Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dharma Quote of the Week - Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

Dharma Quote of the Week from Snow Lion Publications.

In Tibetan drenpa means "mindfulness," and sheshin" means "awareness." Drenpa also means "mindfulness and memory." It means that one is mindful of what one is doing and remembers what one has to do whether one is meditating, whether one has lost the power of concentration, and so on. Mindfulness is like a causal condition and awareness is like the result. If one has very concentrated mindfulness, one immediately notices a thought arising and this becomes awareness, which becomes sheshin, and one knows what is occurring. Normally, one does not know what is in one's mind or what one is thinking, so there is no awareness. But if one has mindfulness, then it is said to the extent that mindfulness brings mental stability, one has awareness. So when one has mindfulness, it is through one's awareness of what is happening.

At this level of pacification we become aware of the negative qualities of distraction. Santideva explains this by saying that when the mind is distracted, it is between the fangs of the wild animal of the kleshas [emotional obscurations], and from mental distractions come all the difficulties and mental hardships of this and future lives. Being in a state of distraction will increase the negative qualities of the mind more and more. However, being aware of the negative qualities motivates us to meditate.

--from The Practice of Tranquillity and Insight: A Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, translated by Peter Roberts, published by Snow Lion Publications.

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