The key

The key is in the perception. How you perceive is how it will be.

Understanding how your mind and heart works is really the key to the door of spiritual awakening. This is the truth you will come to see that the key is in the mind and the heart. As awareness deepens, you will begin to understand and experience for yourself how we truly create our reality from moment to moment, all based on our perception of who we are, what our world is.

And the next step on your path of awakening is to train both your mind and heart so that you discover for yourself what constitutes as reality. How your mind and heart figures in the entire make up. And what it means when there is nothing intrinsically real in anything we think, feel or form an opinion about. This is the beauty of it all. We come to see ourselves for what we truly are. Nothing you think or perceive is real or has any intrinsic meaning. Not this chair. This laptop. This me. Unless you give it meaning. Which is why, if everything is based on pure perception then nothing is real. Perception is ephemeral. You can change it anytime and your world changes. You will want to stop perpetuating stuff that no longer serve you or others.

Who am I? How did my life get to be like this? How do I change it? Can I be a better person? All these questions are essential for they will start the search. There are many markers to be found along the awakening journey. The Buddha left us a lot of clues and techniques. For instance, the Four Noble Truths and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness which is said to be the direct path to enlightenment. But first you will need to learn to cultivate mindfulness which leads to awareness, which then leads to pure experiential understanding. As you tune in, you begin to understand how you are in your body, in your mind, in your feelings, etc, etc, is the basis of how happy or not you are in your own skin and with your lot in life. Are you content? If not, why and how is that a problem? Where is the evidence? What can you do about it?

dhammapada

This is why I continue to find the Buddha to be a most brilliant social worker, psychologist, sociologist, and spiritual teacher of all time by giving us the blueprint out of misery. If one is willing to change one’s thinking and perception, then the sky is truly the limit. And that’s how it starts in the Dhammapada, Chapter One. This little book of a gem that essentially contains the essence of the Buddha’s teachings begins with this truism…

Preceded by mind are phenomena,

led by mind, formed by mind.

If with mind polluted one speaks or acts, then pain follows,

as a wheel follows the draft ox’s foot.

Preceded by mind are phenomena, 

led by mind, formed by mind.

If with mind pure one speaks or acts, then ease follows,

as an ever-present shadow.

“He berated me! He hurt me! He beat me! He deprived me!”

For those who hold such grudges, hostility is not appeased.

“He berated me! He hurt me! He beat me! He deprived me!”

For those who forgo such grudges, hostility ceases.

In other words….

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.

Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you

As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

Speak or act with a pure mind

And happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakable.

So then, Who Am I? Why do I think what I think or do what I do? Does it make it better for myself and others? Am I kind? Wise? Compassionate? If no, why not? Can I be better? The key to the answer is, once again, what is in the mind and heart. Tend to your mind and heart. Turn the key and begin the journey.

Be mindful of your thoughts,

for your thoughts inspire your words.

Be mindful of your words,

for your words precede your actions. 

Be mindful of your actions,

for your actions become your habits.

Be mindful of your habits,

for your habits build your character.

Be mindful of your character,

for your character decides your destiny.

~ ॐ ~

Meditation – tending to the garden of your mind.  Rituals for a beautiful garden of the mind.