Sakyong Mipham

‘Unless we train it, the mind does the minimum necessary to fulfil a function. In that way, it is like the body. For example, our muscles and bones are strong enough for us to walk – but not to run, unless we have conditioned them. Without conditioning, even a sudden dash to keep our kids out of harm’s way – or to catch a plane or a bus – will tire us out. Similarly, our mind has developed enough mindfulness and awareness to drive to work, but if we had to drive across the country, we might not have the stamina to stay on the road. Someone who makes long drives all the time, like a trucker, can do it much more easily.
The difference between the mind and the body is that no-one is surprised to get winded while running to catch the bus. Nobody gets mad at themselves, saying, “I can’t believe I can’t run 26.2 miles!” However, when we get overwhelmed by long hours at work, more emails, or more parenting duties, we become irritable, moody, and unhappy. It doesn’t occur to us that our mind is out of shape. We put more stress on ourselves because we assume we should just be able to handle it all. We should not be surprised when we can’t, for we have not built the base of the mind.’ (Running with the Mind of  Meditation)

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