How to find peace
The human mind is an aggregate of causes and conditions. It is in constant change. It is forever jumping about, not ceasing for even a moment.
One must not trust his own mind that is filled with greed, anger and foolishness. One must not let his mind run free, but must keep it under strict control.
Those who really seek the path of peace dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination. Even though they are abused by some and scorned by others, they go forward undisturbed. They do not become angry if they are beaten by fists, or hit by stones, or gashed by swords. Let abuse come, let misfortune come, and yet one should resolve to remain unmoved and tranquil in mind.
“Oh my mind! Why do you hover so restlessly over the changing circumstances of life? Why do you make me so confused and restless? Why do you urge me to collect so many things? You are like a plow; you are like a rudder that is dismantled just as you are venturing out on the sea of life and death. Of what use are many rebirths if we do not make good use of this life?”
All of these seekers, who become easily satisfied by their insufficient effort and become proud and over-bearing, relax their efforts and easily fall into idleness. All these people will inevitably face suffering again.
The world has no substance of it’s own. It is simply a vast concordance of causes and conditions that have had their origin, solely and exclusively, in the activities of the mind that has been stimulated by ignorance, false imagination, desires and infatuation. It is not something external about which the mind has false conception; it has no substance whatever. It has come into appearance by the processes of the mind itself, manifesting its own delusions. It is founded and built up out of the desires of the mind, out of its sufferings and struggles incidental to the pain caused by its own greed, anger and foolishness. Men who seek the way to peace should be ready to fight such a mind to attain their goal.
As years go by and people see how strongly they are bound by greed, habit and suffering, they become very sad and discouraged. Often in their discouragement they quarrel with others and sink deeper into sin and give up trying to walk the true path; often their lives come to some untimely end in the very midst of their wickedness and they suffer forever.
It is true that everything in this life is transitory and filled with uncertainty, but it is lamentable that anyone should ignore this fact and keep on trying to seek enjoyment and satisfaction of his desires.
It is natural in this world of suffering for people to think and act selfishly and egoistically and, because of it, it is equally natural for suffering and unhappiness to follow.
People favor themselves and neglect others. People let their own desires run into greed and lust and all manner of evil. Because of these they must suffer endlessly.
Times of luxury do not last long, but pass away very quickly; nothing in this world can be enjoyed forever.
The activities of the mind have no limit, they form surroundings of life. An impure mind surrounds itself with impure things and a pure mind surrounds itself with pure things; hence, surroundings have no more limits than the activities of the mind. There is nothing in the world that is not mind-created,
If a man speaks and acts with a good mind, happiness follows him like his shadow. Those who act in evil are followed by the thought “I have done wrong” and the memory of the act is stored to work out its inevitable retribution in the lives to follow. But those who act from good motives are made happy by the thought “I have done good” and are made happier by the thought that the good act will bring continuing happiness in the lives to follow.
Excerpts from Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai ‘The Teaching of Buddha’.
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