Re: Watch What You Eat (With Your Mind): Buddhist Meditation
- That's a nice, thoughtful sentiment. Thanks.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@...> wrote:
> By Anushka Fernandopulle
> The well-known opening verse from the Buddhist text
> The Dhammapada:
> Mind is the forerunner of all things
> Act and speak with an unwholesome mind,
> And unhappiness will follow you
> As surely as the wheel of the cart follows the ox
> which draws it.
> Mind is the forerunner of all things.
> Act and speak with a wholesome mind,
> And happiness will follow you
> Like your never departing shadow.
> Sounds like a simple and clear instruction. But what is
> wholesome vs. unwholesome mind? Wholesome mind refers to
> wise, kind states of mind like compassion, joy, equanimity, generosity and love. These mind states originate from wisdom
> and an understanding of the truth of interconnection.
> Unwholesome mind refers to states that originate in delusion
> and a sense of separation, such as aversion, greed, fear,
> hatred, jealousy, revenge or confusion. They are suffering
> in the moment they have arisen, and the speech and actions
> taken from these states have unpleasant results for oneself
> and others.
> During the course of one day, we can have a wide variety of
> mind states appearing, like different colored lenses that
> drop in front of our eyes. Many times we are unaware that
> these lenses are present, except in the strongest of cases,
> so speak and act (and type e-mails and text!) through whatever
> filter happens to be there at the moment. It's a gamble whether
> the speech/action is filtered through wisdom and kindness or something less positive like anxiety or irritation. Which means
> that sometimes we do, say (or type!) things that we later regret.
> An underlying problem is that we blindly believe our thoughts
> and repeatedly take them to be ourselves. Thus we take up
> anything that occurs in the mind indiscriminately, though it
> would be much better for us to practice some discernment.
> In this way we are like babies who will pick up anything and
> put it in our mouth. You have to watch babies very carefully
> when they are young because they will eat anything off the
> ground -- toys, stones, worms, plug points and occasionally
> a piece of food if they are lucky! They have no ability to
> discern yet between what is edible or inedible. As the adult
> you have to constantly be on guard, and often pry things out
> of their little mouths. It doesn't take long for babies to pick
> up some random thing and try to eat it! It also means that they
> end up choking a lot on the junk they pick up, and crying when
> it tasted bad or hurts their mouth. Does this sound familiar
> to you? Not just with babies, but with yourself regarding your
> In the same way the untrained mind will take up any thought
> and mind state no matter how toxic. We pick up the equivalent
> of indigestible stones, dirt, worms and plug points (hatred, jealousy, etc.) and consume them. It is only after we choke
> that we notice something is wrong. The path of practice includes learning to be aware when a thought or mind state has arisen: what
> is this and is this something that is wholesome or unwholesome: edible or inedible? This usually takes training, just as we have
> to train children about what they should put in their mouths.
> But we might as well learn, since otherwise we are constantly
> in danger of choking!
> With insight meditation or mindfulness practice, we get a
> chance to practice this in sitting meditation, in the most
> basic of conditions. Sitting silently, simply breathing, then becoming aware of what is arising in the mind and in the body.
> What thoughts and mind states are occurring? Are they wholesome
> or unwholesome? Edible or inedible?
> From this practice we can develop the ability to see clearly
> under simple conditions, which helps us to discern under more
> complex conditions as well. Then we can see what is in the mind
> when we are in the middle of a meeting, driving the car or at
> the grocery store. Practice can seem to take a lot of effort,
> but it will be well worth it for your own sake and the sake of
> all those you meet for the rest of your life. The unwholesome
> mind states can be diminished and even uprooted from the
> mindstream. And happiness will follow you, like your
> never-departing shadow.
> Follow Anushka Fernandopulle on Twitter:
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