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 Make your mind an Ocean

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Mayflow
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PostSubject: Make your mind an Ocean   Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:51 pm

Make Your Mind an Ocean
Aspects of Buddhist Psychology
by Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe
Edited by Nicholas Ribush

Dedication
“To enter the spiritual path, you must begin to understand your
own mental attitude and how your mind perceives things. If
you’re all caught up in attachment to tiny atoms, your limited,
craving mind will make it impossible for you to enjoy life’s
pleasures. External energy is so incredibly limited that if you
allow yourself to be bound by it, your mind itself will become
just as limited.When your mind is narrow, small things easily
agitate you.

Make your mind an ocean.”

May whoever sees, touches, reads, remembers, or talks or thinks about this book never be reborn in
unfortunate circumstances, receive only rebirths in situations conducive to the perfect practice of
Dharma, meet a perfectly qualified spiritual guide, quickly develop bodhicitta and immediately attain
enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.
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PostSubject: Re: Make your mind an Ocean   Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:37 am

When I talk about mind, I’m not just talking about my mind, my trip.
I’m talking about the mind of each and every universal living being.

The way we live, the way we think — everything is dedicated to material pleasure.We consider
sense objects to be of utmost importance and materialistically devote ourselves to whatever makes us
happy, famous or popular. Even though all this comes from our mind, we are so totally preoccupied
by external objects that we never look within, we never question why we find them so interesting.

As long as we exist, our mind is an inseparable part of us. As a result, we are always up and down. It
is not our body that goes up and down, it’s our mind — this mind whose way of functioning we do
not understand. Therefore, sometimes we have to examine ourselves — not just our body, but our
mind. After all, it is our mind that is always telling us what to do.We have to know our own
psychology, or, in religious terminology, perhaps, our inner nature. Anyway, no matter what we call it,
we have to know our own mind.

Don’t think that examining and knowing the nature of your mind is just an Eastern trip. That’s a
wrong conception. It’s your trip. How can you separate your body, or your self-image, from your
mind? It’s impossible. You think you are an independent person, free to travel the world, enjoying
everything. Despite what you think, you are not free. I’m not saying that you are under the control of
someone else. It’s your own uncontrolled mind, your own attachment, that oppresses you. If you
discover how you oppress yourself, your uncontrolled mind will disappear. Knowing your own mind
is the solution to all your problems.

Lama Ye s h e W i sdom Archive: Make Your Mind an Ocean
page 8

One day the world looks so beautiful; the next day it looks terrible. How can you say that?
Scientifically, it’s impossible that the world can change so radically. It’s your mind that causes these
appearances. This is not religious dogma; your up and down is not religious dogma. I’m not talking
about religion; I’m talking about the way you lead your daily life, which is what sends you up and
down. Other people and your environment don’t change radically; it’s your mind. I hope you
understand that.

Similarly, one person thinks that the world is beautiful and people are wonderful and kind, while
another thinks that everything and everyone are horrible.Who is right? How do you explain that
scientifically? It’s just their individual mind’s projection of the sense world. You think, “Today is like
this, tomorrow is like that; this man is like this; that woman is like that.” But where is that absolutely
fixed, forever-beautiful woman? Who is that absolutely forever-handsome man? They are nonexistent
— they are simply creations of your own mind.

Do not expect material objects to satisfy you or to make your life perfect; it’s impossible. How can
you be satisfied by even vast amounts of material objects? How will sleeping with hundreds of
different people satisfy you? It will never happen. Satisfaction comes from the mind.

If you don’t know your own psychology, you might ignore what’s going on in your mind until it
breaks down and you go completely crazy. People go mad through lack of inner wisdom, through
their inability to examine their own mind. They cannot explain themselves to themselves; they don’t
know how to talk to themselves. Thus they are constantly preoccupied with all these external objects,
while within, their mind is running down until it finally cracks. They are ignorant of their internal
world, and their minds are totally unified with ignorance instead of being awake and engaged in selfanalysis.

Examine your own mental attitudes. Become your own therapist.
You are intelligent; you know that material objects alone cannot bring you satisfaction, but you
don’t have to embark on some emotional, religious trip to examine your own mind. Some people
think that they do; that this kind of self-analysis is something spiritual or religious. It’s not necessary
to classify yourself as a follower of this or that religion or philosophy, to put yourself into some
religious category. But if you want to be happy, you have to check the way you lead your life. Your
mind is your religion.

