Understanding the mind

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A talk given at PUB Auditorium, Singapore.

Meditation and motivation

  • Brief meditation on breathing
  • Cultivating our motivation for the listening to the teaching

Understanding the mind: Meditation and motivation (download)

What is mind in Buddhism?

  • Why it is important to understand the mind
  • Differences between the Buddhist concept of mind, which includes consciousness, intellect and emotions, as compared to western concept of mind
  • The mind reflects (is clear) and engages with objects (is aware)
  • Different levels of mind
    • gross (associate with brain, senses, feelings)
    • subtle (sleeping, dying, other)

Understanding the mind: Part 1 (download)

How the mind creates our experiences: Part 1

  • The mind as a constantly changing source of happiness and pain
  • How our attitude frames our experience, which is not an objective experience of reality

Understanding the mind: Part 2a (download)

How the mind creates our experiences: Part 2

  • Examples from Venerable Thubten Chodron’s life
  • First become aware of our thinking, then transform our mind so we can be happy no matter where we are or what is happening

Understanding the mind: Part 2b (download)

Relating to friends, family members, boring or disagreeable people

  • Seeing each living being as an unknown treasure
    • Makes us curious, interested and engaged with people and family
  • Drawing out their qualities and talents like a musician brings forth a beautiful piece of music from an instrument
  • Strategies for getting along with disagreeable people

Understanding the mind: Part 3 (download)

The second way in which our mind creates our experiences

  • Karma: volitional actions of body, speech and mind
    • leaves energy traces or imprints in our mind which ripen and bring about experiences and circumstances
  • Good motivations and positive actions bring about good results and happiness for ourselves and others
  • Creating the causes of happiness is both the result of our current interpretations of our experiences (mind) and the ripening of our previous actions (karma)

Understanding the mind: Part 4 (download)

Questions and answers

  • How our pets help to calm our anger
  • Our interdependence with others
  • Flight SQ 006 that had crashed recently, coping with grief
  • Becoming Buddhist
  • Being truly happy when others are not
  • The meaning of “no self”
  • Rebirth and enlightenment

Understanding the mind: Q&A (download)

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