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Buddhadharma : Fall 2016
fall 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 15 how much can you handle? The Buddhist path is not about cultivating peacefulness. It is about cultivating wakeful- ness. We are trying to expand our repertoire of what we can handle. FROM A FACEBOOK POST By ELIzABETh MATTIS NAMGyEL, JuNE 6 don’t mind your mind Your mind knows what to do, says Sayadaw U Tejaniya. Just let it. When does the mind practice well? When or why does it not practice well? This is some- thing we have to find out for ourselves. At the very least, this is the sort of wisdom that we want: to know how to practice in the right manner. So how can we be motivated to practice well when we don’t know our own minds? The mind can be a little tricky to know, because there is no location for the mind. It has no shape, no color; there is no solidity, and it’s abstract. So how can we pay attention to it if there is seemingly nothing there? What do we pay attention to when we talk about the mind? How do we recognize it? Where do you look for it? In your head? Your heart? We can’t see the mind like we experience everything else, but we can experience the mind through its activity. We know when the mind does something, and we know when something happens in the mind. You know you have a mind, right? What is it that you experience that makes you say you have a mind? Is it because it thinks? Yes, partly, but it also knows and it feels. Do you ever want to take a pee or want to eat? There is the physical sensation of want- ing to pee, but the intention to get up and go to the toilet happens in the mind. If it didn’t, you would make a mess of yourself. Wanting to eat happens in the mind, and hunger happens in the body. You can know when you want to eat a little or a lot. You can know that. You can know the inten- sity or the eagerness to eat. We can see the intention. To know the mind is a little like getting to know a new neighbor: the more we meet them, the more we get to know about them. Each day when we meet them, we learn a little more. It becomes a learning process. In the scriptures, the mind is defined. It is defined as “that which knows,” “that which thinks,” and “that which pays attention.” Because it is defined as “that which knows” and “that which pays attention,” we don’t really have to do much work to know and pay attention. The mind is already doing it, because that’s its job—that is its nature. All we need to do is be aware and be pres- ent, so we can recognize the mind doing its work. This work we are doing is building our ability to remember that the mind will do its own work, if only we can create the conditions to allow it to do so. Once the mind is known, dhamma is known. FROM When AWAreness BecoMes nAturAl, ShAMBhALA, MAy 2016