Yogacara, one of the two main schools of Mahayana Buddhism, is often referred to as the “Mind Only” school. This is not to say that anything outside the mind is unreal. It is intended to help you see that what you are experiencing is coming to you in some form of perception in consciousness, based on the six senses and the assumption of a separate self. When there is transformation at the basis of consciousness, that everything is dependently arisen is fundamentally seen. There is no separate self to be found anywhere.
Confidence based on causes and conditions will fade. Complete confidence is both confidence and lack of confidence at the same time where thoughts and emotions are free to come and go. Prioritize awareness. Hold your seat and make friends with what comes and goes through the practice of meditation.
You can’t really think your way out of addictions. Rather than talking about recovering from addictions by controlling behavior, Sokuzan teaches addiction awareness meditation. Through sitting meditation practice, by training the mind to observe what is happening in all of the sense fields, mind and body not separate, we are training awareness to see situations as they arise so what to do becomes clear without evaluating or trying to get rid of anything. You need to spend a lot of time training your mind. Dedicate at least an hour a day to your practice.
Thoughts appear and then start to go away, but because there is something about the nature of thoughts that supports a self, an identity, an ego that just thinks about me, me, me, me and my stuff–or the nearest extension of me like my property, my children, my family–we go back over old things for some kind of resolution and bring them back to life, pumping fuel into them out of fear or desperation or insecurity. What should we do? In today’s talk, Sokuzan teaches the importance of prioritizing awareness to work with the entire situation.
When we are fixated on one part as opposed to another part, it looks like things are separate. An extreme of this is warfare. We forget to take into consideration the bigger picture, or “Big Mind”. Sit down, hold still, and see the relative truth of separate parts. Practice just observing the parts without doing anything with them. This is called patience. In this way, you are using your life to awaken to the Whole.