Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Truth and Delusion of Mind Made Experience

Taking a walk this morning, I felt drawn to listen to an old talk from Gil, on the Dhammapada. The ancient text goes like this:

All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a corrupted mind,
and suffering follows
As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.

All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow.

"He abused me, attacked me,
Defeated me, robbed me!"
For those carrying on like this,
Hatred does not end.

"She abused me, attacked me,
Defeated me, robbed me!"
For those not carrying on like this,
Hatred ends.

Hatred never ends through hatred.
By non-hate alone does it end.
This is an ancient truth.

The words and Gil's commentary came as much needed medicine for my unruly mind. Unguarded thoughts have been running havoc and brought much turmoil in both body and mind. Hence the severe pain in my right shoulder that reached a climax in the past few days. Muscles tensing to marble like hardness and compressing a nerve. I need to stop and take a look and change my ways of mind. Whining, hatred of outer conditions, identification with 'poor me' self have caused enough unhappiness.

I have little control over some circumstances. I also have little control over the mind. 

I can keep on practicing however. Over and over, bringing the attention back to the mind. What am I thinking? Is it wholesome? Is it helpful? Where does it really come from? How else can I view this moment? 

Not trusting the mind . . . 


  1. I had right shoulder injury for 5 years or maybe more, and it got down to Dr wanting to do surgery which is the last thing you want to do, but I was still swimming and re-injuring it. My stubborn mind was not going to give a rest. When I did a 10-day Vipassana, after 4 days, I was starting to see what laying off the shoulder did, and by the end much happier with less pain. So who owns the mind? Maybe no one right now, so at least make a compassionate gesture to the one and only body you have.... to be kinder to it.

  2. I'm walking in your footsteps Marguerite, with mind source of much suffering today. Trying to surrender into it; recalling this wise text helps to refocus. Letting practice release the hold of mind and bring flow of breath and peace.

  3. Yes, Was Once, I hear you . . . and taking care of body with meds, stretches, meditation, reflection, and skillful action regarding outer source of tension.

    Thank you for caring.

    With much metta.

  4. Anonymous, yes, the more we can catch the mind-made suffering as it happens, the less likely the chance of it taking hold the way it has in my right shoulder. A good lesson and reason to practice even more intently.