The wise disciple must be peaceful and aware,
and follow the rules to train themselves in the right way.
Dhammapada verse. 375.


How peaceful is our mind?

It's a common misconception that our meditation training must always appear to be moving forward and so taking us to new and preferably, interesting and mystical places. However, as disciples of Dhamma we accept that the purest, deepest and most profound practice is to patiently and lovingly be with the mind however it manifests in different moments, and be at peace with that.
Even if we believe that in our sitting practice nothing is happening (that is never the reality), we can simply change our perspective from 'nothing is happening' to 'what is happening is nothing', and that is what I am experiencing!'
People often make many demands on their meditation practice and insisting that there will be a result of deep peacefulness is often high on that list.
However, the question of 'how peaceful is our mind?' is much deeper than something like, 'do you take milk and sugar in your tea?' and already loaded with misconceptions.
First we have to understand the simple truth that this is not 'our mind.'
It does not belong to us nor only ever do what we want it to.
So the question is not how peaceful is our mind, but rather, how much in peace are we with this phenomenon that we don't own or control and are suddenly taking responsibility for.
We need to reflect on this. Popular spirituality may be useful for some people new to practice, but to be free from our frustrations, difficulties and struggles in life we have to go deeper than simple platitudes and superficial teachings. The secret to our meditation life is 'not to mind', what the mind presents, and so stop trying to own and control the very things that we can never own and are beyond our control.
Sometimes we may feel that it's always the same and that our meditation does not develop, but it only seems that way when we are still grasping at an idea that what is being experienced is not enough and so our impatience creates the tension and the frustration that arrives from it.
It is a simple truth that to sit without desire or intention is the highest practice. This mind and how it manifests for you is not different to the experience of other people, but if we have committed to true understanding, we can at least have the awareness to observe just how busy and seemingly confused it can be.
So, now comes the teaching: Let it be busy, but be aware. Let it run, but be aware and let go of any idea of how it should be and worse, that you are failing in your practice. This is the practice, exactly this!
In the end we meet the human frailty that we want is want what everybody wants, and that is the one thing that no-one can have – certainty, the knowledge that what we are doing will bring forth a particular result and we will live happily ever after. Not only in meditation but in every aspect of life.
So we just sit and be still. We shrug our shoulders and mentally say 'I give this mind permission to do anything it wants to do and I will allow it without interference.'
If this mind is truly not ours, why should we mind what it presents?
Understanding this is where real peace lives.


May all beings be happy.

 

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Koan:
 The nun Voramai Kabilsingh was the first Thai woman to receive full ordination in modern times and so took the three hundred and eight training rules. She was asked how she kept all these rules. «I only keep one rule,» she replied. «Which one is that?» the questioner continued. «I just watch my mind,» she answered.

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Dhamma Quotation: Meditation teachers abound, but Dhamma Masters are as rare as hairs on the palm of your hand.
From; A journey to Awakening. by Michael Kewley