June 16, 2010

Meditation is Activism.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.

~ Buddha

We often think of meditation as separate than life. Ah, she’s just navel-gazing, we might say.

But it’s called practice for a reason—it’s practice for life itself. For being fully present. As the UN Charter famously says, it’s in the minds of men that wars start. And, therefore, it’s in the minds of men that they can end.

Same goes for everything—our mind is the root of lust, greed, cruelty, frustration, speediness. It’s that simple. ~ed.


More on the Buddha and the Maras (Mental Obstacles):

The Mind The restless, agitated mind,
Hard to protect, hard to control,
The sage makes straight,
As a fletcher the shaft of an arrow.

Like a fish out of water,
Thrown on dry ground,
This mind thrashes about,
Trying to escape Mara’s command.

The mind, hard to control,
Flighty—alighting where it wishes—
One does well to tame.
The disciplined mind brings happiness.

The mind, hard to see,
Subtle—alighting where it wishes—
The sage protects.
The watched mind brings happiness.

Far ranging, solitary,
Incorporeal and hidden
Is the mind.
Those who restrain it
Will be freed from Mara’s bonds.

For those who are unsteady of mind,
Who do not know true Dharma [teachings of truth],
And whose serenity wavers,
Wisdom does not mature.

For one who is awake,
Whose mind isn’t overflowing,
Whose heart isn’t afflicted
And who has abandoned both merit and demerit,
Fear does not exist.

Knowing this body to be like a clay pot,
Establishing this mind like a fortress,
One should battle Mara with the sword of insight,
Protecting what has been won,
Clinging to nothing.

All too soon this body
Will lie on the ground,
Cast aside, deprived of consciousness,
Like a useless scrap of wood.

Whatever an enemy may do to an enemy,
Or haters, one to another,
Far worse is the harm
From one’s own wrongly directed mind.

Neither mother nor father,
Nor any other relative can do
One as much good
As one’s own well-directed mind.

Via Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, my Buddhist teacher, on meditation and life:

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