All states have mind as their forerunner; to them mind is supreme and of mind are they made.
Therefore, if one, with pacified mind, speaks or acts, on account of that does happiness follow one as the shadow that does not depart.
This is a pair to yesterday’s verse.
Given the first assertion, that all states have mind (or brain) as their forerunner, it follows that a chill mind begets a chill life. If only the process for obtaining such a thing were not so difficult.
For example, today I had to let painters into the house, work on a proposal, make sure everyone else is working, and I forgot the keys that give me a private place to meditate. So I haven’t even meditated on this yet. I’ll make it up in the evening I promise. But it just goes to show how much the world demands that we speak and act now and gives little space for sitting back and pacifying the mind. Or maybe that’s me and I could just sit under my desk. Of course it’s just me, that’s what the verse says. See how easy it is to attribute control to external things?
Anyways, note that the word is pacified mind, it’s not that you need to think a certain way or believe certain things, it’s just that your mind is pacified. Which makes me think of still, or calm, though the Pacific Ocean is actually a bit rough.
I also love the idea of happiness following you like a shadow. I looked at my shadow a bit after I read this. It’s not there all the time though :(
I suppose the idea is that inner peace creates outer peace. The trouble is that the outer world is so demanding and we get such immediate feedback from meddling with it. I think the Buddha would say this is a futile task. It feels easier in the short term, but doesn’t relieve suffering in the long term. But that really has to be your goal, and it’s quite literally not the way of the world.