Saturday, December 04, 2004

Is change difficult or easy?

Students of meditation often ask why it is that they are able to change attitudes and outlooks only to have the old way of seeing and experiencing the mind return. Habitual tendency is, of course, behind this occurrence. Well, do we just get discouraged and give up or simply justify our habitual patterns? I like the observation as expressed by the quote below.

It is important to realize that the mind is not only capable of change, but that it easily changes. To begin with, you must free yourself from the detrimental belief that the mind cannot be changed and that these conflicting emotions are irreparable, permanent defects. You have been developing these habitual patterns over a long, long period of time, and of course they are going to be difficult to change... In meditation, you practice a pattern of basic mental sanity again and again, with diligence. This works to counter the habitual patterns you have built up through constant repetition. While these patterns are not inherent or permanent, they are certainly not easy to do away with. Therefore, consistent meditation is essential.

- Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

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