In all actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself or others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.
Geshe Langri Tangpa
In other words I am going to take a conscious effort to be aware / mindful of what is going on in my mind, what I’m thinking and feeling, and from this I will be aware, in the present moment, of what I’m saying and doing. Every time a negative emotion, or disturbing attitude, arises we need to recognise them and confront them.
Once we have become conscious of them (with practice it will be earlier and earlier) we must also avert them, that is, apply the antidote. For example when we feel strong desire or attachment, we need to meditate on impermanence and the ugly aspect of whatever we’re attached to. When we sense anger arising, we contemplate the importance of patience and love. For jealousy, we meditate on rejoicing in all the good qualities of the person for whom we feel the jealousy and “the latent goodness” in all sentient beings. For doubt, we meditate on the breath to calm our mind, centre ourselves and contemplate the pillars of our practice such as our refuge in the 3 jewels (or whatever is your refuge).
In other words through mindfulness we are going to start to take back control of our mind, becoming aware that these negative attitudes and emotions are impermanent. They arise and pass through our mind but rather than engaging with them we simply observe them for what they are, temporary afflictions, and let them pass and leave!
Note: The above verse is one of 8 from the text “8 verses of thought transformation” by Geshe Langri Tangpa. In other posts we will examine the other 7 verses.