GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS - Dhammapada (Verse36)
“The mind is very hard to perceive, extremely subtle, fits where ever it lists. Let the wise person guard it; a guarded mind is conducive to happiness.”
A devout follower entered the Order, but soon found the Holey Life too embarrassing, owing to the large number of obligatory rules. The Buddha advised him not to worry about them but to guard only his thoughts…..
Just as a blind man cannot conceive of colours- no matter where he looks, no colours can be seen. Just so for the mind blocked by craving and delusion, everything becomes mind attended. Televisions, houses, cars, food, chairs, tables, animals and everything else. If we understand that there is an intrinsic self, the mind attaches to everything. All of nature becomes mind attended and there is always clinging and attachment.
It is the same for our body. Normally we would say that the body is mind attended. The mind which attends the body is none other than ‘upadana,’ clinging, latching in to the body and clinging to it as being ‘me’ and ‘mine.’ This kind of thinking is wrong. The result of wrong thinking is turmoil and confusion. The Buddha taught the Dhamma so that people would put it into practice, in order to know it and see it, and also to be one with it, to make the mind Dhamma. When the mind is Dhamma it will attain happiness and contentment. The restlessness of Samsara is in this world, and the cessation of suffering is also in this world.
The practice of Dhamma is therefore leading the mind to transcendence of suffering. The body can’t transcend suffering-having been born it must experience pain and sickness, aging and death. Only the mind can transcend clinging and grasping. All the teachings of the Buddha are skilful means to end this.