18. Therefore, I should well control and well guard my mind. Once I have forsaken the vow of guarding the mind, of what use are many vows to me?
We have to not let our minds go in a non-virtuous direction. We must enhance our mind, going into a virtuous direction.
If I give up the vow of guarding the mind—then although I have many vows, what use are any of them to me, if I give up guarding my mind?
Therefore, we have to cultivate and think about these virtues of love—wanting others to be happy; and compassion—where we want others to be free of suffering. Also we must guide our mind always in a virtuous direction. And to recognize when the mind is wandering into a non-virtuous direction and bring back our mind to a virtuous direction.
If you do not do this practice of guarding the mind—then you have [completely] missed what it means to practice the Teachings of the Buddha!
What we call meditation or cultivation, it is not primarily focusing our mind in one point and achieving states like quiescence or serenity.
~ Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe, Commentary on Aryadeva’s 400 Stanzas, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, September 24, 2017