top of page
  • tombien

A Handful of Leaves

In Socratic fashion, the Buddha would often ask his students obvious questions. One time, he asked his monks which was more: the handful of leaves he held in his hand, or all the leaves in the forest? The monks of course answered that all the leaves in the forest would be much greater. Then he told them, what he had taught was like the handful of leaves, whereas what he understood was like the leaves in the forest. Why did the Buddha give this teaching?

The Buddha was always interested in teaching that which would help us deal with the suffering in human life and find peace and happiness. Metaphysical questions didn’t help with that, so he didn’t say anything about such things.

What did the Buddha want us to know about overcoming our suffering and finding peace and joy? Here are a few points:

1. Learn to breathe mindfully while you are going through daily life, and not just while on your meditation cushion. This prevents dispersion.

2. Remember that everything is impermanent. Practice looking at everything with this in mind. Importantly, this includes mental states.

3. Look at everything with the awareness that nothing, including yourself, is separate from everything else.

4. Be mindful. Look clearly and deeply and everything. Contemplate it all.

5. Practice kindness.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

We are exposed to so much noise. This noise takes many forms. Some of it is silent, like our perpetual reading of stuff on our phones and computers. This noise only feeds the inner noise—the contin

I usually talk to people about the alaya in the context of managing emotions: as seeds of emotion manifest in the mind, arising from the alayavijnana or store consciousness, we take care of it by rais

This spring the cottonwood tree in my yard has been unusually fecund. An incredible amount of white, cottony fuzz has been floating in the air around my house. In one location, it even formed a drif

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.41 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.47.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.47.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.49 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.58 PM.png


bottom of page