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: 40

ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

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

THE RUBICON

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 5, 2017 at 22:30 0 Comments

i have been attending a parent and toddler group at the Steiner school in Kings Langley for a little while. I first started going there with Selena and then started taking Dorian there in September. It’s a lovely place with a different outlook and philosophy, and where I have learned about the Rubicon stage, but unfortunately the regulatory body Ofsted had rated it badly and so it had to introduce radical measures in order to stay open. 

But these changes have made things worse for…

Continue

By sheer power of aspiration

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 3, 2017 at 22:30 4 Comments

Ever since my ordination back in Dec 2003 I have always loved being involved in or being a witness to someone taking a step onto the Buddhist path. The aspirant or candidate taking on the Amida precepts always appears solemn, and sincere, and as I listen to the vows and see how willing they are to aspire to live an ideal life they become even bigger with a certain amount of gravitas and I find myself shrinking and becoming less Significant. It is a wonderfully moving experience and so I always… Continue

letter to Father Christmas

Posted by Susthama Kim on December 2, 2017 at 22:36 6 Comments

Dear Father Christmas,



Please can I have a light up Christmas tree and the prettiest baubles in your workshop. Love Selena



My daughter is 5 and loves decorations. She would love to have a garden with lots of flowers and fruit trees and plants but we live in a flat with a balcony so she spends time enjoying other people’s garden whenever she can. So maybe this Christmas we will try and create a mini Pureland garden on our balcony.



This Bodhi retreat she and her… Continue

© 2017   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service