Unbroken lineages of wisdom traditions are rare in these times, and Kongtrul Rinpoche descends from a pure lineage of the Dzogpa Chenpo Longchen Nyingtik tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
We have two main study and practice centers in America: Phuntsok Choling in Colorado and Pema Osel in Vermont. Rinpoche teaches the core MSB programs at these two centers. In addition, MSB has several city centers or groups around the world where people gather for group meditation and study, and to listen to the LINK teachings together.
You may browse directly to any of the calendars to find out more about the teaching schedules of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Namgyel, or Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel. In addition, you can view the upcoming events at Phuntsok Choling, Pema Osel, or find out who is giving the next LINK talk.
MSB is a part of the Longchen Nyingtik and Khyen-Kong-Chok-Sum lineages. (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, and Terton Chokgyur Lingpa, collectively known as Khyen-Kong-Chok-Sum, were the heart of the Rimé, or nonsectarian, movement, which did so much to preserve and harmonize all schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the nineteenth century.)
Home » Resources » Dharma Blog
» Healing One’s Mind: Part 2 – Transforming “Junk Pot” into “Flower Pot” Mind
Get our latest articles in your inbox:
To shape and transform our mind for the future, it is vital that we understand the concepts of bodhicitta and cultivating a good heart. First, we need to recognize how these relate to our mind.
Right now, our mind is like a junk pot. We see this through our own experience, so this is not a judgment from outside. Most people don’t appreciate their mind. There are so many thoughts, so many things that worry us. These are just like the piles of junk we keep in a drawer at home, all kinds of irritating little nuisances that we keep stored in a pot.
This is how we feel about our minds most of the time. The teachings don’t actually say the mind is a junk pot. But for many of us that is precisely our experience of the mind.
In transforming this junk pot of our mind, it’s important to realize that the junk pot itself is the ground, and that it can be transformed. What transforms the junk is a certain knowledge.
After this transformation, our junk pot mind will be like a vase full of flowers that delight us with their fragrance, making us feel happy and rich with a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Before the practice of bodhicitta, thoughts about people pop up in our mind all the time. We view some people as nuisances. Though people cannot actually be a nuisance, thinking negatively about someone creates irritation in us. So it is our concepts about people that are the source of irritation.
As you train deliberately in bodhicitta, over time you consciously generate very deep and profound good thoughts about these same people. This produces corresponding positive feelings along with a full and clear understanding of them. In our mind, we can create this kind of deep relationship with people based on equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, generosity and patience.
As you train and transform your mind in this way, the more that thoughts of people pop up, the more ecstasy comes into your life. Even though, in the beginning, as people pop up in your mind, it is more like a junk pot, later on it is more like walking in a flower garden. People become the source of your training and you feel very rejuvenated because you have worked with your mind in such a profound way.
As a teacher I can attest to this. When a student pops up in my mind, a hundred feelings can run through my mind, almost like an electric current. And in only a few seconds I can feel very irritated with these various thoughts and emotions. But this is all just in my mind. It’s not the particular student. As the mind is trained and we reflect on the teachings of bodhicitta, although nothing changes outwardly, the relationship to our mind can change drastically.
By making use of these opportunities when thoughts of people arise in your mind, those few seconds can actually be rejuvenating due to the bodhicitta practice of placing your effort and emphasis on loving-kindness and equanimity.
So, just as this person was first a threat to my mind, they can later become a source of ecstasy. As one captures one’s mind in this way, turning it to good use, the world becomes a very beautiful place. Viewed this way, challenges are wonderful things to encounter and people become the source of one’s growth and spiritual insight.
So we must be clear about what we can do as well as what we cannot afford to do. What we can do is transform our mind when we begin to engage in negative thoughts and emotions about people. We can make a major change. What we cannot afford to do is to let our mind run loose along its own negative course.
When we are clear about these two things then people contribute so much to our practice. You don’t even have to invite people to lunch or offer them drinks. You just have to work with the opportunities arising when people pop up in your mind–those people you have relationships with, and those who you read about and come to form some mental relationship with, such as people on TV.
We have emotional relationships with such people even though we do not know them personally. The world is vast in this way. Even if we lived by ourselves in a cave, we would still have these people popping up in our minds. The sorts of emotional relationships we have with people consume us most of the time.
So instead of letting them consume us with irritation, why not have them delight our senses like a wonderful flower that makes us happy and relaxed. I think this is very possible. It basically depends on what we do with our minds. People do pop up constantly, we can either get stuck with the negative thoughts or we can transform that into something positive through the practice of bodhicitta.
If a spiritual practitioner is not able to do that, then what is the good of the spiritual practice anyway? What is the point of the practice, when at a basic level we can’t cultivate good feelings when people pop up in our minds?
At first, there are plenty of reasons we cannot accomplish this. We lack the strength, our habits are too strong, or we have our own personal agendas. We won’t easily be able to change those negative opinions overnight, but gradually, through effort and time spent, you will hear of someone who used to irritate you and instead it can delight you with strong feelings of bodhicitta inside your mind.
Right now your mind may be a junk pot. It’s not wholesome, not favoring your well-being. Your state of mental health may be very fragile, almost terminally ill. Through the consistent effort of just one month, you can drastically change for the better 25% or 50% or even 75%. After just one month of doing this, you can change your mind from nearly a terminal ill state to almost perfect health.
Excerpted and edited from Personl Link #199 – 6/6/2004
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *