Monday, May 17, 2010

Mind: The Forerunner of All Things

In the Dhammapada, an ancient text, the Buddha is quoted as saying, "Mind is the forerunner of all...conditions. Mind is chief; and they are mind-made." Where your mind goes, all else will follow, including your body. It stands to reason, therefore, that the more mindful we can be of our thoughts and intentions, the easier we will be able to make conscious decisions and reduce our suffering. Believe it or not, being mindful of thoughts and intentions may also help us look better as we get older.

My friend and colleague, Elisha Goldstein, has a new book out, co-written with Bob Stahl, called The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. In it they list a progression of mind that may be very useful to read over a couple of times, and then reflect upon, both during meditation practice, and in daily life:
1. Intention shapes our thoughts and words.

2. Thoughts and words mold our actions.

3. Thoughts, words, and actions shape our behaviors.

4. Behaviors sculpt our bodily expressions.

5. Bodily expressions fashion our character.

6. Our character hardens into what we look like.

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