Our mind is very important to us since usually it makes decisions for us in our lives. What is more important is whether our mind can stay peaceful or not with the choices.
No matter under what situation a decision is made, if the mind stays calm and content, then there will be no problems. However, having a mind that remains serene is not something just anyone can simply claim. It is considered a mastery of the mind, and it is achieved with training and practice. Therefore, methods on training the mind have been taught in various cultures, and the only differences among these methods lay in the depth or scope of the training.
Since only with training and practice can a person have such a refined mind, one which is able to stay peaceful and tranquil in all situations, we must practice in order to live a worry-free and more contented life.
Of course, there are people who feel that they already live quite a happy life. Usually these include people who are fairly good at decision-making and often have the freedom to choose what they like. However, the question is, when the ability to choose is being limited or when they are forced to choose what they do not like, will they still be happy as usual?
Most people experience dis-ease when faced with uninvited situations. They will feel stress or sometimes feel as though they are being suffocated. If the mind does not have the capacity to deal with such suffering, they will live an unhappy life or even worse sometimes.
With a mind that has been trained and is refined, one will be better able to handle the difficulties in life. If the mind is deep and vast enough that it can embrace everything, naturally one will feel less suffering.
In life, not everything is exactly as we wish. More often than not, we face situations that are contrary to our wishes. Therefore, it is always beneficial to have a trained mind working for us that enables us to have a greater capacity to deal with undesirable conditions in life.
Do not wait until stressful events happen to begin looking for a method to train the mind. Instead, train the mind now so that when things happen, you can be happy regardless of the situation, and whether it is favorable or not.
(2006/12/27 Written at 怡保 , Malaysia. Published in the book 《日日好日》 “Every Day is a Good Day” by Dharma Drum Publications.)