Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mind the Mind!

     An imperfect childhood, plus the accumulated traumas of daily life are challenging for every one of us. The mind is a useful tool, but a nasty master. We're wise to mind it closely.
     “I don’t envision a single thing that, when unguarded, leads to such great harm as the mind. The mind, when unguarded leads to great harm.” Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya

     It's all too common for us to wrongly assume that unless we're young, gorgeous, intelligent, talented, rich & famous, we're worthless. Yet the Buddha reminds us that each one of us, along with all sentient beings, are EQUALLY lovable.
“Searching all directions
with one’s awareness,
one finds no one dearer
than oneself.
In the same way, others
are dear to themselves.
So one should not hurt others
if one loves oneself.” Buddha, Udana of the Pali canon

     Furthermore, we'd do well to remind ourselves, several times a day, of our own basic human decency and goodness. 
     “… you should recollect your own virtues … and your own generosity while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children.” Buddha, AN 11.13 PTS: A v 332 Mahanama Sutta: To Mahanama

     These reminders, at an excellent recent week-long silent meditation retreat ( lead by Greg Scharf, finally allowed these key messages of self-compassion to "land" for me - and they were powerfully healing. 
     When an important truth finally settles into the marrow of one's bones vs merely understanding it conceptually ... it's the difference between heaven and hell. Meditation practice can help bridge this chasm.
     Patience, kindness, patience, kindness, patience, kindness, patience, kindness, patience, kindness ...

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