Lama Ye s h e W i sdom Archive: Make Your Mind an Ocean
page 9

When you check your mind, do not rationalize or push. Relax. Do not be upset when problems
arise. Just be aware of them and where they come from; know their root. Introduce the problem to
yourself: “Here is this kind of problem. How has it become a problem? What kind of mind has made
it a problem? What kind of mind feels that it’s a problem?”When you check thoroughly, the problem
will automatically disappear. That’s so simple, isn’t it? You don’t have to believe in something. Don’t
believe anything! All the same, you can’t say, “I don’t believe I have a mind.”You can’t reject your
mind. You can say, “I reject Eastern things” — I agree. But can you reject yourself? Can you deny your
head, your nose? You cannot deny your mind. Therefore, treat yourself wisely and try to discover the
true source of satisfaction.

When you were a child you loved and craved ice-cream, chocolate and cake, and thought, “When I
grow up, I’ll have all the ice-cream, chocolate and cake I want; then I’ll be happy.”Now you have as
much ice-cream, chocolate and cake as you want, but you’re bored. You decide that since this doesn’t
make you happy you’ll get a car, a house, television, a husband or wife — then you’ll be happy. Now
you have everything, but your car is a problem, your house is a problem, your husband or wife is a
problem, your children are a problem. You realize, “Oh, this is not satisfaction.”

What, then, is satisfaction? Go through all this mentally and check; it’s very important. Examine
your life from childhood to the present. This is analytical meditation: “At that time my mind was like
that; now my mind is like this. It has changed this way, that way.”Your mind has changed so many
times but have you reached any conclusion as to what really makes you happy? My interpretation is
that you are lost. You know your way around the city, how to get home, where to buy chocolate, but
still you are lost — you can’t find your goal. Check honestly — isn’t this so?

Lord Buddha says that all you have to know is what you are, how you exist. You don’t have to
believe in anything. Just understand your mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how
ignorance arises, and where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; that
alone can bring you happiness and peace. Thus, your life can change completely; everything turns
upside down.What you once interpreted as horrible can become beautiful.

If I told you that all you were living for was chocolate and ice-cream, you’d think I was crazy. “No!
no!” your arrogant mind would say. But look deeper into your life’s purpose.Why are you here? To be


well liked? To become famous? To accumulate possessions? To be attractive to others? I’m not
exaggerating — check for yourself, then you’ll see. Through thorough examination you can realize
that dedicating your entire life to seeking happiness through chocolate and ice-cream completely
nullifies the significance of your having been born human. Birds and dogs have similar aims.
Shouldn’t your goals in life be higher than those of dogs and chickens?

I’m not trying to decide your life for you, but you check up. It’s better to have an integrated life
than to live in mental disorder. An disorderly life is not worthwhile, beneficial to neither yourself nor
others.What are you are living for — chocolate? Steak? Perhaps you think, “Of course I don’t live for
food. I’m an educated person.” But education also comes from the mind.Without the mind, what is
education, what is philosophy? Philosophy is just the creation of someone’s mind, a few thoughts
strung together in a certain way.Without the mind there’s no philosophy, no doctrine, no university
subjects. All these things are mind-made.

How do you check your mind? Just watch how it perceives or interprets any object that it
encounters. Observe what feelings — comfortable or uncomfortable — arise. Then check, “When I
perceive this kind of view, this feeling arises, that emotion comes; I discriminate in such a way.Why?”
This is how to check your mind; that’s all. It’s very simple.

When you check your own mind properly, you stop blaming others for your problems. You
recognize that your mistaken actions come from your own defiled, deluded mind.When you are
preoccupied with external, material objects, you blame them and other people for your problems.
Projecting that deluded view onto external phenomena makes you miserable.When you begin to
realize your wrong-conception view, you begin to realize the nature of your own mind and to put an
end to your problems forever.

Is all this very new for you? It’s not.Whenever you are going to do anything, you first check it out
and then make your decision. You already do this; I’m not suggesting anything new. The difference is
that you don’t do it enough. You have to do more checking. This doesn’t mean sitting alone in some
corner contemplating your navel — you can be checking your mind all the time, even while talking or
working with other people. Do you think that examining the mind is only for those who are on an
Eastern trip? Don’t think that way.


Lama Ye s h e W i sdom Archive: Make Your Mind an Ocean
page 10 .
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