These meditations help us understand how our mind operates in daily life and how our mental processes—our thoughts and feelings—influence our experiences
Consider: I have given everything I see all of the meaning that it has for me.
Everything I See and Say is Born in My Mind.
To develop a healthy and disciplined mind requires understanding how the mind works, what it desires—what strengthens it and what weakens it—and then applying that knowledge.
The Nature of Mind: What is it? Where is it?
The word “mind” does not refer to the brain, for the brain is made of atoms while the mind is not. The mind is that part of us that experiences, feels, perceives, thinks, and so forth. The presence of the mind is what makes the difference between a living being and a dead body. The mind has two qualities:
1. Clarity: it is formless and allows objects (perceptions, memories, fantasies, attitudes and thoughts) to arise in it.
2. Awareness: it can engage with objects—both inner senses and outer things.
Calm your mind by observing the breath, and then turn your attention to the mind itself, to what is meditating, experiencing, feeling, that is, to the subject, not object of the meditation. Observe:
1. What is your mind? Does it have shape or color? Where is it? Can you find your mind somewhere?
2. Try to get a sense of the clarity and awareness of what is perceiving, feeling, and experiencing. Focus on the perceiving subject, not on the object of the perception.
3. If thoughts arise, observe: What are thoughts? Where do they come from? Where are they? Where do they disappear to?
4. Notice the mind is changeable—like the body, notice that the mind is a continuum that is constantly changing moment-by-moment.
Conclusion: Experience your mind as being clarity and awareness, free from thought. Our mind is our creator—it creates attitudes and attitudes create our experiences.
Mind is the Source of Happiness and Pain
1. Remember a disturbing situation in your life. Recall what you were thinking and feeling (not what the other person was saying and doing). How did the way you described the situation to yourself influence how you experienced it?
2. Examine how your attitude affected what you said and did in the situation. How did your words and actions affect the situation? How did the other person respond to what you said and did?
3. Was your view of the situation realistic? Were you seeing all sides of the situation or were you seeing things through the eyes of “me, I, my, and mine?”
4. Think of how you could have viewed the situation differently if you had had a broad mind and been free from self-centeredness. How would that have changed your experience of it?
Conclusion: Determine to be aware of how you interpret events and to cultivate beneficial and realistic ways of looking at them. The upcoming meditations provide perspective.
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