Monthly Archives: March 2016

Our life is shaped by our mind

Dhammapada Chaper 1 verse 1

Dhammapada Chaper 1 verse 1

One of the wisdom books that I like to read is The Dhammapada, a collection of the sayings of the Buddha. The translation that I have is by Eknath Easwaran.

The first chapter of sayings is entitled “Twin Verses.” The first verse reads,

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”

The following twin verse reads,

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

Keeping One's Eye On the Ball

Why did the Buddhist monks who compiled the Dhammapada (which means the path of the Dharma) put these two twin verses at the beginning?

What is mind? What is life? What is your mind? What is your life?

You have your mind. You live your life. Do you think that this is true for you?

Is your life shaped by your mind?

Do you become what you think?

Actually the translation of the verse uses the all inclusive first person plural.

Our life is shaped by our mind.”

What is the relationship between my mind, your mind, and our mind?

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Is there a collective mind?

Do only individuals have minds? Do groups, families, tribes, nations, religions, cultures, etc. have some kind of common mind?

“Our life is shaped by our mind.”

How does our life shape our mind?

What does it mean to shape one’s life?

Is the converse also true? Does our life shape our mind?

It seems to me that the mind, while it reacts to life, is stronger, more causal. What do you think?

“We become what we think?”

What is thought?

A thought

A thought

What is a thought?

Where do thoughts come from?

How do thoughts effect us?

What is the relationship between thought, emotion, feeling, and action, and result?

How do we become what we are?

What is becoming?

“We become what we think.”

Are you ready to accept responsivity for your thoughts?

Can you choose your thoughts?

Can you control what you think?

“Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.”
“Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

Almost Moksha

 

What is a positive thought?

What is a negative or evil thought?

What kind of a world am I shaping?

What kind of a world are you shaping?

What kind of a world are we shaping?

Do we want suffering or joy?

“Our life is shaped by our mind.”

 

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Thy Kingdom Come

Zion by Jeff Haynie

Zion by Jeff Haynie

Back to the Lord’s Prayer. After “Our Father who are in Heaven, hallowed be thy name,” we come to

Thy Kingdom Come

Wow! This is more that just a request or a prayer.

I am addressing Our Father, the ultimate source of all existence. I am addressing God with the familiar, informal, intimate pronoun “thy.”

I am not asking, nor do I feel that I am commanding.

I am inviting, just like when someone is at the door and I say, “Come on in!”

Revelation 3:20 says, ” Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Let God Arise

Let God Arise

When we say, “Thy kingdom come,” to God we are opening the door.

What is the Kingdom of God?

To live in oneness with the loving creator of all existence. To be in communion with Divine Holiness. To be living in the direct dominion of God.

For years I always thought of this part of the prayer as relating to the future. Today, I see that it relates to the present. If one thinks of the kingdom of God as a future event, then one will always be waiting.

 

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

If I say in faith to God, “Thy Kingdom come,” Then presto! God is here with me and I am a part of the Kingdom of God.”

“The Kingdom of God is within you.”

Ask and you will receive.

The same applies to “Thy will be  done.”

If God is in you and you are in God, then God will act with you and through you and God’s Will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

It’s that easy. Give it a try. Your world will be transformed.

 

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Happy Springtime! Wake up America!

We just passed the Spring equinox. It is the Awakening Time. Let the sunshine of unity, creativity, and love break through and dispel the clouds of turmoil, dissension, and despair!

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Peace, harmony, love, shared prosperity and the 2016 Presidential Election

As I said in an earlier blog, the 2016 presidential primaries have not been good for my health. That’s why I had to pause and reflect on what is going on.

In my mind, health is a multidimensional phenomenon involving a dynamic relationship amongst spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, and physical health.

Our body, our thoughts, and our emotions all affect one another in a complex relationship. I believe that as a general rule of thumb, spiritual health is the foundation for mental and emotional health, which in turn facilitates physical health.

I also like to think not only in terms of my personal health, but also, of healthy relationships, healthy families, healthy communities, a healthy society, a healthy nation, and a healthy world living in a healthy environment.

It is my goal to help bring about a mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy world made up of healthy nations, communities, families, and individuals. The foundation for such a world is spiritual health. The power that heals the spirit and maintains health is divine love.

I hope to see a global culture of peace, freedom, creativity and shared prosperity.

There are four major challenges to be overcome in realizing such a world:

(1) Armed conflict between and within nations;
(2) Racial, religious, and ethic conflict;
(3) The disintegration of the social fabric (family and community) necessary for young people to grow into confident, capable, and empathetic adults;
(4) Acute income disparity both within and between nations

I believe that leaders should have vision. I believe that their policies should be developed with an eye toward achieving that vision.

In other words, I would like to see a leader with these goals:

(1) World peace
(2) Racial, religious, and ethnic harmony
(3) A healthy physical, social, and psychological environment for children
(4) Economic development and shared prosperity

In this 2016 presidential campaign, I suggest that the candidates explain how their policies will move us forward toward these goals.

When looking at the candidates campaigns and there effects, I suggest that potential voters ask themselves,

“What kind of vision for the future of the world does this person have?”

“Is this person helping to bring about racial, religious, and ethnic harmony?”

“What kind of example is this person setting for our children?”

“Does this person have empathy for those who are suffering?”

I suggest that people consider the effects of the campaigns as well, because style and spirit of a campaign offers a foretaste of the administration that this person will  create.

I think we need a president who is decisive, but also humble, faithful, and truthful.

Given this foundation, we can then consider whether their policy proposals make sense and will be effective. We can look at their experience and see if they have an overall record of positive accomplishment in light of the above mentioned criteria.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich. I suggest that each voter make a scorecard and grade each candidate according to the criteria outlined above.

Pray for guidance.

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