“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. 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.” — The Dhammapada (Chapter One / Verses 1 & 2)
In the early Sutras there is a scene where the Buddha is asked if he is a deva (god), to which he responds, “No…I am AWAKENED”*. And so, the word “Buddhism”, (“Buddha” awake + “-ism” practice) means the practice of awakening from delusion. As stated in the Dhammapada, mind is the forerunner of all actions of body, speech and thought. If one’s mind (perception) is conditioned by clinging, ill-will, and confusion, inevitable sufferings will result — for oneself and others.
Through ongoing study and practice of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-Fold Way (wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development), by maintaining consistent zen practice with the guidance of a teacher, and Sangha support, one can experience release from defiled states of mind and unwholesome karma and become one with what IS — AWAKE in each moment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
*Dona Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya, 4.36
“The Truth is realized in an instant; the Act is practiced step by step.” ―