A guest Dharma Talk by Michael Melancon. To Podcast
A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” reads the mantra of the United Negro College Fund. There’s so much profound truth and wisdom in those eight simple words.
The untrained mind leans toward discontent, unhappiness, fear, anger and a sense of isolation. Untrained mind pursues the past, gets lost in conjecture about a future that may or may not come, and gets swept away by a present that feeds on overwhelm.
We sit in meditation to train the mind. Training the mind means developing a habit of mindful awareness, of mindful presence. Mindful awareness. It’s an experience that eludes description. We can only point at it by calling it “awakened mind” or “luminous mind”
or “universal mind.”
Trained mind “looks at life as it is in the very here and now,” as the Buddha says in his Discourse in Knowing The Better Way To Live Alone. The trained mind transcends conceptual thinking and the conventional way of experiencing the world around us. Trained mind sees clearly; it sees things as they really are. That is, it goes beyond our limited view of life, and opens up to embrace and rest in a vast “not knowing.”
This silent illumination is universal; that is, it’s available to everyone equally. Yet each of us must personally learn to open to and allow it in order to know it for ourselves.
Awakened to this luminous mind we dwell in stability and freedom. Stability and freedom manifest as presence, joy, and contentment with things exactly as they are.
Luminous Mind is a gift. When we stabilize ourselves in reflective and contemplative awareness, we find ourselves steeped in curiosity, openness, acceptance and love. We find ourselves immersed in life itself in all its glory, grit and consequence.
Awakened Mind . . . Illumined Mind is the evidence that beyond this world we can see, feel and touch, there is something so much more. And each of us has access to and can touch that something more. It’s available in every moment of every day. There’s nothing to get. THIS is it. This is IT.