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#2477 - Sunday, May 21, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee



Develop the mind of equilibrium.

You will always be getting praise and blame,

but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:

follow the calmness, the absence of pride.

-Sutta Nipata




Think Non-thinking


When you have a problem, think about it. Then think about it some more. And then
think about it still more and after you've thought all you can think about it, then
think non-thinking. When you touch the origin of thinking, this is non-thinking. Our
practice is neither about thinking nor non-thinking. Let go of your cherished
opinions and cultivate the mind of "not knowing" and the True Dharma will appear.


--Gerry Shishin Wick in The Book of Equanimity



"Earnestness is not a yearning for the fruits of one's endeavors.  It
is an expression of an inner shift of interest away from the false,
the unessential, the personal."

--Sri Nisargadatta


All Dharma is Included in One Purpose


Many of us have by now encountered a wide range of practices - breath awareness,
mindfulness, loving kindness, the Lam Rim practices, meditation on emptiness,
meditative quiescence, and even tantric practices. All these practices, all the
teachings of the Buddha, all the commentaries, serve one purpose: to subdue
self-grasping. We are now challenged to investigate ... the level of our
self-grasping. We may find that the practice is in fact enhancing the so-called
eight mundane concerns-pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, honor
and dishonor. If our practice does not diminish self-grasping, or perhaps even
enhances it, then no matter how austere and determined we are, no matter how
many hours a day we devote to learning, reflection, and meditation, our spiritual
practice is in vain.


A close derivative of self-grasping is the feeling of self-importance. Such
arrogance or pride is a very dangerous pitfall for people practicing dharma, but if
these are the results of the practice, then something has gone awry.


Although we all try to engage in spiritual practice according to our own abilities, it
is very helpful to have some criterion by which we can estimate our progress. Here
is the crucial test: how has our sense of personal identity been influenced? The
stronger our self-grasping, the more easily it gives rise to irritation, anger, and
resentment. It gives rise also to attachment, and actually forms the basis of
self-centeredness. We can check the level of our own self-grasping by checking on
the derivative mental distortions and obscurations that arise from its root.


On a more optimistic note, if we find that our practice results in decreased
self-grasping, we can recognize its authenticity. This too distinguishes a true
dharma practitioner from one who is merely practicing a facsimile.


Excerpted from: The Seven-Point Mind Training (first published as A Passage from
Solitude : Training the Mind in a Life Embracing the World), by B. Alan Wallace.



"If you look closely at and contemplate deeply
The people and things that appear around you,
You can see that all are in constant flux.
Everything becomes the teacher of impermanence."

      ~Kelsang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama

 From the book, "Meditations To Transform the Mind," translated by
Glenn H. Mullin and published by Snow Lion.



What's the Difference between Samsara and Nirvana?
The difference between samsara and nirvana is a state of mind.


--The Dalai Lama in The Compassionate Life



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