With all the turmoil going on lately, a lot of people are afraid and filled with despair and wonder how we will get through the coming years. I was thinking about an old post I wrote which quoted a Zen master who spoke to villagers in Japan who had lost their homes to a tsunami in the 15th century.
In particular these words:
This mind withstands the blowing storm winds without moving, withstands eons of rising flames without burning, and withstands the tremors of earthquakes without cracking…This is why the scripture says: “The Tathāgata [Buddha], having left the burning house of the three states [of time], lives in quiet seclusion within the woods. Now within the three states [of time], everything belongs to [him]; All the beings therein are [his] children.”
Or, as the Buddha taught in the opening lines of the Dhammapada:
1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
Ultimately, the mind is the source of one’s misery or one’s salvation.