Purifying my mind?

The Vatthupama Sutta, says “knowing, monks, covetousness and unrighteous greed to be a defilement of the mind, the monk abandons them.[4] Knowing ill will to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing anger to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing hostility to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing denigration to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing domineering to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing envy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing jealousy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing hypocrisy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing fraud to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing obstinacy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing presumption to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing conceit to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing arrogance to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing vanity to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing negligence to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it.

Well I am not a monk and you probably are not either. I want to point out that this Sutta is still very important for us to read and understand. Two words stick out to me.

The first word being “knowing” in our practice we use the words right intention and we practice awareness of our mental states, objects, basically our feelings. This takes practice we do not just become awake to our mental states over night. Right intention starts to come into play after the “knowing” or possibly you want to use “right understanding” we have to see clearly and understand the defilements of the mind before we can abandoned them.

Here is an example, I had an addiction to alcohol for years. Most of those years I had no idea just how addicted my body/mind was to this substance. Here is another one, compulsive sex or dating. I would engage in these behaviors almost like I was on auto pilot, very unaware that they were wrong or that they may be damaging.

When I decided to abandon these behaviors it only came through awareness of the way it was hurting me. How these mental states were effecting my life and the lives of others. Once I saw this I had to investigate and see clearly the mental states so I could start to abandon them. This took “right understanding” and “right intention” the intention to fully acknowledge that I needed to abandon these behaviors and mental states.

So through meditation practice our minds start to open up we investigate the truth of the present and learn to stay in the moment. Each moment we notice “a defilement” or just “unhealthy mind state” we have to abandon it. With practice and present time awareness we learn the practice of this beautiful Sutta. It’s also important to be kind to yourself, remember a thought is not real, if you do not engage in the thought it’s like a passing bird flying over your head. Recognize the bird and watch it go.

May this help you on your path.

One thought on “Purifying my mind?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing that! It just perfectly describes what I’ve been trying to put to words! It’s really inspiring how it helped you notice those harmful habits or actions and that’s what I also experienced, or am still working on.
    I have been having so much problems with binge eating, but it’s like you say, I was not being aware and was just following my autopilot without paying attention. When I started doing yoga mindfully, focusing on my breath and just being aware in the moment, that helped me immensely to abandon the binge eating and self loathing because I’m aware of myself in that moment.

    Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    Like

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