On Meditation, Ethics and Cultivating the Mind...
Key take away points:
1. Various modes of behavior.
2. Ethics is the golden ground- the basis upon which any spiritual practice should be developed ex. Yama/ Niyama- that which should be followed/that which should not be followed; the main difference between traditional medicine- getting to the root of the problem and the western medicine- overwhelm the influence of diet and behavior, suppressing the senses to tackle only the surface level of the issue. Going along with the excellent example of medicine, B. Alan Wallace explains that when traditional medicine doctors prescribe herbs and also dietary restrictions if one follow only the herbs and not the diet then the efficacy the efficacy of the herbs is cancelled out. So the question arises why take something if you don't fully follow what is needed? Along the same lines B. Alan Wallace explains that our behavior saturates our waking life and if we don't transform our behavior and only meditate it would be the same as taking the herbal medicine and throwing away the rest of the necessary modifications.
3. Transform our behavior, avoid to the best of our ability injurious behavior by the body, speech, and mind and be of service. If the only thing practiced is meditation and the rest that comes with it is thrown out then meditation will have the most superficial impact.
4. It begins with ethics and after this is, in Sanskrit known as Bhavana- to cultivate...cultivating the mind, training ourselves to recognize the tendencies that are harmful and phase out. B. Alan Wallace uses the example of a farmer cultivating the fields. One must cultivate the field of the mind. Training ourselves to recognize which tendencies are harmful to ourselves and other beings and weeding them out.
5. Act on wholesome influences.
6. Cultivating exceptional mental balance and enacting through behavior and he says through this the mind becomes it's own sense of well-being.
7. The truth will set us free-that which is seen across all religions. The difference between memorizing the truth and walking around reiterating what was memorized but knowing the truth experientially. Allowing it to become the truth that we know, rising above suffering.
- Thank you B. Alan Wallace for your words of wisdom. Hari AUM