Day 49 – Musings on The Dhammapada
Zencast 49 – The Dhammapada Chapters 1-4
I have not read The Dhammapada. This is my first experience of this text. What I have written are my thoughts as I listen. They may not be of help. Whether they are or aren’t – ‘this too‘.
Chapter 1 – Dichotomies
You alone are responsible for your mind and your life. If you wish it to be good, follow a good and righteous path. If you follow the destructive path dictated by your uncontrolled mind, your life will be destructive and uncontrolled.
You do not have to be a monk to follow a righteous path – as long as you do what you can in your everyday life you are following the path.
Chapter 2 – Vigilance
“Doing your best means never stop trying.” ~Unknown
Do not give up. Every moment is a new, fresh moment ready and waiting to be captured. Seize it. Breathe in, breath out. Stop. Start again renewed. The point is never giving up no matter what.
Chapter 3 – The Mind
Watching the mind can be like herding cats – elusive and full of wily traps. But the point was never how difficult it was, the point was simply that as long as you try you are already on the path – even if that path never gets you very far. For as small as the steps are that you take, the consequences of those steps and actions will be huge in not only your own life, but the whole world.
“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong
Chapter 4 – Flowers
The practice is the point, not the mastery. Do not chase enlightenment. Simply enlighten each moment for yourself. Death comes to all of us – live each moment well. Be the master of the moment and you will die as well as you lived.