I have always been drawn to Buddhism, not just because of its philosophical content, but because of the poetry of its teachings. I recently found a booklet of quotes I copied down fron the Dhammapada (one of the main texts of the Buddha’s teachings in Theravada Buddhism). Back in my student days. See if you don’t agree with me about the simplicity and power of the language, almost haiku-like.
In this world,
hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
Mistaking the false for the true,
and the true for the false,
you overlook the heart
and fill yourself with desire.
Wakefulness is the way to life. How wonderful it is to watch, how foolish to sleep!
Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded.
Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.
Better to live one day wondering
how all things arise and pass away.
Better to live one hour seeing
the one life beyond the way.
Better to live one moment
in the moment.
It is hard to live in the world.
And hard to live out of it.
It is hard to be one among many.