However a pure mind is not simply a free mind. Consider, for example, a free hand. That hand may not be preoccupied, and will therefore be free to perform any task. But what if that hand lacks strength, or the will to perform tasks? What if it lacks protection from harm? Without all these things, a free hand is useless. Likewise, a free mind is useless unless it has strength, will and protection.
The pure mind can be used to achieve focus. The pure mind also allows us to move on from things and not become attached to rewards. Without the pure mind, other desires can easily come along and distract us. The pure mind is always free to help others. It is always available and willing to learn. If one has a pure mind, he or she is still able to help others even when busy. Busyness is not the determining factor for doing something or not. Rather, it is about setting up our priorities correctly. The idea that we are busy is another obstacle to achieving the pure mind. When the mind is free but prefers entertainment, it works less hard. The pure mind is not narrow. It looks at the whole and is able to set up priorities correctly.
The feeling of being free after exams doesn’t last long. Yet for many, the memory of it can last a lifetime. The feeling of freedom doesn’t last long because we are constantly setting new targets. Achieving the pure mind isn’t like setting such a target.
Why do people go to tea ceremonies? Everything happens so slowly, and the tea doesn’t even taste that good. But it’s not about the taste of the tea – it’s about watching the way the tea is made, with utmost care taken in every movement. A person can make tea slowly, but if they don’t care about what they are doing, the people watching won’t feel peaceful. The feeling of peacefulness won’t arise if the tea maker is not mindful of what they are doing. A person with a pure mind is able to make his or her whole environment interact at once. This is what the skilful tea maker does – makes tea and entertains the guests at the same time.
There is an example of a Nepalese lady who exhibited skilfulness in dealing with the situation at hand. A boy had come home late to the hotel where guests were waiting and a meal was being prepared. Instead of scolding the boy, the lady told him to greet the guests and then help the cook prepare the meal. What would have happened if the lady had scolded the boy? She would have wasted time yelling at the boy, the boy would have become upset, and the guests would have felt uncomfortable. Furthermore the cook would not have had help preparing the meal, or would have had that help delayed.
If the lady had focused on one person or thing more than another, then someone else might have become angry. But by being in the present moment and thinking of the need to keep the child busy, the guests entertained and the meal cooked, the lady was able to deal with all three things using only one sentence. This could only be possible if the woman had a pure mind. If there is the motivation to focus more on one thing over another, then we are not in the present moment. We might be angry or stressed. When the mind is impure, problems come in groups. We don’t always have to learn from school. We can learn from anyone, like the Nepalese lady from the hotel.
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2009 16:50