Once we see how our mind works, we
see how our life works, too. That changes us. That's
the point of talking about mind and meditation. The
more we understand about ourselves and how our mind
works, the more the mind can work.
mind is like hard ground that has not seen
water for a long time. That ground is not
capable of giving nourishment to anything.
Whatever is planted in it dies. Nothing grows.
You might have a deep aspiration to
slow down, to be more compassionate, to be fearless,
to live with confidence and dignity, but you may
find yourself unable to accomplish these things because
you're so set in your ways. Our minds can seem so
If we want to go on any kind of journey — not
just a spiritual one, but also a mundane or secular
one such as studying, doing business, or athletics — we
need a workable mind that we can rely on. That is
the notion of shamatha. By training the mind you
create the environment in which you can use your
mind to do what you want.
This is a demonstration I learned from His Holiness
the Dalai Lama.
One term for meditation is recollection.
As you sit, you are here in some way.
After a while, a part of you that
the checkbook arrives. Like
stop-action photography, you progressively arrive
on your cushion.
Collecting yourself — your
scattered self, your scattered energy, your scattered
attention — you become more present.
If you can imagine a progressive process
of recollecting yourself, how is the "you" at
the end — the you that's "more
like you" — different from
the you now?
It seems we all agree that training the body through
exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but
why don't we think about training our mind? Working
with your mind and emotional states can help you
in any activity in which you engage, whether it's
sports or business or study—or a religious
Is there a question in your mind about
the value of spending time and effort
training your mind? Id so, think about
the time you've spent educating or
training yourself. The years you spent
in school. Other things you've taken
classes in. Perhaps you do train your
body. Why is this training different?