Training in Taming the Mind

Some things aren’t easy to explain…they have to be experienced

The Dharma, if not practised, is…I was going to say “pointless”, but there is a point to not practising. Not training has its consequences. If we keep the Buddha’s teaching as merely a philosophy or intellectual speculation, this can have disastrous effects. The journey to heaven can end up in hell.

The theory of the nature of mind – our true nature being, awareness that is uncontaminated/pure – may easily be recognised in practice. The more we sit and practise, the more familiar this becomes. This awareness being still, looks into itself and finds only awareness and nothing else.

The more we do this, the more it effects our conduct in daily life, and our interaction with others. Actually, how we interact with others stems from previous actions in past incarnations.

As we know, there are two parts to becoming enlightened; one is recognising our true nature and the other is eliminating the effects of karma. Karma is our mental storehouse, or imprints in the mind, which influence and control our behaviour and our attitude.

If we do not practise substantially, we expose ourselves in our attitude. This exposure is vitally important to our evolution, our spiritual evolution. Feeling exposed, we can either experience guilt and hate it, or find the exposure inspiring and joyous. It is in this reaction that our true attitude is seen.

This is not a test. We are just coming at it from the very positive point of view of kindness. This morning, an idea came to mention how important actual practice is, as opposed to theory. Sometimes, when an idea comes, I pick up a book and open any page and read a line or two (I shouldn’t belittle this by using the word ‘just’, as there is always synchronicity present – or there seems to be!).

This morning, I picked up Padmasabhava’s “Dakini Teachings”; not a light read 😉 Enlightening yes, but heavy with profundity. Here is a brief synopsis of a chapter; bear in mind your own response as you read it. 😀 Remember – seeing is everything; seeing is being aware, and in being aware we can do something about it. And that ‘doing something about it’ is merely recognising. That is all that is needed, and the problem just subsides naturally.

The Ten Non-Virtues

These are: harsh words, ill-will, killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, diversive talk, gossip, covetousness and wrong view.

I have only repeated the result of negative conduct being reborn in a human form. And remember that we have had countless incarnations, and so everyone has been our mother. We have experienced all there is to experience. If we practise, the next incarnation may be more favourable, or this could be our last incarnation. If we do not practise, then we are subject to karma, and the results of karma.” from Padmasabhava’s “Dakini Teaching”

Harsh words
1 Exposing one’s faults in public
2 Hurting someone indirectly
3 Uttering, in private, something that will hurt another.

The dominant result is that, even if you take rebirth as a human being, whatever you say will be offensive to others and you will always appear to irritate them. The result corresponding to the cause is that you will be fond of speaking harsh words.

1 resulting from anger
2 resulting from resentment
3 resulting from jealousy

The dominant result is that, even if you are born as a human being, others are unjustifiably hostile towards you and you constantly meet with enmity and law suits. The result corresponding to the cause is that you will develop a malicious frame of mind.

A similar scenario applies to all the acts of non-virtue. These negative activities will result in rebirth in one of the six psychological realms.

This article is to emphasise the shortcomings of not training in taming the mind, which is the result of not sitting in pure awareness. Lower schools will address this through discipline, using antidotes; this approach has its uses. Dzogchen goes to the heart of the matter; when resting in pure awareness, misconduct does not occur, although we will experience a residue from past actions, which is dealt with by pure recognition.

You can start to see how this is an individual endeavour…it all depends on your point of view.

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  1. tony says:

    The word to note in Padmasabhava’s text is “dominant”. Meaning, if we are dominated by a certain behaviour, that will determine how much strength that particular karma has. When we look around the world we can see the obsessions going on.

    Anyone bothering to read this will only have little obsessions I’m sure! 😀


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