The Things You Put in Your Head

Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said.  You might want to think about that.

You forget some things, don’t you?

Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

Cormac McCarthy – The Road

If I am going to make progress I must become more aware of what I permit my mind to be exposed to.  I start by considering what entertainments I am attracted to.  I make an inventory of the movies I watch, the books, newspapers and magazines I read, and the music I enjoy.  Are they concerned with violence?  Do they encourage me to look down on or dislike others?  Do they promote sensation as a path to happiness?  What effect do these have on me?  Do they create compassion or does some other quality flow from them?  Should I be making different choices?

Mind is the place of enlightenment until we put desires, anger and ignorance into it.  We do this carelessly, even thoughtlessly.  Over time we become less and less aware of how much these negative factors hinder our progress to happiness.  So it is important to cultivate mindfulness about these things by a constant inquiry of whether we are clearing our minds or clouding them.  And we must go on to ask what can be done to eliminate what hinders us.

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Daichi

Daichi is my Dharma name, given to me when I made a formal commitment to follow the path of the Buddha. It is Japanese for Great Earth.

One thought on “The Things You Put in Your Head

  1. You wrote that “we put desires, anger and ignorance into” our mind. I would like to quibble a little bit with that. I think we allow desire, anger and ignorance to enter – and grow – in our minds. But we don’t pick them up and “put” them in there.

    The reason I’m quibbling is that I think our practice of mindfulness will improve our attention to when the three are entering (and growing bigger). It’s like some mice coming into the house. We don’t open the door and invite them inside, but they do come in. If we are alert we will see them and then take steps to get them out again.

    Thanks for posting the quotation. It did made me think about the things I do deliberately invite in (like TV shows).

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