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Composure, Then Action Reduces Suffering

08/31/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Buddhism

Yes, I'm a nut case. Yes, I take on too much. Yes, I act like it is the end of the world if I don't do it. So advise given in the 8th century speaks to me, very poetically might I add.

When one intends to move or when one intends to speak, one should first examine one's own mind and then act appropriately with composure.

When one sees one's own mind to be attached or repulsed, then one should neither act nor speak, but remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind is agitated, sarcastic, full of conceit and arrogance, ridiculing, evasive, and deceitful,
When my mind is inclined to boast, or when it is comtemptuous of others, abusive, and irritable, then I should remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind seeks material gain, honor, and fame, or when it seeks attendants and service, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind is averse to the interests of others and seeks my own self-interest, or when it wishes to speak out of a desire for an audience, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

When it is impatient, indolent, timid, impudent, garrulous, or biased in my own favor, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

---Shantideva in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara), Wallace translation Chap 5, lines 47-53


Looks like I'm not going to do much in the near future, [knock wood] or at least until I can knock on my head the same way.

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