No matter how much you think, you won’t know.

No matter how much you think, you won’t know. Only when you stop thinking will you know. But still, you have to depend on thinking so as to know.
– Ajaan Dune Atulo, Thai Forest Tradition. 

Mind seeing mind

The mind sent outside is the origination of suffering.

The result of the mind sent outside is suffering.

The mind seeing the mind is the path.

The result of the mind seeing the mind is the cessation of suffering.

– Ajaan Dune Atulo, Thai Forest Tradition. 

Open Your Heart

The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. 
– Pema Chodron, Tibetan Buddhism. 

Mindfulness alone can’t do all the work

Liberating insight comes from testing, experimenting. This is how we learn about the world to begin with. If we weren’t active creatures, we’d have no understanding of the world at all. Things would pass by, pass by, and we wouldn’t know how they were connected because we’d have no way of influencing them to see which effects came from changing which causes. It’s because we act in the world that we understand the world.

The same holds true with the mind. You can’t just sit around hoping that a single mental quality—mindfulness, acceptance, contentment, oneness—is going to do all the work. If you want to learn about the potentials of the mind, you have to be willing to play—with sensations in the body, with qualities in the mind. That’s when you come to understand cause and effect.

And that requires all your powers of intelligence—and this doesn’t mean just book intelligence. It means your ability to notice what you’re doing, to read the results of what you’ve done, and to figure out ingenious ways of doing things that cause less and less suffering and stress: street smarts for the noble path. Mindfulness allows you to see these connections because it keeps reminding you always to stay with these issues, to stay with the causes until you see their effects. But mindfulness alone can’t do all the work. You can’t fix the soup simply by dumping more pepper into it. You add other ingredients, as they’re needed.

– Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Thai Forest Tradition. 

The fire inside

We all have fuel inside, ready to be lit, ready to burn. It can burn with anger, pleasure, hatred, jealousy, craving, etc. When lit it burns the mind and body, though many do not realise it. It’s hard to speak and act wisely when on fire. 

Some people’s fire is lit with the tiniest spark, like a pile of dry straw. Others take more to light, like a pile of heartwood logs. 

When we practice the dharma we aim to douse our fuel with cool waters allowing us to keep a mind of compassion and equanimity even when standing amongst a blaze.

– Anonymous

Roots

We’re like a tree with roots, a base, and a trunk. Every leaf, every branch, depends on the roots to absorb nutrients from the soil and send them up to nourish the tree.

Our body, plus our words and deeds, our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling, are like the branches, leaves, and trunk. The mind is like the roots absorbing nutrients and sending them up the trunk to the leaves and branches so that they flower and bear fruit.

– Ajahn Chah, Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition.

Fluttering Mind

When we sit in a quiet forest when there’s no wind, the leaves are still. When the wind blows, the leaves flutter.

The mind is the same sort of thing as leaves. When it makes contact with an object, it vibrates in line with its nature. The less you know of the Dhamma, the more the mind vibrates. When it feels pleasure, it dies with the pleasure. When it feels pain, it dies with the pain. It keeps flowing on in this way.

– Ajahn Chah, Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition.