WHAT IS MEANT BY “LUMINOSITY OF MIND”?
Luminosity doesn’t mean 100 percent pure, but you can see the potential of purity in the luminosity of the mind. The mind can be purified. That potential is within us, and that is a luminous state, meaning a shining state.
Whenever the external defilements invade the mind, that luminosity will be polluted. Luminosity here means a mind without excessive greed, hatred, and delusion. Once the mind is perfectly clean, that is the state of arahanthood, and after that you will not be reborn. If it is perfectly clean and clear, nothing can defile it.
But for the rest of us, the potential of cleansing and purification is there.
"The mind can be purified. That potential is within us . . ."
HOW DOES THE MIND CREATE THE ILLUSION OF A PERMANENT SELF?
That’s just a built-in system. We cling to something, thinking it is permanent. That is an illusion—that it is something lasting.
I would recommend that everybody look at their own mind to see how true this established illusion of “self” is. We don’t really need to ask anybody this question. Just honestly, sincerely, impartially look at yourself, pay attention to your experience, and see how true this sense of a self is.
"Just honestly, sincerely, impartially look at yourself, pay attention to your experience . . ."
WHAT DOES THE FIGURE OF MARA REPRESENT IN BUDDHISM, BECAUSE HE FOLLOWS AND TAUNTS THE BUDDHA EVEN AFTER ENLIGHTENMENT?
Mara means several things. The number-one thing is “that which kills wholesomeness.” Mara means death. Anything that kills wholesomeness is called Mara.
Second, Mara means all the defilements. In the Sutta Nipata, Buddha listed the ten armies of Mara. The first is desire, the second is dislike, the third is thirst and hunger, the fourth is greed, the fifth is sleepiness and drowsiness, the sixth is restlessness, the seventh is conceit, the eighth is jealousy, the ninth is false reputation (a reputation you gain by wrong means), and the tenth is praising oneself and disparaging others.
And the one that followed the Buddha until he passed away? Death followed him. There is no question about it—one day he would die.
There is also the belief in Mara as a sort of mythological divine being, as the deity of death who dominates others. These other aspects of Mara I mention, anyone can experience.
"Mara means death. Anything that kills wholesomeness is called Mara."
This article was an excerpt from Bhante G.’s new book What, Why, How.
How can I fit meditation into my busy life?
How should I understand karma and rebirth?
Is enlightenment even possible for me?
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever meditated or studied Buddhism, you may have found yourself asking these questions—and many more! Here’s the good news: there are answers, and you’ll find them all in this book. Imagine that you could sit down with one of Buddhism’s most accomplished and plainspoken teachers—and imagine that he patiently agreed to answer any question you had about meditation, living mindfully, and key Buddhist concepts—even the myriad brilliant questions you’ve never thought to ask! What, Why, How condenses into one volume a half-century of Bhante G.’s wise answers to common questions about the Buddha’s core teachings on meditation and spiritual practice. With his kind and clear guidance, you’ll gain simple yet powerful insights and practices to end unhealthy patterns and habits so that you can transform your experience of the world—from your own mind to your relationships, your job, and beyond.
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