We Are What We Think

6 November 2012 · 2 comments

Today, while sorting notes for a big project I have planned for 2013 (my biggest project for 2013, actually), I found a scrap of paper on which I’d copied three excerpts of a buddhist poem. (Well, not a poem precisely, but close enough.) Each of these three verses comes from a different place in a single larger work.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Your worst enemy cannot hurt you
As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.

Love yourself and be awake —
Today, tomorrow, always.
You are your only master.
Drink deeply.
Live in serenity and joy.

Meditate.
Live purely.
Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.

I copied these verses from Teachings of the Buddha, edited by Jack Kornfield. They’re each from the dhammapada, as translated by Thomas Byrom.

These sayings resonate with me; they encapsulate an important part of my world view. Namely, that we are each responsible for our own attitudes. How we see ourselves is how we see the world.

“We are what we think.”

Indeed.

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