Monday, August 6, 2007

An Unobstructed View

As the days, week, months, and years of meditating begin to add up, you will be surprised at how calm your mind will become. It is a long, slow, subtle process, and you can't really see the change as it happens, but over the course of months and years it will become obvious to you, and probably to those close to you. You become less judgmental, less extreme in your emotions, less needy, less grasping, more open, more compassionate, and happier. Some people may go through dark patches, but sooner or later it happens to all of us. This is because the delusions that normally plague our daily lives begin to weaken and fade.

Greed, anger, jealousy, pride, and all the other delusions that cloud our vision are add-ons to our original nature. They aren't an inherent part of who we are. We learn them as we are conditioned from the time of birth to see, think, and believe as the rest of society expects us to — all in the name of "fitting in." The good news, however, is that exactly because these delusions aren't part of our original nature, we can get rid of them. They aren't permanent.

Try this ... Whenever a thought or emotion arises, good or bad, stop yourself before reacting to it and ask yourself what's behind it. Not behind it as in the sense of a cause, but behind it as in "if i could erase this thought or emotion, or if i could suddenly make it transparent, what would i see behind it?" What you would find is your original Buddha nature, your original nature, your essential nature, your essential consciousness. You would find the consciousness you were born with before conditioning began to build a wall of clouds around it. As you do this more and more, you get clearer and clearer glimpses of your original nature for longer and longer periods of time, and you learn that you can control the thoughts and emotions that ravage your mind day in and day out; you can choose to react or not react to the thoughts and emotions. In other words, you will find that your thoughts and emotions lose their control over you.

And this is what the Buddhist path is all about. Everything you do on "The Path," everything you learn, everything you hear, is, in some way, pointing out the need to see through these delusions, to see the clear, unobstructed nature of your essential consciousness. Try it, you'll like what you become.

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