mirror mind

February 3, 2010

We assume that our mind automatically grasps reality but don’t know how artfully the mind works and, therefore, we live in delusion and suffering. The mind must be developed. The Buddhist teachings show how to liberate the mind from ignorance and obtain wisdom or insight. Wisdom implies a mind with equanimity, free of mental defilements, not influenced by worldly pleasures or suffering, a mind detached from the past and the future, a calm and collected mind that experiences that the reality of all phenomena is in its impermanence and selflessness.

– Lieu Phap, from “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes”

good times

January 20, 2010

When we get sick, our suffering can put us in touch with the pain of others.  When things go well, however, our mind easily accepts this.  Like oil absorbing into our skin, attachment to favorable circumstances blends smoothly and invisibly into our thoughts and feelings.  Without realizing what’s happening, we can become infatuated with our achievements, fame, and wealth.  It’s difficult to extricate ourselves from positive obstacles.  If we could have everything we wish for —wealth, a comfortable house, nice clothing — we should view this good fortune as illusory, like a beautiful dream, and not let it seduce us into complacency.

– Pema Chödrön, from “Cutting Ties: The Fruits of Solitude”