During the past month, i have been doing some reading on Buddhism. Quotes from the Dhammapada seem highly favored in these writings. Finally, i decided to read the work itself systematically, a short chapter at a time, meditating on each one for twenty-six days. Today I read "chapter" 1, "choices" It begins "We are what we think." You create your world with your thoughts. You create THE world with your thoughts. Good thoughts, good world; nasty thoughts, nasty world. The mind behind the Dammapada is so like the mind(s) behind the Tao te Ching, i sometimes feel I am reading the latter. This "book" is so short (about thirty pages in its entirety), so clear, so lovely that I can hardlty believe that I have not come across it before.
When the Buddha died after 45 years of teaching, 500 of his "enlightened" follower (including Ananda, who became enlightened at 3am the day of the meeting) met to preserve those teachings as they came from his mouth. The Dhammapada was the result of that conference. It is regarded as words from the lips of Buddha. It is the closest thing Mahayana Buddhists have to sacred scripture.
I am really going to enjoy this!