Changing our minds

The Ngondro contemplation on the agenda for the day was the first of the eight adverse conditions. This is the one where you get to mull over how much your mind gets disturbed by the five poisons. It’s important. The more strongly our minds are affected, the more we are under their power and the less possibility we have of being open to Dharma.

Oh dear! A lot is going on in South Africa at the moment. Apart from severe drought in many parts of the country, politically things are uncertain and quite volatile. When I followed Drupon Rinpoche’s advice to examine myself and see which of the three poisons, anger, desire or apathy are stronger. I was like, seriously, you want me to just choose one?

Unfortunately, this blog post is not going to provide answers on how exactly we work on being less overcome by the mind poisons. If only! Instead, there was something that was brought to my attention today simply by having this topic in mind. Every time I read the news, or an opinion on the news, whether on Facebook or News24, I get a little bit more churned up.

The urge is to stop reading the news. That’s an option… but one that misses the point. It is not the news that needs to change. Dharma is about changing our minds. This is where the work lies. In finding stability, peace and happiness within my own mind. Not in fixing the world so it doesn’t upset or offend me, although, lol, I must admit that sounds like the more attractive option!

The beauty of the four thoughts is that they help us discover our own mistaken ways of seeing things. It is this ‘mistakeness’ that stops us from seeing the truth. Here within our muddled thoughts and confused minds we can choose to stop feeding the mind poisons that we know are the root of our suffering. As our view changes, the obscurations are naturally purified and we are left with the truth.

How profound are these teachings!

Till next time,
Tania Potter