The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

BRINGING THE MIND HOME 59mally" operate, for it is a state free of all cares and concerns,in which there is no competition, no desire to possess or graspat anything, no intense and anxious struggle, and no hunger toachieve: an ambitionless state where there is neither acceptancenor rejection, neither hope nor fear, a state in which weslowly begin to release all those emotions and concepts thathave imprisoned us into the space of natural simplicity.The Buddhist meditation masters know how flexible andworkable the mind is. If we tram it, anything is possible. Infact, we are already perfectly trained by and for samsara,trained to get jealous, trained to grasp, trained to be anxiousand sad and desperate and greedy, trained to react angrily towhatever provokes us. We are trained, in fact, to such anextent that these negative emotions rise spontaneously, withoutour even trying to generate them. So everything is a questionof training and the power of habit. Devote the mind toconfusion and we know only too well, if we're honest, that itwill become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions,subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it inmeditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and wewill find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the righttraining, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know itsessential bliss and clarity.'Training" the mind does not in any way mean forciblysubjugating or brainwashing the mind. To train the mind isfirst to see directly and concretely how the mind functions, aknowledge that you derive from spiritual teachings andthrough personal experience in meditation practice. Then youcan use that understanding to tame the mind and work with itskillfully, to make it more and more pliable, so that you canbecome master of your own mind and employ it to its fullestand most beneficial end.The eighth-century Buddhist master Shantideva said:If this elephant of mind is bound on all sides by the cord of mindfulness,All fear disappears and complete happiness comes.All enemies: all the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, serpents [of ouremotions]} 2And all the keepers of hell, the demons and the horrors,All of these are bound by the mastery of your mind,And by the taming of that one mind, all are subdued,Because from the mind are derived all fears and immeasurablesorrows. 3

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