Peace for the Soul

A common space for harmonic peacemakers


One day, Milarepa was alone, in a cave. Two visitors arrived and began to question him:

“You don’t have company? Don't you just feel alone?”

“I’ve always lived with someone. Never alone," he replied.

“But with whom?” asked the youngest.

“With my little bodichitta.”

“And where is he?”

“In the house of my conscience.”

“What kind of house is that?” the oldest guest inquired.
“It’s my own body.”

The man thought Milarepa was joking. He told his young companion: “Come on, this is a waste of time, he’s just being sarcastic.” The young man replied, “No, maybe we can learn something here.”

He turned around again towards Milarepa.

“Would you say that consciousness is the mind and the body is the home?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean,” Milarepa replied.

“In an ordinary house many people can stay, but how many different minds can accommodate a body?”

“Generally, just one mind. But tonight seek more in your own body during your meditation,” Milarepa said. The visitors agreed and went home. The youngest of the two meditated that night and the next day he ran to see Milarepa.

“Oh, Guru! I meditated last night and, as you said, it's a mind. But there's something strange about her... I can't describe the shape, color, or anything else in this mind. If I chase her, I can't catch her. If I want to kill her, she doesn't die. The faster I run, the faster I run. It's impossible to find. When I imagine I've caught her, I can't step on her. If I try to hold her in one place, she won't stay still. If I let her go, she won't move. If I try to get her together, she don't get together. If I try to see its nature, it refuses to be seen. So I'm confused about what it is. I don't know the nature, but I can't deny that it's there. "Please introduce me to mind."

“Don’t wait for me to taste the sugar for you! ” said Milarepa. “The taste of brown sugar cannot be seen by eyes or heard by ears. You must meditate and find it for yourself. Remember, the mind is not how someone describes it. Those are just superficial clues. The mind can never be described. With the clues you receive from others, just observe them yourself. It can only be seen by your own conscience.” The young man requested more lessons.

"That's useless," Milarepa said. “Go home, come back tomorrow and tell me the color and shape of your mind, and if it is in your head or at the tip of your toes.” The next dawn, the young man returned.

“Have you examined your mind? ”, asked Milarepa.

“Yes, I have done it.” The young man reflected, thoughtful. “The mind is a mobile thing – its nature is movement. Their basic entity is very clear and transparent. The mind cannot be described by any color or shape – recognizing the mind in terms of color or form is impossible. When using sensory doors, such as the eyes, the mind sees shapes. Through sensory doors, such as the ears, the mind hears sounds. Through sensory doors, such as the nose, the mind smells. With the tongue, the mind tastes. When you use your legs, the mind walks. It's the mind that causes everything. The mind that gossips. The mind that causes disagreements. The mind that produces results.”

“You have been able to observe the conventional aspect of the mind,” Milarepa said. “For this conventional mind we accumulate negative potential and therefore we wander in the samsara.” You've understood the conventional mind enough. If now, with these understanding, you desire me to guide you to the City of Liberation, I will.”

So the disciple accepted Milarepa as his guru. Many days later, Milarepa asked him his name. His name was Upasaka Sanggyay-kyab, just sixteen years old. Then Milarepa gave his new disciple the first lesson on safe direction (refugee).

“From tonight on, never break your tight bond of taking the safe direction of the Three Precious Jewels. Tonight meditate on whether it is the mind that protects you and is useful to you, or if it is the body.” The next day, the disciple reported that it did not appear to be the body.

Milarepa was slowly guiding him in meditation on vacancy and lack of personal identity, but not to mention emptiness, nor to make a big thing out of it. Tell the disciple that this is emptiness, only after he had done the meditation and gained the experience, and not before, is an effective method. By asking someone if it is the body or mind that protects, the person is forced to examine it deeply. Someone may feel well physically, but mentally they may be confused and disturbed. It is the mind that provides protection in this and in future lives.

These are a few of the different ways Milarepa taught and guided people towards the true nature of the mind, through meditation on the lack of personal identity.

Thuk Je Che  

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thanks for posting this one Nada.


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