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Re: Watch What You Eat (With Your Mind): Buddhist Meditation

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  • walto
    That s a nice, thoughtful sentiment. Thanks. W
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 20, 2012
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      That's a nice, thoughtful sentiment. Thanks.

      W

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, 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
      > mind?
      >
      > 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:
      > www.twitter.com/@AnushkaF
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