A mind like a child’s

The quality of mind we are talking about……. is a mind which responds to something with attention and then returns to its own natural state. It doesn’t elaborate on it, doesn’t get caught up in it, doesn’t get excited about it. It just notes that this is what is happening. Every time it happens, it notes it. It doesn’t get blasé. It doesn’t become conditioned. In this way, it is like a child’s mind. When something interesting happens, it will note it and then let it go and move onto the next thing. This is what is meant by a childlike mind. It sees everything as if for the first time. It doesn’t have this whole backlog of preconditioned ideas about things. You see a glass and you see it as it is, rather than seeing all the other glasses you have seen in your life, together with your ideas and theories about glasses and whether you like glasses in this or that shape, or the kind of glass you drank out of yesterday. We are talking about a mind which sees the thing freshly in the moment. That’s the quality we are aiming for. We lose this as we become adults. We are trying to reproduce this fresh mind, which sees things without all this conditioning.

Tenzin Palmo, Reflections on a mountain lake: teachings on practical Buddhism

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