Saturday, March 6, 2021

the inclination of the mind



Whatever a person frequently thinks and reflects on, 
that will become the inclination of their mind.

~ Buddha

Speak and act from unwise thoughts, 
and sorrow will follow you as surely as the wheel follows the ox who draws the cart.
 Speak and act from wise thoughts 
and happiness will follow you as closely as your shadow, unshakable. 
~ The Dhammapada

Whatever we regularly think colors our experience—all day, every day.
 Once we start to watch these thoughts, we discover that 90% of them are reruns!
 Others are about problems:
 “I need to call John about the roof again. I hope he can finally fix it.”
 Some are about our preferences: 
“I like the way this person talks.” “I really hate this traffic.” 
Many are worry or self-evaluation: “Oops, I’m messing up again. 
How do I get through this?” “Wow, I pulled that off well. I hope it was noticed!”

Our life is shaped and determined by our thoughts. 
Usually we are only half conscious of the way thoughts direct our life;
 we are lost in thoughts as if they are reality. 
We take our own mental creations quite seriously,
 endorsing them without reservation.
Often our fears don’t turn out to be accurate predictions of anything.
 As Mark Twain put it,
 “My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes—
most of which never happened!”

With the letting go of unhealthy thoughts, there arises a space, a calm, 
an opening to add healthy thoughts of love and self-respect. 
With all the dignity, courage and tenderness you possess,
 say from your heart phrases of loving-kindness such as:
 “May I be filled with compassion for myself and others.
 May I hold myself with care and respect. 
May I treasure my life.
 May I be filled with kindness.” 
Plant these loving thoughts, water these seeds of well-being, 
over and over until they take root in your heart and mind.
 ~ Jack Kornfield
Australian aboriginal art