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Gautama Buddha’s Sermon at Benares…

By Marcus Santer

The Saturday Quote:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom and keep our mind strong and clear.”
Gautama Buddha

Oh yeah.

Back in the day when Siddhartha Gautama left his life of luxury behind, the story goes that he tried many different ways to discover liberation.

One such way – popular at the time – was to see the body as just a bag of sin and bones.

It was viewed as a hinderance to spiritual practice.

And mistreated and neglected as a result.

The quote above is taken from Gautama Buddha’s sermon at Benares.

And also contains the line:

“The Tathagata (a person who has attained perfection by following Buddhist principles) does not seek salvation in austerities, but neither does he for that reason indulge in worldly pleasures, nor live in abundance. The Tathagata has found the middle path.”

I remember when I first read Gautama Buddha’s admonishment of austerity as: “painful, useless and unprofitable.”

I felt liberated.

Even taken in a non-Buddhist way, the idea of walking the middle path is a useful one for living a longer, healthier and happier life.

Not sleeping too much
Not sleeping too little
But sleeping enough

Not exercising too much
Not exercising too little
But exercising enough

Not eating too much
Not eating too little
But eating enough

And so on.

Avoiding extremes and finding the middle path is a safe and sustainable path to living and ageing well.

Discover more here.

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. Gautama Buddha’s sermon at Benares was one of my favourites when I was a practicing Buddhist.

And it’s absolutely worth a read today.

Buddhist or not.

It points out the folly of extremes and the benefits of the middle path.

You can read it here.