Dhammapada Chapter 14: A Mind in Stillness

Introduction

The seventeen verses of the Dhammapada chapter named ‘Thirst’ cover some of the most profound teachings in just a few words.

Müller version

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2017/2017-h/2017-h.htm#link2HCH0025

  1. The Bhikshu who controls his mouth, who speaks wisely and calmly, who teaches the meaning and the law, his word is sweet.
  2. The Bhikshu whose body and tongue and mind are quieted, who is collected, and has rejected the baits of the world, he is called quiet.

My ‘paraphrased’ version

A practitioner speaking with care and deliberation, and exemplifying beneficial practices through their efforts, is pleasing to others.

A practitioner living with a stilled mind, as a peaceful being, with a restrained tongue, and free from the mental suffering, they are called silent.

Practice

The previous chapters offer various suggestions of practice. Here are some more a few may not be necessarily Buddhist-inspired.

  1. Focusing on a question like WHO AM I? can be helpful in determining what really makes up our ‘I-identity.’
  2. If in a period of doubt and depression, then review what are the causes and conditions resulting in these feelings. Examine what makes these mental fictions so powerful. See if they have any impact of your body. Then say the words right for you designating that they have no hold.
  3. Imagine how your life would be if you were confident, fearless, peaceful, content, or any other highly desired attribute. Now work backwards to figure how you can get there. Figure at least one thing that you can do differently. Then follow through on it. Believe and have the determination and faith that you will get there regardless whatever the day may bring

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