Gentle On My Mind
…and on everyone else’s!

A sign of progress.

Everything comes in its right order. Before we can be carefree, we have to be careful. If we try to be carefree without being careful, we may end up being careless.

Violence starts in the mind. We mustn’t take the word ‘violence’ to mean only outer manifestations: it all starts in the mind. As we progress, these feelings become less and less hidden. The conduct of non-violence is the result of understanding, experiencing and realising emptiness. We may still notice violent conduct, but not be captured by it: if the mind is captured, then it becomes reactive.

I used to find Buddhists ‘wet’, and told my lama so. He said, “It’s OK to be wetty!” It has taken me a long time to realise that my mind was aggressive, due to previous experiences. This realisation is a personal matter, and not something we can tell others to do. At street level, criticism and judgement are everyday occurrences – even some humour can have violence hidden within it – but when we are considering our absolute nature, then such behaviour has to be dropped. It doesn’t mean that we don’t see, but we find an intelligent way of dealing with such things.

I still see carelessness, but the question is, “Am I careless? Is inner violence being created in my mind?” In Tibetan Buddhism, this approach is known as trekcho: cutting through the arising of concepts.

We may have the realisation of the nature of everything, but if we aren’t mindful of our conduct, we may lack the inner peace we seek. This is ‘wisdom and means’.

In the beginning we have to study, learn and perfect. Then genuine confidence arises and we become carefree. A simple statement may be dismissed as being ‘wet’, when in fact, it is profound:

Simply let experience take place very freely,
so that your open heart is suffused with the tenderness
of true compassion.”
Tsoknyi Rinpoche III

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