GETTING TO KNOW YOUR MIND
By Dharma Teacher Acharya Andrew. J. Williams – Australia
Imagine if the whole world practised meditation. If everybody in the world had the opportunity to get to know their mind. To clearly perceive the wholesome mental qualities that need to be adopted, nurtured and perfected, as well as the unwholesome mental afflictions that need to be relinquished and eradicated, and then implemented the invaluable meditation methods taught by the Buddha. I think that you may agree that all wars and conflicts would be pacified, and peace and understanding would pervade the world. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says, “If every eight years old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” We all want peace and happiness, and want to avoid conflict and suffering. But we need to understand the causes of peace and happiness and adopt and practice them.
If every eight years old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
We also need to understand the causes of conflict and suffering and abandon and eradicate them. This way we will achieve our goal.
Everything begins in the mind, all things are constructs of the mind. We are what we think. Thinking, acting and speaking with a pure mind leads to positive results. Thinking, acting and speaking with an impure mind leads to negative results. When a pebble is thrown into a pond, the ripples that are created cover all parts of the pond, likewise every thought, action and word affects everything.
Peace must first be developed internally, in our own mind and then expressed outwardly through our actions and words. We must live by example. Thinking, acting and speaking with the motivation to cause and maintain peace, harmony and understanding. Then peace can be caused and realised, and the lack of peace can be overcome.
The Buddha Dharma clearly teaches morality and a path to peace. Buddhist meditation is grounded in morality and leads to the realisation of genuine wisdom and compassion. But if we live contrary to these teachings then genuine peace based on true wisdom and compassion can never be individually or collectively realised.
To calm our mind, first, we must live morally and therefore be free of regret and guilt. A mind free of regret and guilt is more conducive to and ripe for the practice of meditation, which enables us to develop genuine insight into the nature of our mind and the nature of reality.
When our mind is calm and clear, we will be less confused, worried and anxious, and therefore able to perceive things more clearly, and able to make better choices on what to do and what not to do in our lives.
We will be able to deal much more clearly and efficiently with life’s changes and difficulties.
To bring about the awakening of students of all temperaments,
the Buddha taught a wonderful variety of spiritual practices. There are foundation practices for the development of loving-kindness, generosity and moral integrity, the universal ground of spiritual life. Then there is a vast array of meditation practices to train the mind and open the heart. These practices include awareness of the breath and body, mindfulness of feelings and thoughts, practices of mantra and devotion, visualization and contemplative reflection, and practices leading to refined and profoundly expanded states of consciousness.