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Mind and Mental Events (Subhuti 2001) - Talk 9

by Subhuti (2001)

Mindfulness (smrti), though itself an object-determining rather than a positive mental event, is nevertheless crucial to all positive mental events. Its root meaning is 'memory' and this is vital for any kind of productive life, from doing what you said you'd do to keeping a continuity of focus in meditation.

Samprajanya (clear comprehension) involves seeing what is going on and understanding it in terms of spiritual values.

Concern (or non-heedlessness) (apramada) involves a feeling tone of care and responsibility. On the one hand, we cherish the skilful and, on the other, we are protected from the unskilful because we are naturally repelled by it.

Malice (harmfulness) (vihimsa): the desire to hurt the person we perceive as hurting us can lead to malice - an active enjoyment of inflicting pain. This can be physical or by speech or by group manipulation.

Non-violence (avihimsa): no desire to hurt anyone and a revulsion to causing others suffering. This leads to compassion - the desire to alleviate the suffering of others.

It is significant that this series concludes with that which becomes compassion. So knowing your mind leads directly to compassionate activity.

This talk is part of the series Mind and Mental Events (Subhuti 2001).