From Tricycle Magazine's "The Daily Dharma"
October 29, 2007
Our minds are used to thinking, but when we want to become calm and peaceful that is exactly what we have to stop doing. It is easier said than done, because the mind will continue to do what it is used to doing. There is another reason why it finds it difficult to refrain from its habits: thinking is the only ego support we have while we are meditating, and particularly when we keep noble silence. "I think, therefore I am." Western philosophy accepts that as an absolute. Actually it is a relative truth, which all of us experience.
When we are thinking, we know that we are here; when there is no chattering in the mind, we believe we lose control. . . Our first difficulty is that although we would like to become peaceful and calm and have no thoughts, our mind does not want to obey. . . So instead of trying over and over again to become calm we can use whatever arises to gain some insight. A little bit of insight brings a little bit of calm, and a little bit of calm brings a little bit of insight.
- Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book