It turns out that the mind has really hijacked the show. That’s why we consider it such a hinderance when it comes to meditation. That’s why we are taught that we need to train it. It’s not really a bad thing, of course. It is actually part of the big thing: the limitless Mind that we’re seeking!! It’s is a facet of the diamond, a reflection both wonderful, mysterious, yet blinding when it steals the show. Remember papañca? The mind becomes so busy and full, so full of itself and it’s thoughts, it blinds us. It makes us forget to be present. It takes us away just a little. But once you’re not in the present moment, even just a little tiny bit.. you’re gone. Buddha Nature only functions through direct contact with reality. Any separation means you’re in the world of thoughts. The word of the little mind is a far cry from the world of the Big Mind. Thoughts cannot capture reality. They are pale in comparison.
But we live in the little mind. It is the story of me. They are my thoughts and I believe them. I am them. We all are [most of the time]. This is what we must overcome. We must train the formless mind. We must overcome our very selves.
Wow. That doesn’t sound so easy after all. It sounds impossible, actually. The good news is that it is not so. The good news is that we all have the tools to be our own aware selves. We have everything we need to become our own awareness, because it is our nature to be it! It is our birthright to embody it. It is simply always right there for us to inhabit. And the mind may be hardened by it’s ways; it might be tricky and coy; it might be angry or stubborn or fearful. It might be all these things, but it can still be coaxed to stillness. It can be let go or seen for the insubstantial, empty, formless reflection that it is. It’s possible to gently drop the mind, leaving the whole of suchness to fill the void.
Luckily, there is a way beyond the mind that begins with the mind. It’s called zazen. Sitting meditation. Focus on the breath. Simple, simple breathing. Simple watching, counting, returning to the breath. Keep coming back. Again and again. For the breath, as basic and wispy as it is, is the path back to Now. It is the path that brings the mind to stillness, silence, concentration, and completeness. Once again, It can bring you back to Now.