Setup Menus in Admin Panel

Samye Dharma

Mind: The First Mantra

Please take a few moments before watching or listening to this clip to settle yourself physically in an upright position. Listen to the teachings thinking, "I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the precious Dharma. I am doing this for the benefit of all sentient beings so that they may be free from suffering and attain complete awakening".

Mind: The First Mantra

“Mind” is the word we should recollect repeatedly and contemplate. The word “mantra” has one general meaning as an instrument of thought. In Buddhist practice, we use mantras in many ways. Practitioners use mantras to both calm the mind and to encourage contemplation and insight.

In this teaching from August 2017, in Cooperstown, NY, Phakchok Rinpoche suggests that the first mantra we should use is “mind.” We can repeat to ourselves, “mind, mind, mind.” Then, just follow that pattern for a few minutes. Don’t make it too complicated or engage in too many things. Again, throughout our day, we take some moments to just say “mind.”

Experiencing the pristine mind

Our mind is naturally clean, it is naturally pristine. Talking about it, however, cannot solve our problems all the time. Instead, we need to experience it. Just say, “mind, mind, mind” — and follow your mind! Follow the consciousness. What is mind? That which is clear and pristine. When we experience that, we automatically relax.

Sometimes, when we are caught up in emotions and excessive thinking, this purity does not seem so clear. Then, at that time, we simply focus our mind on our breath. As we do this, we can think, “I am connected to the world.” We need to understand that investigating mind is not about being unconnected. But right now, we usually are not connected to ourselves. That’s why it is best to just say “mind.”

Mantra reminds us of the main point

We should take some time to contemplate our minds. And that is true regardless of whether we are beginners on the path or advanced. Sometimes, we read books and commentaries and we get confused. Those texts divide mind up into categories. Then we learn many subdivisions: we investigate about the essence, qualities, mind consciousness. Yet, a potential danger lies in this clever analysis because commentaries may actually take us far away from the main point. And that main point is “mind.” Although the whole intention may be to investigate the mind, we may find that we are moving further away from that goal.

Keeping it simple

Seeing the mind is really the most simple thing. We can follow these instructions about reciting “mind” as a mantra. And don’t corrupt the exercise by thinking too much. We may think this is basic. But actually, if you can recognize the mind, then seeing that first moment of clarity is already advanced. Rinpoche has asked many practitioners who say, “I practice recognizing the nature of the mind,” the question of, “Really?” He asks them, “what is the mind?,” and they immediately start thinking about the mind. They try to recall what they read about the mind in some book. Really they should speak from their own experience. 

The job of the mind

Every single thing we do, the mind is clear. When we are angry — clear. When we are upset — clear. The mind is always clear. That is its job: being clear. Rinpoche would like to see us not using any fancy Dharma words, when someone asks us what we learned. Don’t use any big words such as “nature of mind” or whatever. Just say: “I saw my own mind.”

Say, “I saw my mind.” What is it? Clear. That’s it! We live with that mind all the time, right? We practice with that mind and we sleep, complain, and cry. And we learn to meditate with that same pristine mind. 

At the end of the teaching, please remember to dedicate the merit of receiving a Dharma teaching. As you go through your day, take a few moments from time to time to recall these instructions.

Samye Dharma relies on the kind generosity of volunteers and sponsors to produce ongoing content. Please consider making a one-time or regular donation to help fund our continued work in archiving, producing and propagating the precious teachings of Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche, his family and many other kind teachers and instructors. Samye is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the USA and donations are tax-deductible.

Make a Donation

September 5, 2017

1 responses on "Mind: The First Mantra"

  1. very very interesting. Similar to the practice of the Chan Tradition (Chinese Zen), when one is instructed to recite a kind of paradoxical question such as “who is reciting the Buddha’s name” and then look into his/her own mind to see where the question is arising from and also see how is the mind before the question arises. Another aspect of this practice is what the Chan Masters calls “the great doubt”, means they develop an existential doubt in their discursive thought process in order the smash it and breakthrough to see directly their self-nature/original face, the empty mind-ground.

    Thank you again Rinpoche for the great Teachings.

    Upasaka Shlomo Shantiparamita

Leave a Message

©2017 Samye Dharma
Samye Dharma

Samye Dharma