QUESTION: How can I attain the right state of mind?

SHORT ANSWER: There is no right state. The mind is a river.

LONGER ANSWER: Body is not reliable, mind is not reliable. Let body and mind ‘fall away’. So long as we are obsessively worrying about our body and mind we are slaves to chance circumstance. The body and mind mostly work fine when left to their own devices.

If we have corrupted our mind it will not be cured by further deluded tinkering. The right state of mind is whatever is appropriate to what is going on at the time. Awe is a fine state. To stand under the stars at night and look up at the vastness of the cosmos or to look at natural beauty is food for the mind nature. One can try to include such things in the mind's diet. Attention to the task in hand is a fine state. This is something that one can cultivate, but best is when it comes naturally because one is doing what one believes in. Sleep is a fine state. There are many fine states of mind, but they are finest when they arise naturally and, mostly, the important thing to do with the mind is to stop doing things to it and let it get on.

The mind is like a great river. Its currents find the best path to the ocean. We can produce a greater calm by throwing a dam across it, but sooner or later it will overbrim our dam and go on its way again. It knows its way already.

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