Q: These Treasures are my link to sanity, rest, reprieve. Remembering the Truths and abiding in Understanding are so difficult for me. Your reply to A helped me. Please advise whether I should view my mind as an enemy or a friend. Thank you so much.
A: Good reflection, but it all depends on how we work with this so-called mind. As the Buddha said: “I don’t envision a single thing that, when undeveloped, leads to such great harm as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped leads to great harm. I don’t envision a single thing that, when developed, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed leads to great benefit.” (AN 1.21-30).
So, it all depends on how we cultivate, develop, and purify the mind. In and of itself, and in Ultimate Reality, there is no mind that is a self-existing entity. However, we do experience the karmic formations that arise in our consciousness and it is this that we refer to as ‘mind’. If we can harness this energy for wholesomeness and skillfulness that is grounded in right view and action, it will be our greatest friend. If we remain ignorant and refuse to investigate and purify the mind, it will be the greatest enemy. Meditation and self-awareness are the tools to help make the mind a great friend and support. You are on the right path my friend so your ‘mind’ should no doubt be your ally. With all good wishes.