Serenity and Silence at Every Moment: The Mind of a Cultivator

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 16:46 Tzu Chi Foundation
[Master's Teachings]
Editor's note: The following is compiled from a talk Dharma Master Cheng Yen gave to her monastic disciples in a morning Dharma talk, offering direction for their spiritual practice.

As a cultivator, it is our inner state that differentiates us from ordinary people of the world. Ordinary people are caught up in the myriad dramas of worldly life, be it disputes or conflicts, desires or attachments. But the cultivator keeps a mind that is in meditation at every moment, where the heart and mind is always on the Dharma—grounded and silent, absent of afflictions.

If we can keep our mind in such a state, then wrong, deluded thoughts naturally will not arise. This is what spiritual practice is all about.

On the spiritual path, what we need to do each day is look after our heart and mind. For instance, every day, is our mind in a state of serenity and silence, grounded in Right View* and right understanding?

Having aspired to walk the spiritual path, we have come to live at the monastery, removing ourselves from the chaotic worldly world. The life of a cultivator is very simple and peaceful, free of desires. Therefore, it should not be difficult for us to live righteously, with our mind always on the Dharma, our actions in line with the Dharma.

Is this difficult? Actually, there shouldn't be much difficulty in practicing this, for living here in the monastery, the environment is already a wholesome and righteous one, based on Right View.

Even though the monasteries of today have many interactions with the secular world, spiritually, the heart and mind of the cultivator is disciplined to be tranquil and pure always. That inner tranquility and purity comes from abiding in right understanding and Right View. Such an inner state is what is called "samadhi".

In such a state, we are very much at peace and at ease, going with the natural order of things, instead of giving rise to afflictions and being compelled by our desires to take certain actions.

As a cultivator, our practice is to strive for such an inner state of serenity and silence always. We do this by keeping our mind in Right View. The environment in the monastery is very conducive to this practice, but we can practice like this no matter where we are.

As we train our minds to abide in Right View always, we can achieve samadhi anytime and anyplace, in everything that we do.

* Right View refers to having correct views that are in accord with the Dharma. Right View is the first element of the Eightfold Path.

From Dharma Master Cheng Yen's Talks
Compiled into English by the Jing Si Abode English Editorial Team

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