Step 3: The True Mind

Our Minds are Naturally Peaceful

anvesh-uppunuthula-335771-unsplash

It may be difficult to believe but our minds are intrinsically un-moving and peaceful. However, the untrained mind gets tricked and allows sense impressions to come and trick it into temporary happiness or sadness.

But the mind’s true nature is none of those things. As long as we are still unenlightened, all this may sound strange but it doesn’t matter, we just set our goal in this direction.


Separating the Mind from Feelings

img_1921This is called separating the mind from the feeling. If we are clever we don’t attach, we leave things be. The mind and feeling are just like oil and water in a bottle; they are in the same bottle, but they don’t mix.

Even if you try to shake the bottle, the oil remains oil and the water remains water because they have different densities. Even if we are sick or in pain, we still know the feeling as feeling, the mind as mind.

We know the painful or joyous states, but we don’t identify with them. We stay only with peace: the peace is beyond both comfort and pain. You must live like this, that is, without happiness and without unhappiness. See The Middle Way: Happiness Isn’t for the Wise for further discussion.

The mind is the mind. We say that we must separate mind and feeling but in fact they are by nature already separate. Our goal is simply to know this natural separateness according to reality. When we say the mind and feeling are mixed, it’s because we’re clinging to them through ignorance of the truth.

sharon-mccutcheon-532782-unsplash.jpg

The knowledge which comes from study is not real knowledge of our mind. The knowledge which arises from practice with a peaceful mind and the knowledge which comes from study are really far apart. If we investigate like this continuously the mind will find release.

We must train our mind to know those sense impressions as they arise and to not get lost in them. This is the goal of Buddhism and the benefit of all the difficult practice we put ourselves through. Teachers and guides can only show you the direction of the Path. Whether you walk the path by practicing and thereby reap the fruits of practice, is entirely up to you.

Step 4: Code of Ethics