How to change my mind

Over the last week and a half we have moved to a new house. It was a busy and stressful time and I didn’t manage to practice much or post on my blog. We are settling into our new home now and I am trying to get back to my previous routine which included a good chunk of time for study and practice every day.

Before I got sidetracked from my reflections on karma and in particular on how to bring more awareness to my motivation, I wanted to look into some teachings that explain what is meant by “attitude” or “motivation.” To pick up this thread seemed like a good starting point.

The snowy cave above Dzogchen Monastery in Tibet where Patrul Rinpoche wrote the Words of My Perfect Teacher is situated at the tree-line, just below the massive glacier in this photo.

The Tibetan word for “attitude” is “kun long.” One explanation I have heard is that “kun long” means “that which gives rise to all,” in the sense that behind every action there is a motivation that gave rise to it.  I found another explanation in The Words of my Perfect Teacher where Patrul Rinpoche points out that attitude has to do with our thoughts. The Zindri explains further. It says that “kun long” refers to what kind of thoughts we give rise to from among all the different thoughts we have in our mind.

In my last post I wrote about my difficulty seeing what my motivation is at a given moment. These explanations were very helpful. They helped me understand that motivation and attitude is simply about what kind of thoughts there are in my mind. That makes it easier to see what my motivation is. I just need to pay attention to what kind of thoughts my mind is churning out.

It also helped me to see how I can change my motivation. All it takes to change my motivation is to inject new different thoughts into my mind stream! If I just remember some teachings and reflect on them that will slowly change my mind and give rise to a more dharmic attitude and motivation. I can do that!

Reflecting on this brought up the question: “What then is the best attitude?” Essentially, the teachings say that the best attitude or motivation is to have in mind the benefit of all living beings. This sounds very simple but I find it very difficult to actualize. Seems like a good topic to reflect on over the next few days!

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One Response to How to change my mind

  1. Kristen Drake says:

    Thank you, what a wonderful reflection Bernie. I had forgotten the point from Zindri about the thoughts we give rise to AMONG all the thoughts in our mind. Somehow that thought makes me feel more open to my mind, more hopeful about being able to work with what I have.
    I really have been needing that lately!

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