Richard Gombrich’s words of wisdom
Professor Richard Gombrich, who dedicated 40 years of his life to studying Buddhism and Pali language at Oxford University, shares his understanding of Buddhism.
When I say I’m a Buddhist, it doesn’t mean I’m purer and nicer than others. But it means I have too much ignorance and mental defilement to remove. I need Buddhas' wisdom.
When I say I’m a Buddhist, it doesn’t mean I have more wisdom than others. But it means I have been occupied by too much arrogance. I need to learn to be humble and to develop a broader perspective.
When I say I’m a Buddhist, it is not because I am better or worse than others, but because I understand all beings are equal.
When I say I’m a Buddhist, I know I only love those to my taste, but Buddha loves even people he does not like, guiding them to be full of wisdom and compassion. That’s why I choose to follow Buddha’s teachings！
When I say I’m a Buddhist, it is not with the goal of getting what’s in my interest. But for letting go of my personal clinging to all worldly desires.
When I say I am a Buddhist, it is not because I pursue a smooth life. But for the calm acceptance of impermanence, and be calm and confident like a king in any adverse circumstances.
When I say I am a Buddhist, I do not mean to manipulate others with the motivation of self-interest. But with good use of wisdom, to benefit self and others while being empathetic to all sentient beings.
When I say I am a Buddhist, it is not because I want to escape from the world and pursue nothingness. But to know everyday life is within Dharma, and to live in the present is to practice.
When I say I am a Buddhist, it does not mean that my life will no longer experience setbacks.
But with the Dharma, setbacks are transformed into a cause for my growth.
When I say I am a Buddhist, my heart is filled with endless gratitude. Just thinking I was born as a human and have the ability to practice in this life, with the opportunity to meet wise teachers and hear the Buddha's teachings, I am deeply moved by this unbelievable karmic affinity.
When I say I am a Buddhist, it is not because there is a God outside me. But that I find the true Buddha-nature of my own heart.