Understanding the mind

A talk given at PUB Auditorium, Singapore.

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  • 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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