18132What To Know About The Mind
- Jan 26, 2012"The mind is like tangled silk that needs
sorting to be in good working order. It is
like an ancient mirror that requires a good
polishing in order to shine, or a wild horse
that needs to be tamed. The mind is our master,
leading the daily activities of our eyes, ears,
nose, tongue, and body. Within our everyday
activities, a single thought may ruin our lives
or reputations, or help us gain success and fame.
Buddhist sutras compare the ungoverned mind to
the likes of thieves, vicious beasts, monkeys,
and kings. Therefore, it is absolutely critical
to govern the mind! So what kind of power can we
use to subdue the mind? The following are three
suggestions that anyone can follow.
"1. Know how to cultivate the mind. We repair
furniture when it is broken, water pipes when
they leak, and clothes when they are torn. If
the mind has become smeared by greed, ignorance,
and arrogance, how do we repair it? We need the
instruments of compassion, joy, generosity, meditation,
morals, and practice to treat it.
"2. Know how to calm the mind. The mind is like
a monkey or a horse. If we are not careful, it
will commit all kinds of unwholesome deeds. Ming
Dynasty scholar Wang Yangming said, 'It is easy to
capture a bandit in the mountains; it is difficult
to catch the thief in the mind.' Calming the mind is
like soldiers apprehending bandits or the police
arresting thieves. Where are our soldiers and police?
Right thinking is our soldier and right view is our
police. We have to make good use of them in order to
calm our minds.
"3. Know how to use our minds. We are often manipulated
by the mind but do not know how to use it properly.
It is said that the mind labors for its physical form.
It is often influenced by our desires and external
circumstances. It is driven by sight, sound, smell,
touch and perception from outside. The greed, anger,
and ignorance of the mind keeps pushing and working
against us. So we must master our minds."
This is an Excerpt from
Tending Life's Garden: Between Ignorance and Enlightenment VI
by Master Hsing Yun
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