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Watch your "ordinary" mind, now, in your "ordinary" life, with all its unnecessary drama, not just when you're "practising"!
May 18th, 2017

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

Watch your "ordinary" mind, now, in your "ordinary" life, with all its unnecessary drama, not just when you're "practising"!

To know just how WILD a mind can get, even the most perfectly "ordinary" mind, all you have to do is to set your own mind free… and watch!

You may not recognise yourself! That's part of setting your mind free… free from yourself, from your past, from your well-planned future on its well-identified track, from your bourgeois / comfortable / predictable life…

You might grow, or you might crash, but you will for sure learn… learn a lot more than by clinging to prejudices and certainties about how life 'should' be: there's no learning while knowledge is fixed!

But since you cannot read the mind of anyone else, how else would you learn about the mind's functioning?

How else would you learn about freedom, about yourself, about engaging with the ineffable richness of experience, or about taking responsibility in a complicated world (which stubbornly refuses to comply to your wishes)?

And how useful would it be, anyway, to know how another mind functions, but not your own? Can you really assume all minds work in the exact same way?

So watching your own mind go wild, when freed from its 'little boxes' and preconceptions, is a path of learning. Going wild without paying attention to the show would most likely be pointless, but going wild 'mindfully' might be the fastest way to learn… Scary as hell, but fast ;P

This is the basis of Buddhist tantra: watching your mind while letting it function 'naturally'… without judging its craziness or imperfections.

In order to lead an 'awakened' life, the politically-correct, society-adjusted, orthodox teacher would suggest that you discipline your mind, make it pliant, cleanse it from all impurities in a systematic fashion, meditate, cultivate wholesome qualities like generosity… but can you really 'fix' your mind without understanding it first? If you work systematically, in fact, yes, you can! But it might take a long time; how long have you got? Do you know when you'll die? No? So… watch your "ordinary" mind, now, in your "ordinary" life, with all its unnecessary drama, not just when you're "practising"!

[ Note: watching your mind go wild doesn't necessarily imply acting it out, neither in speech nor in bodily action… At times, it may imply so, or benefit from doing so, in order to explore the 'unfolding', but be warned: that's a hard path to walk, because the feedback from the world might be pretty violent, and you cannot complain or close down, as you asked for feedback when you set this wheel in motion! ]


Zen Master Nan-yueh Huai-jang, Abbot of the Po-je Temple, noticed a young man meditating in the main shrine every afternoon. Huai-jang asked him kindly, "My friend, what are you doing here?"

The young man obviously did not like being disturbed and reluctantly answered, "Sitting in meditation."

"Why are you sitting in meditation?" asked Huai-jang again.

Quite perturbed, he nevertheless replied, "To become a Buddha!"

The Master continued to pursue his questioning in a kind manner, "How can you become a Buddha by sitting in meditation?"

This time, the bound man ignored the question to show his disdain for the talkative old monk.

Since Huai-jang could not attract the young man's attention by talking, he found a brick and began to rub it on the floor while sitting nearly. In the days that followed, whenever the young man came to meditate. Master Nan-yueh would return to his task of rubbing the brick. Finally, the young man could no longer suppress his curiosity and inquired, "What are you doing here every day, if I may ask?"

"Polishing the brick." Huai-jang declared.

"Why?" he queried.

"To make it into a mirror," replied Huai-jang.

"How can you turn the brick into a mirror?" the young man asked.

"If the brick can't become a mirror by being polished, how can you become a Buddha by meditating?"

#Buddhism #Tantra #Zen