“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” – Buddha
“All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.” – Mao Tse-Tung
“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.” – seemingly anonymous Zen proverb
Our lives are a constant dance between our thoughts and actions.
Our minds direct our actions. We plan, prepare, make choices and come to decisions. We look back and see our mistakes, hopefully learning from them.
But thought alone isn’t enough.
Our actions also shape our thinking.
There is koan type question I have heard often:
“3 frogs sit on a log. 2 decide to jump. How many frogs are still on the log?”
The answer of course is 3. They only made a decision…
Without action nothing happens, nothing changes.
Without action the limits of our experience and the data we have for our minds to process is limited.
We have no basis to make decisions without the knowledge of experience, of what happens when we do act.
And action without thought is equally dangerous. We rush in without looking at the bigger picture, without considering consequences and their impact.
Often when we are having problems or feel stuck in life it is because one of these two is dominating the other.
Either we are caught in our thinking, unable to make a decision or we are constantly reacting to the physical world without really contemplating what we really want to have happen.
Find ways to practice the dance’s most basic steps. Make deliberate choices and follow through with dedicated action. Review you actions and expand your perspective on what is possible, and what isn’t, on who is impacted, on how you are impacted, and how you can impact others.