Monday, January 28, 2013

Lost in Moods

How little it takes to make one's mood darken, fast!

Things not going my way with several work projects, not being able to reach my mother at her nursing home, a relative with a difficult temper . . . and I am in a funk. A few days ago, when circumstances and people cooperated, I was on cloud nine.

From Ajahn Chah:

The untrained mind lacks wisdom. It's foolish. Moods come and trick it into feeling pleasure one minute and suffering the next. Happiness then sadness. But the natural state of a person's mind isn't one of happiness or sadness. This experience of happiness and sadness is not the actual mind itself, but just these moods which have tricked it. The mind gets lost, carried away by these moods with no idea what's happening. And as a result, we experience pleasure and pain accordingly, because the mind has not been trained yet. It still isn't very clever. And we go on thinking that it's our mind which is suffering or our mind which is happy, when actually it's just lost in its various moods.

Ayya Khema compares life to a continuous adult education. Each of life's irritant is there to show us the work to be done with our mind. The clinging still to pleasure, and the pain of avoidance in its absence. Felt present unhappiness is the best teacher, a call to see things as they really are, with the foundation from those who have gone forth before us, as a safe resting place for the practice to be done. 

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