By David Smith
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Extra info for Dharma Mind Worldly Mind: A Buddhist Handbook on Complete Meditation
Ere is always a reaction, and it is invariably driven by negative emotions or, worse, the passions, so when that experience arises we lose the ability to stay with what we are doing, and get lost in the clouds created by those reactions. But remember, staying mindful and at one with this particular activity is no different from staying with the meditation subject while meditating. In our meditation we are always bringing ourselves back to the centre. Do you think that we should be doing something different when we are engaged in a daily activity?
In fact, this change of attitude has to be learned and relearned, over and over again, as we continually fall back into our old habits of seeking reward. oughts such as ‘if I’m going to do this practice, I want to become like this and not any longer be like that’ creep in. is ingrained habit of self-interest is so powerful that we fall back into its clutches over and over again. But learning to give up, to surrender all those self-interests, within the practice of a wholehearted commitment to life, will in itself remind us that this is the way of the Dharma.
I would suggest that the eightfold path as we know it came about through the course of time, through the Buddha teaching and encouraging the practice of the middle way, through meditation and daily living. He would have broken down the middle way so that his listeners could relate to it and cultivate skilful ways of practice to achieve that noble end. As is typical of our deluded mind, the parts which made up the whole soon came to be seen as sort of autonomous aspects of the practice of the fourth noble truth and became disconnected from that whole.