Observing the Mind

A key set of advanced practices are now available in the collection Great Insights Through Mindfulness under the title Observing the Mind.

With these practices, you will progressively learn to observe your thoughts, learn about their nature, and gain new knowledge.

These practices are designed in the same spirit as the rest of the Great Insights Through Mindfulness collection; you may stay with the same practices for weeks or months at a time until you become immersed in the method.  This practice set of settling the mind is also called ‘Taking the Mind as the Path’.

Panchen Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662), the tutor of the Fifth Dalai Lama of Tibet, explained this practice as follows [1] :
Whatever sorts of thoughts arise, without suppressing them, recognize what they emerge from and what they dissolve into; and stay focused while you observe their nature. By doing so, eventually, the motion of thoughts ceases, and there is stillness... each time you observe the nature of thoughts that arise, they will vanish by themselves following which, a vacuity appears. Likewise, if you also examine the mind when it remains without movement, you will see an unobscured, clear and vivid vacuity, without any difference between the former and latter states. That is well known among meditators and is called “the union of stillness and motion.”

Discover the course: Observing the Mind.

1. B. Alan Wallace, “Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity”, chap. 8 “Theory: Knowing and Healing the Mind”. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

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