The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Mind

March 11, 2024

“When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.”
– Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, How to Transform Your Life

One of the key functions of meditation is to develop insight into what makes us tick. So what can we learn from simple breathing meditation? The answer is: a lot!

When we do breathing meditation, we are learning how to let go of distractions and any agitation that arises in our mind. We do this simply by focusing on the breath, which naturally moves us away from focusing on our constant stream of thoughts.

What we discover is extraordinary: our mind becomes still and peaceful. Naturally. This indicates that the nature of our mind, when not agitated, is peaceful.

We’ve become so accustomed to being anxious, or hurt, or unhappy, or angry, that we don’t even know about our own inner source of peace and happiness. We think that in order to be happy we need to go outside of ourself. But this meditation proves to us that this isn’t the case. The very act of letting go of our fixation on the things outside of us delivers us to a peaceful state. And the more we connect with the experience of that peaceful state, the better our day-to-day life becomes.

Here’s another way of understanding it. Think of a glass of water. What happens when you shake it? The water starts moving around. It becomes agitated. If we want the water to be still all we need to do is to put down the glass – stop shaking it. The water then rests on its own.

Our mind is like that glass of water. A big part of meditation is learning to “put our mind down” and allow it to settle naturally. Meditation is the tool that helps us stop shaking our mind.

Enjoy this video where our resident teacher, Kadam Morten, explores the nature of a peaceful mind based on Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s teachings:

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