December 31 : Clear Mind

As we go through our lives and as we go through our daily practice, we should remember that sometimes our mind is like in a cloud, but the sky still exists — the sky does not disappear just because there is a cloud. We should remember that at some point the clouds clear, and you can see the open, clear sky.

Similarly, the basic nature of our mind is something clear, something untainted. It is not inherently defiled, so we are not inherently evil, defective or shameful in any way. That clear nature of the mind is still there, but it is covered by ignorance, anger, and attachment like the clouds that surround the Abbey sometimes. The clouds are not the nature of the sky, and the afflictions are not the nature of the mind.

Sometimes a lot of afflictions might come up and it is like we are in the clouds for a while, but it is important to remember that that is not who we are, that is not the nature of the mind. So, do not get tense and wrapped up about that when it happens. Do not take it so seriously and start judging yourself. We can say, “Okay, the mind is like the clouds today, but the pure nature is still there,” and then we can really have some faith and confidence in that.

“365 Gems of Wisdom” e-book is out now!