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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 (29) – Patience

Lama Tsong Khapa:

The nature of patience is a naturally abiding mind, undisturbed by harm or suffering, and which abides on the dharma as originally aspired.

Patience as a three-fold division into:

  1. Patience unaffected by harm
  2. Patience willingly bearing suffering
  3. Patience of definitely relying on the dharma.

Shantideva:

Unsubdued sentient beings equal space, [12]
Destroying them is impossible.
Merely destroys this mind of anger,
Equals destroying all enemies.

To cover the whole earth with leather, [13]
Where should the leather come from?
To cover one’s soles with leather
Equals covering the whole earth.

Similarly, I do not oppose [14]
External phenomena.
I should reverse this mind of mine,
Where is the need to oppose others?

Gyaltsab Je:

Patience Depends on the Mind
(Meaning; Example; Relating Meaning and Example)

  • Meaning
    Patience is completed by destroying one’s anger, which equals destroying all external enemies. It is not achieved through the extinction of the objects of one’s anger. This is conclusive because unsubdued sentient beings equal space and it is impossible to destroy them all. Therefore also patience depends on the mind.
  • The Example
    Where would one find enough leather to cover the whole earth to prevent one’s feet from being harmed by thorns and other sharp objects on the ground? Covering the soles of one’s feet with leather will do the trick and prevent the feet from being harmed by thorns, sharp stones and the like. It equals covering the whole earth.
  • Relating the Meaning and the Example
    Similar to the analogy, it is impossible to oppose all harmful external phenomena. Instead one focuses one’s mind on these objects and reverses the mind from generating anger. By meditating in such a way patience is completed. To oppose the objects of anger is impossible and unnecessary.