Part Three: Profound Mind 深心 jinshin

The Broad Meaning

Again, the profound mind can be understood in a broad and a narrower sense. In the broad sense, profound mind means not to be taken in by surface appearance, but to look more deeply. There is here a certain worldly wisdom. Many things in life are not quite what they seem. When we read the newspapers, we gradually become aware that things are often presented with an element of ‘spin’. If the newspaper approves of a certain policy and thirty things have happens as a result of this policy, twenty-nine of which are bad, the newspaper might only report the one good one. If one is not to be hoodwinked one needs to look a little deeper.

This, therefore, is also about avoiding prejudice. We all have a tendency to see what we want to see. If we have decided that a certain group are bad, we only see and report the bad things they do. Hearing that they did something good generates a kind of cognitive dissonance that we find uncomfortable. However, if we have profound mind then we are interested in seeing the whole truth, whether it fits our theory or prejudice or not.

So profound mind means avoiding bias. Bias generally springs from identification. We take sides and this then blinds us. This self-blinding is called avidya in Buddhism.

The Narrow Meaning

If we turn to the narrower sense of the term, it is to realise that it is we ourselves who blind ourselves. The narrow sense of profound mind is the realisation of one’s bombu nature. Bombu means that we are ordinary, fallible, vulnerable and prone to error.

We can acknowledge our bombu nature in general and this is important. We can also try to penetrate into it and see how, specifically, we are bombu. This is much more difficult. It is difficult because we are blind to what it is we are blind to. It is not just that there are something that we do not see and appreciate, it is that we also fail to see that such blindness exists. In ordinary life we put on a mask

in order to present ourselves to other people in a way that will be acceptable to them, will help us avoid getting into trouble, will make people like us and will facilitate all the little interactions of daily life. In order to put on a good performance we really get into this. We convince ourselves that our presented self is how we really are. We tell other people, “I am such and such a sort of person.” Others may or may not be convinced, but we ourselves become convinced. So our biggest prejudice is the one we have about ourselves and the most stringent filter that we operate upon our communication is the one that screens out anything that might disturb or counter-indicate the things that we believe about ourselves.

In Buddhism, we say that the nature of the person is that we are ‘dependently originated’. This means that we depend upon many things. This makes us vulnerable because the things we depend upon may change without permission from us. It makes us fallible because, as things are always changing, things may not go as we plan or foresee. On the other hand, it also means that we are supported by innumerable benefits, far more than we could ever repay. Our dependently originated nature makes us fragile, but also gives cause for limitless gratitude.

Profound mind, therefore is enhanced by reflecting upon this dependency. Thus, there is the auxiliary practice called nei quan or naikan in which one reflects upon what one has received, what troubles one has caused and what one has given in return. This reflection tells us something about our bombu nature.

Thus profound mind tells us about who and what we are while sincere mind orients us to the Buddhas and refuge. Thus the two minds relate to the two parts of the nembutsu. When we say “Namo Amida Bu,” “Namo” refers to the one who calls and “Amida Bu” to the Buddhas to whom we call.

Practice depends upon humility. If one has no humility one learns nothing. Profound mind enables us to see ourselves as we are and this, if genuine, destroys the fascination that we have with our self. When we really see ourselves we become bored with ourselves and our preoccupation falls away.

Views: 41

Events

ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

WHAT NEXT?

Posted by Susthama Kim on January 7, 2018 at 22:30 0 Comments

As far as my life goes, it is pretty boring; nothing too exciting or too adventurous. We had a ‘minor scare’ over Christmas, however, but it turned out to be nothing but a change in hormones. Had it come to fruition it would have meant another three years of my life doing nothing but the same thing that I have been doing for the past six years, and boy oh boy, I am so relieved that it was just a scare. You can never be too careful, and at the same time you can’t even plan the perfect time to…

Continue

ITALIAN DAYS

Posted by David Brazier on January 7, 2018 at 16:00 2 Comments

I am currently in Milan - a fine city. This is the commercial hub of Italy, home of many big names and innumerable small enterprises that attract shoppers from all over the world. There is quite a strong sense of energy here. The biggest tourist attractions are La Scala and the Cathedral.

I have rented a…

Continue

Johnny Halliday: la mort d'un monstre sacré

Posted by Tamuly Annette on December 18, 2017 at 21:45 1 Comment

L'engouement quasi mystique qu'a suscité la mort de Johnny Hallyday m'a incité à réfléchir sue un phénomène qui m'est apparu comme un substitut de religiosité...

Un monstre sacré

La mort de Johnny Halliday et ses obsèques le 8 décembre 2017

Il y a eu comme une sorte de fièvre médiatique lors de la mort – pourtant attendue – de notre chanteur national Johnny Halliday (Jean-Philippe Smet). Il venait de décéder un jour, après Jean d’Ormesson, et le dernier événement a en…

Continue

JOHNNY HALLYDAY

Posted by David Brazier on December 6, 2017 at 10:08 1 Comment

Johnny Hallyday died just after midnight this morning.

A vous autres, hommes faibles et merveilleux

Qui mettez tant de grâce a vous retirer du jeu

Il faut qu'une main posée sur votre épaule

Vous pousse vers la vie, cette main tendre et légère

On a tous quelque chose en nous de Tennessee

Cette volonté de prolonger la nuit

Ce désir fou de vivre une autre vie

Ce rêve en nous avec ses mots à lui

Quelque chose de Tennessee

Cette force qui nous…

Continue

© 2018   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service