Sacred Texts

CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
– Matthew 5:3-9 NRSV

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
– Galatians 5:22-23, NRSV

HEBREW BIBLE

You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not ill treat any widow or orphan. If you do mistreat them, I will heed their outcry as soon as they cry out to me.
-Exodus 22:21-23

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help,
and he will say: Here am I.
-Isaiah 58:6-9a

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? The Holy One has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
– Micah 6:8 NRSV

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
– Psalm 46:1-7

THE QU’RAN

And if two parties of believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them. And if one party of them doeth wrong to the other, fight ye that which doeth wrong till it return unto the ordinance of Allah; then, if it return, make peace between them justly, and act equitably. Lo! Allah loveth the equitable. The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy.
-Qu’ran 49:9-10

THE TAO TE CHING

The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.
The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.
– Tao Te Ching, 5

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.
– Tao Te Ching, 8

BUDDHIST TEACHING

The principles discussed so far are in accordance with the
ethical teachings of all world religions. I maintain that every
major religion of the world — Buddhism, Christianity,
Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism,
Taoism, Zoroastrianism — has similar ideals of love, the same
goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the
same effect of making their followers into better human beings.
All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions
of mind, body, and speech. All religions agree upon the
necessity to control the undisciplined mind that harbors
selfishness and other roots of trouble, and each teaches a path
leading to a spiritual state that is peaceful, disciplined,
ethical, and wise. It is in this sense that I believe all
religions have essentially the same message. Differences of
dogma may be ascribed to differences of time and circumstance
as well as cultural influences; indeed, there is no end to
scholastic argument when we consider the purely metaphysical
side of religion. However, it is much more beneficial to try to
implement in daily life the shared precepts for goodness taught
by all religions rather than to argue about minor differences
in approach.

– from A HUMAN APPROACH TO WORLD PEACE by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso,
The Fourtheenth Dalai Lama, 1984

This is what should be done by those who are skilled in goodness,
And who know the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways,
Peaceful and calm, wise and skillful, not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: in gladness and in safety — May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen, those living near and far away,
Those born to-be-born– May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings,
Radiating kindness over the entire world, spreading upward to the skies,
And downward to the depths, outward and unbounded.
Freed from hatred and ill-will, whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views, the pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires, is not born again into this world.

Metta Sutta, “Loving-kindness”

 

 

 

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