The Runaway Horse of the Untamed Mind

The purpose of the outer practices is to tame the mind. However, scattered training received by meditators might make them feel that the process toward enlightenment is like the untamed Wild West. They want to experience the sense of excitement, anticipation, and infinite possibilities in a wild rush toward the awakened state.
An untamed mind is like a horseman whose stirrup straps slipped. I saw in a movie where a rider slid underneath his horse; the horse was on top and the rider was on the underbelly of the horse, just barely hanging on, his head almost in the dirt. The reins were flying in the wind, and the horse went anywhere it chose. This is just like the untamed mind. However, the rider whose stirrups are tight is like one living in the vow to attain enlightenment. He is firmly seated on the upper part of the horse with the reins in his hands. This taming allows him to be the horseman and not the horse.
When the mind is untamed, mental energies are out of balance. When the mental energies become seriously out of balance, the mind is shaking, like the reins of the runaway horse. The mind is rising and falling like a sick dog about to heave. Like this, an extremely suffering mind is going up and down and is unable to deal with ordinary life, much less resonate with higher states of mind with undamaged energies.
Another poor method to tame our mind is to squash down mental energies. With some success, there could develop a lethargic behavior that might even appear as though the mind is tamed. Nevertheless, the moment an outer environmental issue arises, the original untamed energies can erupt like a volcano, producing anger or other delusions. Then it does not take long before the horseman is back underneath the horse, the harness all undone again.

excerpted from Mystery of Emptiness & Love now available from Amazon

Mystery of Emptiness & Love provides a fresh and insightful commentary on the nature of reality. Timeless Buddhist teachings combined with an original perspective illuminate the illusory nature of how we are alive, and provide a careful analysis for one to arrive at the correct view of emptiness. Her commentary on Chandrakirti’s Twenty Emptinesses is offered with easy-to-read and concise explanations. This is a gem of a book for anyone contemplating the nature of reality.
Betty J. Kramer, PhD University of Wisconsin-MadisonAuthor of Living through loss: Interventions across the life span

Domo Geshe Rinpoche has finally put into the written word a dharmic path comprehensible to our western minds. With these words she also guides us towards a heart-understanding for which no words exist; a healing so profound that no medicine can touch it!

Capri Fillmore, MD, MPH, MSc, Acoma, NM
The gap between obscure ancient scholarly languages and modern western views has been difficult to close. Into this gap comes Mystery of Emptiness & Love by Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Rinpoche explains the Twenty Emptinesses of Chandrakirti, breathtakingly interwoven with the development of altruistic great compassion. This work will someday be considered seminal in transmission of dharma to the west.
Mitzi A. Forbes, PhD


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