Mind is the universal ordering principle, the creator of suffering and the creator of happiness. Everything depends on how we perceive. In turn, how we perceive depends, to a large extent, on what we believe – our view of the world and how it operates.
What do you believe? About:
- The way the world works?
- The purpose of life?
- The nature of the self?
- Your responsibility as a human being?
- The impact of your thoughts, words, and actions?
- Why you suffer?
- What happens when you die?
- Are your beliefs in line with reality as it actually is?
- What is true happiness and freedom?
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“An effortless compassion can arise for all beings who have not realized their true nature. So limitless is it that if tears could express it, you would cry without end. Not only compassion, but tremendous skillful means can be born when you realize the nature of mind. Also you are naturally liberated from all suffering and fear, such as the fear of birth, death and the intermediate state. Then if you were to speak of the joy and bliss that arise from this realization, it is said by the buddhas that if you were to gather all the glory, enjoyment, pleasure and happiness of the world and put it all together, it would not approach one tiny fraction of the bliss that you experience upon realizing the nature of mind.”
- Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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“…no matter what emotions arise, taking emotion as the path requires skill because emotions are strongly experienced in the body’s chemistry, as well as the mind.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche
According to the contemporary spiritual teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche, whatever you feel in any given moment is based on an earlier imprint in your being.
He explains that there are two types of imprints:
- Learned patterns
- Karmic residues
The number of imprints in our being is literally uncountable. Typically, it’s these patterns that are running the show of your life.
I suspect these learned patterns are similar to the “deceptive brain messages” discussed in the book You Are Not Your Brain. The reason deceptive brain messages are difficult – but not impossible – to change is because the very structure and function of the brain reinforces them.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche brings together the world of science with ancient wisdom to illustrate how we can change deeply held emotional habits. He says, to bring awareness to our emotional patterns, we need a roadmap, which has three elements:
- Emotion, feeling, mood
- Knowing, thinking, awareness
- The reified “I” and sense of fixation
We need to work with all three elements to free ourselves from stubborn emotional patterns.
Once of the most important keys is to welcome emotions – even the difficult ones – rather than seeing them as the enemy.
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