Once, when I was in college, I wrote home complaining about the food, and my mother sent me a Julia Child cookbook. In the book was a section on dealing with eggs in which she said that the sign of a really good cook is knowing eggs. And so I took an egg out. You can watch an egg – you can learn certain things just by watching it, but you don’t learn very much. To learn about eggs you have to put them in a pan and try to make something out of them. If you do this long enough you begin to understand that there are variations in eggs, and there are certain ways that they react to heat and ways that they react to oil or butter or whatever. And so by actually working with the egg and trying to make something out of it, you really come to understand eggs.
And it’s the same with the mind: unless you actually try to make something out of the mind, try to get a mental state going and keep it going, you don’t really know your own mind. You don’t know the processes of cause and effect within the mind. There has to be a factor of actual participation in the process. That way you can understand it. This all comes down to being observant and developing a skill.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Path of Concentration & Mindfulness
Awareness is aware of itself as the nature of mind.
When local awareness becomes aware of spacious awareness, it begins to recognize itself. When local awareness and spacious awareness unite, they realize they have always been united. Awareness knows itself by being itself. We discover that awareness is already awake without our help.
If you can abide as awareness of itself – content-less, timeless, boundless, knowing – for even three to five seconds, that experience can shift you into the ground of Being.
In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give,
and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich
The mind can create its own hell:
Hell is a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement
and where everyone has a grievance.
C. S. Lewis
The more likes and dislikes we have, the more physical and psycho-somatic problems we are likely to develop, worst of all, the more turmoil we will feel inside.
People with strong likes and dislikes go about with a sign that says ‘upset me.’
Everywhere they go, they meet a lot of other people wearing the same sign who are only to happy to oblige
Eknath Easwaran, 1910 – 1999, Indian-born spiritual teacher, author, The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living
A man who has never experienced this has missed something important. He must sense that he lives in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole.
For me the world has from the beginning been infinite and ungraspable.