Destructive Patterns of Mind

Path of Action: Day 11

To encourage yourself to develop contemplation, concentration, and discipline, reflect on how without them the mind gets caught in its own scenarios, and how painful this can be.


When contemplation has not been developed, we usually react to obstacles with excuses or emotionality. Voices may begin to sound in our head, some cunning, sweet, soft, or dreamy, others sharp, urgent, or brusque. We may hear ourselves explaining why we could not do more, or telling ourselves that despite appearances things are going very well.

Like a clever diplomat or human-relations expert, the voices first seek out a style that seems convincing. Then they encourage us to ignore how our resolve is being weakened and our failings covered over.

The idea that the mind is caught in its own scenarios may be new to you, but in practice, mind scenarios are both familiar and widely accepted. Language supports them, and even our ways of using the senses cooperate with them. When we are under their sway, it is easy to lose sight of getting the right result, since we are focused instead on telling the right story. In the face of failure, we hold strongly to our position, refusing to care about anything else.


Path of Action, by Tarthang Tulku is an unpublished work. Please do not copy, remix or republish this post or any others in this series without express permission from Mandala Training.