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DailyOM - The Brightened Mind by Ajah

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DailyO M Library : Ajahn Sum a no Bhik k hu : The Brightened Mind

The Brightened Mind

by Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu
P osted by: Da ilyO M

Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was part of the original group of monks and yogis to visit England in the mid-70's. He was the first Westerner to be ordained in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. During the seven years he lived and trained in England, he worked to restore the old Vic torian estate that has bec ome the Dharma lotus of Theravada Buddhism. From this auspicious beginning more than ten centers in Europe have been established and are flourishing. As a lay individual, Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was one of the original benefac tors in the purchase and development of Cittavivekn, a cave in northeast Thailand. Since 1998 he has traveled throughout the world leading retreats and spreading his dream of establishing a Spiritual Park outside of Bangkok whic h would bring together all the world's religions in the spirit of Unity and Peace. This center would teac h skillful ways to live in the world and to acc ept and respec t all Beings as brothers and sisters. He has written many books on contemplative prac tic e in the forest tradition. Those available in the U.S. are Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest and Meeting the Monkey Halfway.

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Excerpt: From the first chapter: The Two Levels of Consc iousness Most of us assume the existenc e of just one level of consc iousness, based on the only level we know and operate from. But the truth is that c onsciousness has two distinct modes: the ordinary and the extraordinary. The first mode is the mundane and superfic ial way we see and ac t in the world most of the time. The second mode is a concept beyond the realm of our ordinary c omprehension that c annot be adequately desc ribed. Rather, we can know it for ourselves dailyom.com/library//000002596.html



DailyOM - The Brightened Mind by Ajah desc ribed. Rather, we can know it for ourselves simply through direc t experience. We might say that this sec ond state is that whic h is.
We will look into both these modes of c onsciousness so that we may bec ome profic ient in how they operate and, ultimately, learn how to use this knowledge to enhance the quality of our life. First, we should understand that the mundane mind, under the authority of the I-ego, is driven mainly by its desire for survival and comfort. It is, therefore, c onstantly mounted by fear the fear of losing its dominant influence over our thinking proc ess. In order to preserve and secure its position more firmly, it invents self-serving scenarios designed to entic e our senses into buying its agenda. This ordinary mind c leverly uses materials drawn mainly from attractive memories of the past. It c onjures up a fantasy future built out of stale emotions and expired events. When we func tion from this mode of mind dominated by the I-ego, we are out of sync with the integrity of the universal perspective and are working outside the realm of truth. We are then operating in a world of delusion founded on assumptions and projec tions of hopes that have no bearing whatsoever on our present reality. We c ould compare this abnormal situation to our c omputer screen saver. The idealized image with whic h we c hoose to dec orate our monitor seems to have all the elements of reality, but it is not really connected anywhere live. It is just a lifelike faade. Yet we are continually being fooled into believing it is real. One of lifes ironies is that the more time we spend bec oming educated, be it in a university or voc ational school, the more we forget that we are all extraordinarily intelligent beings to begin with. The conditioning to which we have been, and c ontinue to be, subjec ted by our social environment (inc luding our parents, relatives, mentors, politic ians, c elebrities, and so forth) simply reinforc es the myth that mental prowess is Natures unique gift to its favored few. So we go through the motions of this lifetime totally oblivious to our innate brilliance and without c onfidenc e and trust in our natural abilities. It is not surprising, then, that we often feel so overwhelmed at the c hallenges we face, thinking that they are simply beyond the reac h of our c apabilities. If we are looking to improve our present c irc umstanc es, we need to keep in mind that as part owners of that infinite reservoir of wisdom-knowing we have the means to acc omplish much more than we ever dreamed of. This c onnection to the divine realm is our birthright as human beings. Just pause and reflec t on the profoundness of this thought for a moment.




DailyOM - The Brightened Mind by Ajah

Eac h one of us has as much acc ess as anyone else does to the Mother-source, or what might aptly be called the Universal Mind. Looking around us and seeing the disparity among peoples predic aments may lead us to doubt this c oncept. We might ask ourselves how an unfortunate beggar living in a makeshift, cardboard tent in a bac k alley c an be even remotely connected to you or to me, much less to someone like Bill Gates. But the saying that we are all one is not merely an esoteric aphorism. It is a simple fact by virtue of our common connec tion to the Universal Mind. Having acc ess to the Universal Mind doesnt depend on anything we do. It is not as if the more material suc cess we have gained, the bigger our share of that infinite power sourc e will be. The divine c onnec tion Im talking about is inherent in eac h of us, without exception, as soon as we assume humanity at birth. Imagine our response if we were to rec eive the news that we had just inherited a c onsiderable amount of money from a ric h relative. Im sure that this new state of financial freedom would give us confidenc e, ease of mind, and a more enthusiastic attitude toward life. Similarly, our c onnection to divine consciousness is like having an unlimited source of wealth in our bank acc ount! As inc redible as it may sound, we only need to acc ess that wealth, at any time we choose, to improve our lives. How c ould the news be any better? We have to keep reminding ourselves of our tremendous legacy. We have infinite abundanc e simply waiting to be utilized. How to unloc k the vault of this unimaginable wealth is what this book intends to show. But first we need to understand our relationship with this Universal Mind. I would like to present some descriptive images and terminology to give you as close an idea as possible of the profound mind and its nature what we might c all the mind-behind-themind, the other mind, the sourc e c onsciousness, or the Mother-mind.
P ublished by Q uest Boo k s See A lso: Boo k Ex cerpt, Spirituality, Self Im prove m ent

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