannot make a master out of a fool.

But he who weighs only purity in his scales,
Who sees the nature of the two worlds,
He is a master.
He harms no living thing.

And yet it is not good conduct
That helps you upon the way,
Nor ritual, nor book learning,
Nor withdrawal into the self,
Nor deep meditation.
None of these confers mastery or joy.

O seeker!
Rely on nothing
Until you want nothing.


This passage is a great reminder that wisdom ultimately doesn't come from activities typically considered Buddhist, but rather from living the dharma. All of the trappings of Buddhism: meditation, books, following the precepts ... they all are but tools, way to prepare the mind for mindful living. Bringing the mindfulness these practices can engender into your everyday existence is the way of 'mastery and joy'.

I'm off to a meditation seminar this weekend at the Shambala center in Madison. It'll be my first with the Shambala organization. Part I of their "Shambala Warrior Training". I'm curious to see what it's like.