Last night I heard a dharma talk about dualistic thinking. It provided some clear examples of how we allow our thoughts to pull us around in different directions, without our considering whether it’s a direction that will be good or right for us and those around us.
It’s only in the past few months that I have been aware of how regular meditation improves my ability to control my own mind. After a year of daily sitting, there’s no doubt that this practice has changed the way I think. My convictions and ideas are not affected most of all — what’s most acutely affected is the mechanics of my thinking.
Because of this practice of watching my mind, I now see (in many cases, not al!) when my mind is snapping into an old pattern or assumption. When I catch it, I can look at it and see what’s really going on in my thinking. And I can change it.
Evil is done by oneself alone;
By oneself is one defiled.
Evil is avoided by oneself;
By oneself alone is one purified.
Purity and impurity depend upon oneself;
No one can purify another.
From The Dhammapada, tr. Gil Fronsdal, Shambhala Library, p. 40.