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I Want Change - Artist: Meek

The Mythical Mental Reboot

To get away from destructive patterns some put their hopes into the idea of the mental reboot, thinking that by taking oneself away from harmful objects, and through other methods, the mind will return to a neutral state, and that through this alone a mental reboot will happen – a reboot of the mind in a more wholesome manner, perhaps a manner one knew earlier in life. If it were just that easy, we would all be enlightened.

What this does not take into consideration is that mind is a creature of habit, that one cannot undo past actions and that one can never start from scratch. Without having a strong inner antidote or counterforce to one’s afflictions and inner demons, upon returning to one’s usual environment one’s old habits arise again strongly in one’s mind, and soon one is acting in the same way as before all over again.

The Buddha taught that there are things to be abandoned, and that there are things to be cultivated. Examples for that to be cultivated and internalized are the positive qualities of love, compassion, generosity, patience, renunciation and wisdom. The more we have of those, automatically the less we have of the opposite.

  • The more love, compassion and patience, the less anger.
  • The stronger the generous mind wanting to give, the less greed,
  • The more renunciation, the less grasping and clinging desire,
  • The more wisdom, the less ignorance just living in the moment, without awareness of cause and effect.
  • The more mindfulness of the kindness of others, and the more gratitude, the less pride and isolation.
  • The more altruism, the less self-cherishing, the less anger, the less anything negative.

It is like switching on the light, the darkness goes away automatically at the same time, without having to focus on it.

This is the path of the antidote.

Definition of the Week (26) – Close Placement (of Wisdom) by Mindfulness on Phenomena

The definition of close placement (of wisdom) by mindfulness on phenomena is:
An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of mental factors.

In short: Wisdom, a discriminating awareness is placed by mindfulness on the virtuous and non-virtuous mental factors, to investigate and differentiate their general and specific characteristics.

Focal object: The different mental factors.

They are thus either identified as belonging to the afflicted side and as object of abandonment, or as uncontaminated and belonging to the side of implementation. Through understanding that un-contaminated phenomena are the exact opposite to the afflicted mental factors, one understand that they are their only antidote, and be motivated to generate them.

Afflicted or uncontaminated, they are negated as being the self, or as belonging to an intrinsic self. They themselves are also recognized as lacking inherent nature.

Definition of the Week (25) – close placement (of wisdom) by mindfulness on mind

The definition of close placement (of wisdom) by mindfulness on mind is:
An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of mind.

In short: Wisdom, a discriminating awareness is placed by mindfulness on mind, to investigate its general and specific characteristics.

Focal object: Mind is synonymous with primary consciousness, and has a sixfold division according to the six sense powers, five physical and one mental.

Purpose: To eliminate any type of mind as the self, and to then also realize the emptiness of the mind itself.

The placement of wisdom on the mind eliminates mind as the basis for a self through the analysis of its impermanence, lack of intrinsic existence etc. Through this the grasping at the mind is eliminated, and one can proceed to attain cessation without having any fear.

To just meditate on the clear nature of the mind does not harm ignorance

From the Debate between Wisdom and Ignorance:

Ignorance says to Wisdom:

The meditation without wandering from clear and knowing
Is seen as the pinnacle of placement meditation.
If one does not even attain liberation

Then omniscient consciousness is a joke. [212]
If meditation on clear and knowing
While being oblivious to anything else,
Is meditation on mind itself,

Since the mind and myself are inseparable [213]
It becomes a meditation on myself alone.
As the result of meditating on me
Not only is there no attainment of liberation,

The only thing that will happen [214]
Is that I will become stronger, nothing else.
Choden Rinpoche:
As we said earlier, some meditate on nothing else but the clear nature of the mind, without thinking or conceptualization. But because mind is an illusory conventional object, it comes with true-appearance, and therefore meditating on it will only strengthen true-grasping and does not benefit the attainment of liberation.

Definition of the Week (24) – Close Placement (of Wisdom) by Mindfulness on Feelings

The definition of close placement (of wisdom) by mindfulness on feelings:
An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of feelings.

There are three types of feelings:

  • Happiness
  • Suffering
  • Equanimity

Wisdom, a discriminating awareness is placed by mindfulness on feelings, to investigate their general and specific characteristics.

The final purpose is to eliminate feeling as the basis of pleasure for the self.

General feelings are realized to be impermanent, produced by karma and afflictions, devoid of self and not belonging to any self. It is realized that contaminated feelings of happiness are in the nature of suffering, non-satisfactory, the cause of attachment and anger, and to be abandoned. Feelings are also investigated for their lack of inherent existence and their emptiness is realized.

It is also realized that there is only one feeling that will liberate from suffering, the feeling accompanying the wisdom realizing emptiness directly.

 

Definition of the Week (23) – Close Placement (of Wisdom) by Mindfulness – Body

The definition of close placement (of wisdom) by mindfulness:
An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of the body.

Wisdom is placed continuously on the body by mindfulness and investigates the general characteristics of the body, such as its impermanence, its lack of self etc. It also investigates its specific characteristics, such as its impurity.

There are three types of body:

1. Outer body, i.e., forms etc., which do not support the sense powers.
2. Inner body, i.e., the five sense powers.
3. Body that is both, like the five forms that support the sense powers.
One immediate purpose of meditating the on the close placement of wisdom on the body by mindfulness is to understand the negative tendencies of the contaminated body, and to understand these as object of rejection.

Another purpose of meditating on the placement by mindfulness on the body is to eliminate the body as the basis of the self, i.e., to eliminate it as the residence of the self.

Definition of the Week (22) – Definition for a close Placement by Mindfulness

Jetsün Chokyi Gyaltsen:

The definition for a close placement by mindfulness is:

An exalted knower on the path, that is contained in either mindfulness or wisdom, and which meditates by investigating the general and specific characteristics of each of the four: Body, feelings, main consciousness and phenomena.

Vasubandhu in his Treasury of Knowledge (Abhisamayaalamkara):

“The close placement by mindfulness is wisdom.”

Examples for general characteristics: Impermanence, misery, empty and selfless.

Everything compounded is impermanent
Everything contaminated is misery
All phenomena are empty and selfless

Purpose of meditating on the four close placements:
To reject what has been identified by the four noble truths as that to be abandoned, and to integrate what has been identified by the four noble truth as that to be accepted.

The purpose of meditating on the four close placements (of wisdom) by mindfulness is to set us on the path by clearly identifying what is contained in the first two noble truths, and rejecting this, and by identifying what is contained in the second two noble truths and aspiring towards them.

Realizing the four noble truths in relation to ourselves generates renunciation, and realizing them in relation to others generates compassion.