lesson
2

Starting Where You Are:
Bewilderment and Suffering

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Before you begin this lesson: What do you think of when you read the words bewilderment
and suffering in a lesson entitled “Starting where you are?” Do these words apply to you, as you are now? How?

Consider each word. Is your mind bewildered? How? Do you experience suffering? Do you think of suffering as only something associated with pain or loss? Translate suffering as “dis-ease"— now how do you experience suffering in your life?

Return to the question we began the course with: Why are you learning to tame your mind? How is your mind untamed?

When we begin to look at our mind in meditation, we discover qualities of our untrained mind that we have not paid much attention to. We begin to see that our mind is very fragile. Rather than being pliable and malleable, it’s stiff and inflexible. We are not able to accommodate very much.

Our mind is really not very mature. When difficulty arises, we experience the weakness and inflexibility of our mind — how quickly we get angry or upset. At times our untrained mind is very light and easily distracted very—it drifts and is unable to focus. At other times our mind is very heavy.

Having a clear view of what we’re doing in meditation means seeing clearly where we are now as well as having a view of where we’re going. In this lesson you will have an opportunity to consider the current state of your mind. What are the qualities of your untrained mind? Is your mind clear and supple, or is it bewildered and confused? Do you use your mind or are tormented by it?