Friday, January 21, 2011

What Is Happening On The Inside?

"The real issue for most people is not what is happening outside, but what is happening inside of us. How we experience a situation depends on how we view it -- how we interpret what is happening, how we describe the situation to ourselves. Our experiences of happiness and suffering don't come from other people or other things, but from our own minds.

When we look back over the day or our lives, we may not feel so good about what has happened in the past. It could have been our attitude, or what we said to somebody, or how we acted.

To help us “clean up” emotionally and resolve uncomfortable or harmful feelings, we need a purification practice so that we can learn to forgive ourselves and dissolve the negative emotions and karma we have created.

In the Tibetan Bรถn tradition, there are several purification methods and skills that anyone can learn and practice. Geshe YongDong will introduce and share some of these methods which include using the breath, mantras, meditation, visualization and hand mudras." from Sherab Chamma Ling Centre on Vancouver Island.

This is a good reminder of how things actually work. We see the world through our particular "karmic" glasses. It reminds me of a quote attributed to the Buddha, "With our minds we create the world." It reminds me of how responsible I am for what I encounter, "of how I see the world".

And I like that there are practices that can help me "clean up" emotionally, things that are perhaps beyond my mundane understanding. I like the slightly esoteric. A little spiritual scrub up! And an important distinction for me is that while I realize I am responsible for my actions it is evident that I am not in control, a big difference.

So if we pursue a spiritual path it is as RM Jiyu Kennet said, "we are standing against the world," that is against the conventional outward looking nature of modern human life. We are as Geshe Yong Dong says in the above quote, concerning ourselves with what is going on on the inside. We bring sanity to ourselves and hopefully kindness and compassion to the world. Care to join me for a scrub?


  1. I have used my meditation practice a few times to "cleanse" when negative emotions seem to be invading my mind and life, and this seems to work for me. Thank you for the suggestion - I will think about this more intentionally in my practice.

  2. Yes, those pesky mind filters that obscure the View need scrubbing sometimes... A friend who suffers from depression said something profound today - "I can only see life through the filter I am feeling at the time...", interesting choice of words... She knew she needed to address the mind issues before she could focus on her direction in life. Reminded me of your post here...

  3. Filter is such a good word here! It implies the colouring and how we have the choice (if we are reasonably healthy) to change the filters. But sometimes that filter changing can require a lot of diligence and patience I think!