Cultivate Your Mind

Once some disciples asked Lord Buddha, “Are you God?” He replied, “No”.
You are a godman?” Again he replied in the negative. “Are you an ordinary mortal?” He calmly replied, “No, I am the unchanged elemental consciousness behind all the actions, reactions, thinking, feeling, and willing. I am the unmoved observer, self-liberated from the unending universal flux.” The core of his teaching takes us to the state of pure consciousness within the framework of the body-mind complex. He identified four functional segments of the psyche. The first is pure consciousness without which the sense organs are lifeless. The second part perceives and recognises with the help of past experiences or memories and observes the properties accordingly. The essence of his doctrine is that universe which can be identified as ‘me’ or ‘mine’. There is neither a doer nor a sufferer, but merely a flow of phenomena. Hence, rise above the feeling of happiness and sorrow and be a witness to the universal flux.

The third part evaluates and accepts objects or feelings as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, while the fourth part reacts and commands the sense organs to act. Human suffering is an outcome of attachment; basically a reaction to perceptible reality. In case we remain in the first state of mind pure consciousness, the sensations, feelings and attachments will not be identified as ours but as merely part of passing phenomena. The meditation of mindfulness is intended to establish that consciousness in us.

Practising body contemplation starts with mindfulness of respiration: short, long, cool and warm, for example. This follows contemplation on the posture with clear comprehension of the sensations and reflection on the body under the skin from head to toe and the basic elements forming the body like solids, liquids, and the gaseous and fiery elements.

Contemplation of feelings involves observing a particular feeling as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral without identifying any as a mere flow of phenomena. Contemplation of origin and dissolution of feelings establish the thought that feeling exists to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. But essentially the meditating person remains detached and clings to nothing in the world.

Contemplation of the four noble truths namely, suffering, the root cause of suffering, cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the end of suffering. Cessation of suffering occurs in a still mind free from the flame of desire. Therefore, cultivation of a still mind, not inert but actively aware of the happenings, is the key to great liberation.