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gotaro Oh, my mind... - Subscribe
A person seeks a path that will lead him away from birth, old age, sickness and death, or from misery, sorrow, suffering and agony; and yet, he follows the path a little way, notices some little advance, and immediately becomes proud and conceited and domineering. Those who seek the true path to Enlightenment must not expect any offer of respect, honor or devotion. And conceited and domineering. Those who seek the true path to Enlightenment must not expect any offer of respect, honor or devotion. And further, they must not aim with a slight effort, at a trifling advance in calmness or knowledge or insight. First of all, one should get clearly in mind the basic and essential nature of this world of life and death. The world has no substance of its own. It is simply a vast concordance of causes and conditions that have had their origin, solely and exclusively, in the activities of the mind that has ben stimulated by ignorance, false imagination, desires and infatuations. It is not something external about which the mind has false conceptions; it has no substance whatever. It has come into appearance by the processes of the mind itself, manifesting its own delusions. It is founded and built up out of the desires of the mind, out of its sufferings and struggles incidental to the pain caused by its own greed, anger and foolishness. Men who seek the ways to Enlightenment should be ready to fight such a mind to attain their goal. "Oh, my mind! Why do you hover so restlessly over the changing circumstances of life? Why do you make me so confused and restless? Why do you urge me to collect so many things? You are like a plow that breaks in pieces before beginning to plow; you are like a rudder that is dismantled just as you are venturing out on the sea of life and death. Of what use are many rebirths if we do not make good use of this life? Oh, my mind! Once you caused me to be born as a king, and then you caused me to be born as an outcast and to beg for my food. Sometimes you cause me to be born in heavenly mansions of the gods and to dwell in ecstasy; then you plunge me into the flames of hell. Oh, my foolish, foolish mind? Thus you have led me along different paths and I have been obedient to you and docile. But now that I have heard the Buddha's teaching, do not disturb me any more or cause me further sufferings, but let us seek Enlightenment together, humbly and patiently. Oh, my mind! If you could only learn that everything is non-substantial and transitory; if you could only learn not to grasp after things, not to covet things; not to give way to greed, anger and foolishness; then we might journey in quietness. Then, by severing the bond of desires with the sword of wisdom, being undisturbed by changing circumstances - advantage or disadvantage, good or bad, loss or gain, praise or abuse - we might dwell in peace. Oh, my dear mind! It was you who first awakened faith in us; it was you who suggested our seeking Enlightenment. Why do you give way so easily to greed, love of comfort and pleasant excitement again? Oh, my mind! Why do you rush hither and thither with definite purpose? Let us cross this wild sea of delusion. Hith erto, I have acted as you wished, but now you must act as I wish and, together, we will follow the Buddha's teaching. Oh, my dear mind! These mountains, rivers and seas are changeable and pain producing. Where in this world of delusion shall we seek quietness? Let us follow the Buddha's teaching and cross over to the other shore of Enlightenment." Thus, those who really seek the path to Enlightenment, dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination. Even though they are abused by some and scorned by others, they go forward undisturbed. They do not become angry if they are beaten by fists, or hit by stones, or gashed by swords. Even if enemies cut their head from their body, the mind must not be disturbed. If they let their mind become darkened by the things they suffer, they are not following the teachings of Buddha. They must be determined, no matter what happens to them, to remain steadfast, unmovable, ever radiating thoughts of compassion and goodwill. Let abuse come, let misfortune come, and yet one should resolve to remain unmoved and tranquil in mind, filled with Buddha's teaching. For the sake of attaining Enlightenment, one should try to accomplish the impossible and one should endure the unendurable. One must give what he has to the last of it. If he is told that to gain Enlightenment he must limit his food to a single grain of rice a day, he will eat only that. If the path to Enlightenment leads him through fire, he will go forward. But one must not do these things for any ulterior purpose. One should do them because it is the wise thing, the right thing, to do. One should do them out of a spirit of compassion, as a mother does things for her little child, for her sick child, with no thought of her own strength or comfort. Indeed, those who seek for Enlightenment must think of their minds as castles and decorate them. They must open wide the gates of their minds for Buddha, and respectfully and humbly invite Him to enter the inmost chamber, there to offer Him the fragrant incense of faith and the flowers of gratitude and gladness.