The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thubten Chodron, A Morning Motivation

Have you ever had this experience? You walk outside, and all of a sudden the silence strikes you--it's in such sharp contrast to the chatter that's going on in the mind.
We live in a very quiet place. We walk outside and it's pretty quiet--a few birds chirping, sun shining. Then suddenly the chatter in the mind stops because we see that it's just chatter. It's in such stark contrastto the silence that's outside.
We want to learn to notice that chatter before we even have to walk outside. And we want to be able to find that quiet place inside ourselves and keep it with us, so that even when we're in a place where there is a lot of noise, the mind can be quiet.
All that mental chatter is basically negative conceptualization. If we were thinking about emptiness or developing compassion with that kind of mental activity, fine! Continue that outside, inside, everywhere. But most of the time what's going on is, "I like this. I want this. I don't want that. Why does this person do this? Why don't they do that?" That kind of mental activity makes the mind quite stressful as well as accumulates negative karma and wastes a great deal of time.
As soon as we can catch it and be aware of what's going on in out mind, and come back to that silent place inside, the more peaceful we'll be. Our lives will be more productive in terms of having the Dharma grow in our hearts, and we'll be more focused in whatever daily activities we're doing. We won't be quite so distracted.

Thubten Chodron, Founder and Abbess of Sravasti Abbey
March 2008

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