Taking out the trash

I think it’s time to get rid of the garbage in my life. Remnants of the past, concerns about the future, unwholesome behaviors, and less than Noble friends. It’s time to walk in good company, and follow a wholesome path with wisdom, virtue, and gentle determination. And this good company, of course, starts with the self.
For if my mind contains defilements or delusions, I cannot be my own best friend. I cannot be a Noble friend or have genuine loving kindness and friendliness for myself. It’s like Bhante Sujatha says, “let it begin with me”.

In the Buddhist practice, I think that most of us find the grounding and motivating force for us to lie within meditation. And as immensely powerful and important as our meditation is, I believe there is something equally as powerful and critical to our liberation. We must become present. Which means to be here right now, in these circumstances, with these thoughts, and be completely awake. Mindfulness with clear and complete comprehension (sati-sampajañña) is very important. And only with this can we apply wisdom and virtue to our practice. But what is our practice exactly? Our practice is this life we are living.
And just as each breath stands on its own, so does each and every moment. Each moment being priceless, irreplaceable, filled with gratitude, and totally unique. With awareness we can see that this moment is also impermanent, dissatisfactory, and does not define a permanent self.

As you read this and think of these ideas, I hope you will observe your mind. Asking yourself, “where is my mind right now?”. Is it reflecting on the past, or clinging to the present? Perhaps your mind is in the future, imagining what might be or you wish it to be. And this, my dear kalyana mitta (spiritual friend), is only adding more trash to your own private collection. This is not liberation!
And is this what any of us are looking for in our lives? More garbage, delusional thoughts, fantasies and delusions, regrets and desires. Has this “junk” ever brought you peace in your life, I mean genuine lasting peace?

Consider your life, your path, your self for a moment today. Ask yourself if you are you on the right path, the Noble path? Are you any freer of suffering, desire, delusion and attachment than you were yesterday?
Then decide for yourself if this is wholesome and conducive to a life that brings peace to the self and to all other beings. Examine if you are in a place of great equanimity.
And be aware that the trash is only in your mind, not in some other person, or in someone else’s actions or behaviors.

And may you be well, happy and peaceful.