Getting The Buddha Mind f4



Clack! Clack! Clack!

Clack! Clack! Clack!

Dawn breaks hard on the sleepy practitioner. It is 4:15 A.M. and the clapping of the morning boards signals another day of retreat. "Is it already four hours since I eased my aching body ─ this figment of my mind ─ into the sleeping bag? Will I make it through another day? I? I? But who am I? To whom does this sleepiness and confusion belong? Better get up. Bathroom will be busy. Shih-Fu didn't seem pleased with me yesterday. Must pull myself together today!"

This avalanche of mindstuff, though imaginary, typifies a kind of mental state that grips many a practitioner, especially during the early days of a Ch'an seven-day retreat. It is a mind confused, and distracted by pain and suffering, but basically not unlike the mental states experienced daily by the average person. It is a state of preoccupation with one's private predicament, ruled by an army of doubts.