Words 2

Every action we perform leaves an imprint on our very subtle mind,

and each imprint eventually gives rise to its own effect.

Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like

sowing seeds in that field. Virtuous actions sow seeds

of future happiness and non-virtuous actions sow seeds of future suffering.

These seeds remain dormant in our mind until the conditions

for them to ripen occur, and then they produce their effect. In some cases,

this can happen many lifetimes after the original action was performed.


We cannot avoid the suffering of dissatisfaction

by frequently changing our situation. We may think

that if we keep getting a new partner or a new job, or keep traveling about,

we will eventually find what we want; but even if we were

to travel to every place on the globe, and have a new lover in every town,

we would still be seeking another place and another lover.

In samsara there is no real fulfillment of our desires.


Delusions are distorted ways of looking at ourself, other people,

and the world around us. The way a deluded mind

views these phenomena does not accord with reality.

The deluded mind of hatred, for example, views another person

as intrinsically bad, but there is no such thing as an intrinsically bad person.


Through studying many Buddhist texts we may become

a renowned scholar; but if we do not put Buddha’s teachings

into practice, our understanding of Buddhism will remain hollow,

with no power to solve our own or others’ problems.

Expecting intellectual understanding of Buddhist texts alone

to solve our problems is like a sick person hoping to cure

his or her illness through merely reading medical instructions

without actually taking the medicine.


We often feel that it is someone else who is making us unhappy,

and we can become very resentful. If we look at the situation carefully,

however, we will find that it is always our own mental attitude

that is responsible for our unhappiness. Another person’s actions

make us unhappy only if we allow them to stimulate a negative response in us.

Criticism, for example, has no power from its own side to hurt us;

we are hurt only because of our self-cherishing. With self-cherishing

we are so dependent on the opinions and approval of others

that we lose our freedom to respond and act in the most constructive way.


To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think

about the past or responsibly plan for the future.

The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets

about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded

in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry,

the object of your mindfulness and concentration.

You can attain many insights by looking into the past.

But you are still grounded in the present moment.


Carl Jung said that the reason for mental illness

is the avoidance of legitimate suffering. We have a wrong relationship

to pain and change, and that is because we are not aware

that death is part of life, not at the end of it.

The ego is conservative and only wants more life

and puts death outside the wall, into the hypothetical future,

as something which is going to happen. But in reality each breathe comes

and then goes. Between each inhale and exhale we die and are reborn.

    So clinging to memory, to the past attachments, to toxic people,

and useless ideas and beliefs brings great stress to the Self

which knows that it is all junk. But like pack-rats, we hold on and wonder

why life is rancid and mediocre.

~ by pinoro on December 19, 2014.

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