As you may know in the last few blogs we’ve been examining our actual experience and comparing it with the experience that life is supposed to afford us. If you’ve read these blogs closely, and followed the experiments that they recommend, you may be getting a sense that hidden right in the midst of our everyday experience is an expansive and extraordinary experience of life that many people just overlook. Not only is this expansive state accessible to you — it is your natural state.
If you recall, we saw where you actually experience the world; is it out there or in here? Then we looked in detail to see if you actually experience a body; if the parts that you experience like a sore back or the sound of your heart pumping, actually add up to the thing that they are supposed to. In the end we had to use our sense of touch to see if we actually experience a body or if our experience is more expansive than a body could hold.
Do you have a mind?
So today let’s see if we actually have a mind. For most people who are physically healthy, the thing that bothers them the most is their mind. People feel caught between desire and fear, love and hate, good thoughts and bad thoughts. They have all sorts of conceptual restraints like “I can’t”, “The world is a scary place,” and “I’m afraid that I’m not good enough.” As a result of all this they feel that they are never at peace — that they can never rest.
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With this as an introduction, I would like to introduce my Zen friends, Bodhidharma and his student, Hui-k'o.
Hui-k'o: My mind has not found peace. I beg you, Master, to pacify it for me.
Bodhidharma: Bring forth your mind to me and I will pacify it for you.
After a long silence, Hui-k'o told his master that he had searched for the mind but could not find it.
Thereupon the Master said: Behold, I have already pacified the mind for you!
John Wu, in The Golden Age of Zen
Now if you have trouble with your mind, I want you to pretend that you are walking down the street with a Chinese Zen master. Give him or her your mind so that the master can cure it. But before you can give your mind to the master, you have to find your mind.
Look for your mind and it loses its sway
So before you can give your mind to the master, you have to answer a few questions: your mind is made of thoughts, right? So you have to determine exactly what your thoughts are. Pick any one of them and find out; what color is it red, green or blue? What shape is your thought, square or round? If you can’t find your thought, you are on to something.
This mind which is supposed to be the cause of so many troubles — perhaps it doesn’t even exist. Look closely and you will find that the Zen master has already cured your mind. Not by producing a better mind or helping you get your thoughts under control. The master simply showed that the power that the mind seems to have comes from you and not from the mind. Return this power to its original place and you will burn up the rope that seems to bind you. Touch a burnt rope and it falls apart. Look for your mind and it loses its sway.
Here questions about this article or other things going on in your life are always welcome; you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love questions and try to answer them all in this blog. That’s because when you start to question limitation, you are on the verge of destroying it.
Please Tell Your Friends
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