Thursday, February 4, 2010

Balancing the Mind

Armed with the determination of self-discipline, I sat. And found thoughts, rushing with the temptation of, 'got to blog about this' pseudo-insights. I knew better than to stop meditation, and jot down those brilliant ideas. Noting thinking, thinking . . . then going back to breath, over and over. Soon, compelling tightness in the throat, and jaws, got my attention, in between 'clever' thoughts, still. Telltale sign of unwholesome state, with ensuing suffering in tow.  Awareness mobilized, and shining the light on tightness, tightness . . . and breath . . . and thinking . . .

U Pandita, on "A Balanced Mind", in "In This Very Life":
The third support for the arising of investigation is balancing the controlling faculties of faith, wisdom, mindfulness, energy and concentration. . . Four of these five faculties are paired: wisdom and faith, effort and concentration. The practice depends in fundamental ways upon the equilibrium of the pairs.
. . . The balance between effort and concentration works like this: if one is overenthusiastic and works too hard, the mind becomes agitated and cannot focus properly on the object of observation. Slipping off, it wanders about, causing much frustration. Too much concentration, however, can lead to laziness and drowsiness. When the mind is still and it seems easy to remain focused on the object, one might begin to relax and settle back. Soon one dozes off.
. . . The most basic way of maintaining balance and of reestablishing it when it is lost, is to strengthen the remaining controlling faculty, mindfulness. 
Mindfulness is such a beautiful thing!


  1. Sometimes I like to turn the flood of thoughts into falling snowflakes. Then there is no problem for me.

    With Gassho,


  2. Thank you Seiho. What a beautiful image!

    Deep bow to you,