Jul 28

Kalu Rinpoche | How to become stable minded

Q: Dear Rinpoche, will you expand about how to become stable minded?

A: You cannot be stable minded by surrounding yourself with religious objects, religious environment. You cannot have a stable mind by having all the different materials around you. In order to have a stable mind, I think you need to discover the nature of the mind itself. I think that is very important. Because in order to have a stable mind, you need to stop grasping. So, if you can have an attitude and a sense of understanding and living a life without grasping and then naturally it is a stable mind.

Our mind is very unstable because we grasp to everything, to religious objects, all the way to our ordinary things, partners, life, or everything, we grasp. In order to have a stable mind, you have to understand the very reason of the grasping state of mind.

In order to understand the very grasping state of mind, you need to understand your illusion. In order to understand your illusion, you have to see the reality of the illusion. Where the illusion exists? Is it inside? Is it outside? Is it in between? Is it in the time when I just started this conversation? Is it after the conversation? Or is it in this very moment? Is it the illusion of everything? But then is if the illusion is everything, and then again, how come I can feel my table with my own fist, with my own fingers? And then having the right interpretation of the illusion is also very important.


And about the illusion, the very meaning of the illusion is that believing something that doesn’t exist. And I think the most important, in order to understand that is to understand our own state of ignorance. If you can understand the state of ignorance, then you can understand the illusion itself. You have to understand the meaning of the suffering. The reason of the suffering. Whether you are a believer of the karma or not that doesn’t matter.

What is happening right now, in many Buddhist practitioners, is that everybody is trying to grasp to the idea of the karma. ‘Oh! We should abandon the bad karma and we should accumulate good karma.’ It’s a little bit like, ‘we must promote certain political ideology and we must demolish any other political ideology.’ So, very extreme mindset and that is not the way to understand the meaning of the karma.

If you understand the meaning of illusion, the meaning of the suffering and the reality of the suffering, the consequences of causing the harm, and then naturally you have a respect to the karma itself. But if you tried to say that ‘I need to control my karma. I need to abandon my bad karma. I need to accumulate good karma.’ If you have that kind of mindset, and then it doesn’t help work.

So, in order to have a stable mind, you need to stop grasping. But the very idea of wanting to stop grasping, the very idea of ‘I need to stop grasping’, the very sensation of wanting to control, the sensation of illusion, the very idea of ‘I need to control my illusion’, the very definition of control itself is an illusion. The very definition wanting to control your own grasping, ‘I should not have any grasping sensation”, “Kalu Rinpoche said that is bad, that is expectation.” All of that, like putting a blame on your grasping, and wanting to control your grasping,that also doesn’t work.

Because if you want to suppress something, it doesn’t work like that. So if you suppress your own grasping without analyzing where grasping sensation comes from, if you try to suppress that, then you are trying to control your sensation of grasping, which in the nature of the control itself is ego. So, I think you have to understand that first.

Many people when they say that, ‘I don’t want to be angry, and I want to stop being angry, and I don’t want to be angry anymore’, and then you have this kind of a bubble upon the anger issues. So then you say, ‘I need to control my anger.’ The more you try to control the anger, the more the anger appears to be bigger than before. The more you understand the very nature of the anger and the less anger exists out there. So that’s the reality, because the anger is very useless.

So, in order to have a stable mind, you have to understand the grasping and minimize the grasping and a way to minimize that grasping. Not just controlling the grasping, an expectation.

Like an example I hear many Buddhist people who write on the Facebook comment and they say ‘I should practice the Dharma without any expectation, without any expectation.’ There is a very undercurrent sensation when you tell yourself ‘I should not have any expectation! Should not!’. Little bit like a vast statement, and then that nature itself is ego. That essence itself is control and wanting to control. And the essence of the control comes from the ego and ignorance. Therefore, you have to understand all the way to the depth of the sea. So, that is very important.

Like an example, in order to discover many different fishes in the sea, they have to go to many different length, but yet all at the same time, you have to go all the way to the depths of the sea. So, to understand the ego and to dissolve the ego and understanding the illusion and understanding the sensation of grasping and understanding to have a sense of stable mind, you need to have a stronger depth. But if you have a stronger depth understanding with a very strong sensation of wanting to control everything, the nature of control of everything is ego. Ego itself comes from ignorance with a lack of clarity.

Therefore, we should accumulate our mindset in a very careful manner, in a very careful method. Because many of us, we say, ‘I want to control my anger. I want to control my jealousy. I want to control my karma.’ All that sensation wanting to control comes from the illusion that you can control, that you should control. But that’s the extreme right. And then the extreme left is that people who say, ‘Oh yeah, we are part of the universe and control nothing. Be everything. We are part of the universe.’ and then being completely wild. And that is also not the solution.

The middle path is you need to apply a practice with a basic principle. So that’s that.

With love and respect
Kalu Rinpoche
Q&A Facebook – June 21st, 2020