Excerpted from Gelek Rimpoche’s Essence of Tibetan Buddhism, 9/15/2013
When you engage your mind in faith then your mind is becoming that faith; that faith is becoming part of your mind. I told you that there are 52 different mental faculties and all are oneness with the mind and yet there is separation there. So when faith is engaged by the mind, the mind becomes faith. However, there is separation between the faith-functioning mind and the hatred-functioning mind. You can separate them. Faith functioning does not become hatred functioning and hatred functioning does not become faith functioning. But both are part of your mind and your mind becomes both of them.
So the struggle is about whether the positives or the negatives are going to occupy your mind more. When you say that mind is addicted with hatred, obsession, attachment, etc., then without effort mind will go there. But engaging in positive minds like non-violence or faith or knowing how to feel shameful and knowing how to develop hesitation, having patience or enthusiasm, that’s a struggle.
The mind is under your control. When you look, you can direct it. Observe yourself and you can direct it. So taming your mind means: don’t let the mind go in a negative way, but try to keep in a positive way, constantly and continuously, as much as you can.
Thoughts are part of the mind. Some people will tell you, “Watch your mind, whatever is popping up, peel it off.” What is popping up is your thoughts. Thoughts are part of your mind. I will say here: all 52 mental faculties are part of mind. That’s what I mean with saying that there is oneness, yet there is separation.
Maybe you need to think about this a little more. What difference does knowing that make? It will give you a little insight. At the present level, whatever mind you have, if you look into a positive subject, like the Four Noble Truths – whatever understanding gained of the First, Second, Third or Fourth Noble Truth – you may have that as information, as knowledge or as some kind of deeper movement, but whatever that may be, that very part of that mind is the mind that will become total knowledge.
From the Buddhist point of view that will become Buddha, because it accepts and takes it in and becomes it. Then total knowledge it built up and that’s how it is. That is why training the mind is almost becoming like spiritual practice. That’s what it is. And that defines your own future, in a positive way or negative way. What mental faculties are you engaging in more?
I haven’t talked to you about the mental faculties at all, except the 11 virtues and the non-virtues. There are also certain mental faculties that sustain the mind and certain ones that always accompany the mind and make it work. These are important, but they are not really spiritual or contemplative, but again, to know the mind, they all have to be brought into the picture. Mind is focusing on certain things and then certain mental faculties will work and connect the mind with the object or subject you are focusing on. Then, becoming that is the nature of that mind.
Improving that becomes – the more you present it better, the better it becomes automatically. That’s why people can develop, learn more and become educated. That is how people become qualified – because mind is the basis on which all is maintained.
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