Mind is defined in Buddhism as a non-physical phenomenon
which perceives, thinks, recognises, experiences
and reacts to the environment.
The mind is described as having two main aspects:
clarity and knowing; meaning that the mind is clear,
formless and allows for objects to arise in it, and that the mind is knowing,
an awareness, a consciousness which can engage with objects.
“What is the mind? It is a phenonmenon that is not body, not substantial,
has no form, no shape, no color, but, like a mirror, can clearly reflect objects.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The two main types of mind are explained as the conceptual and the non-conceptual.
The conceptual is the “normal” mind aspect we use
to survive in daily life, but is ultimately mistaken
about the way in which reality exists.
The non-conceptual type of mind is also called the Buddha nature,
rigpa (Tib.), fundamental pure nature of mind
which realises emptiness (see the page on Wisdom).
Study and training the mind in wisdom uses the conceptual mind,
like preparing the mind before the underlying
non-conceptual Buddha-nature of the mind can appear.
In Buddhist psychology, much emphasis is given
to the so-called delusions, which we need to diminish
and ultimately even eliminate for spiritual progress.
An over 1800 year old ‘one-liner’ by Nagarjuna:
“Without the discipline of guarding the mind, what use are any other disciplines?”