What Mind is
mind - does it need to be something which we can see? If we think that what has
pain, suffering, problems and so forth, that this is what is called the mind,
in this way we have to perceive the mind as something like a round ball. When
we investigate into the mind itself there is not anyone who can really perceive
At the same time, this mind does not really die. From beginningless
lifetimes until now, the mind of samsara has just been getting rebirth over and
over. The mind which has been conceptualized by having that thought of subject
and object is that which binds oneself here. It is that which projects the external
world and then one's body and so forth. But no matter how much we investigate,
there is no way anyone can perceive this mind.
All the past Buddhas have explained
that there is no way one can perceive the mind in the past, present and future.
If it is self-existing, then we could see it, like a round pill or something!
So why do we think that it has to be perceived as some "thing?" All
these "things" are created by the mind. All the experiences of happiness
and suffering of samsara and nirvana - everything is just created by the mind
So we will find if we think over the absolute nature of the mind,
it is definitely emptiness. Some people might say, "Oh, my mind is very active
and multicolored! Maybe it is possible somebody might have it!" Or maybe
somebody might say, "My mind is something like a white light!" But it
does not really exist in that way.
When we don't control the mind and just
let it be free, then it starts to create all these negative actions and thoughts.
That is why in these practices which we call meditation, although there are many
levels of meditations, whatever the dharma teachings that have been taught by
all the enlightened Buddhas, it is mainly to subdue this mind and to tame this
mind. It is to recognize the fault of the mind is conceptual thought, which is
a very dualistic thing where there is always subject and object, and this binds
us into samsara or cyclic existence. At the same time we try to realize its absolute
nature, to realize or recognize this, and that is the most important part of our
When lama gives all these teachings, the practitioner receives them
and tries to put them into practice and then they say, "Oh! I recognize the
nature of the mind!" But by just recognizing the conceptual mind, it is very
difficult that one could attain enlightenment. That which creates all these emotions
and conceptual thoughts - that is called the mind. But the actual practice is
of something which is beyond that kind of conceptual mind, which is known as wisdom.
It is that which we need to realize. So we cannot achieve the ultimate happiness
just by recognizing the conceptual mind.
There are many kinds of practices
which aim to pacify all these kinds of negative thoughts and to control the afflicted
mind, to purify and abandon them. When we do these practices and achieve some
tranquility through which we can concentrate our mind and make it very stable,
then we can perhaps concentrate our minds on the emptiness through which we may
achieve some realization. So when we practice meditation and manage to get kind
of settled and stable, even having just a little bit of experience of emptiness
is really beneficial and can accumulate lots of merit.
His Holiness Penor