When you were a child you loved and craved chocolate and cake, and you thought:
“When I’m old like my parents, I’ll have all the chocolate and cake I want, and then I’ll be happy.”
Now you have so much chocolate and cake, but you’re bored. So you decide that since this doesn’t make you happy you’ll get a car, a house, a television, a husband or wife – then you’ll be happy.
So now you have everything, but there are more problems: The car is a problem, the house is a problem, the husband or wife is a problem, the children are a problem. You realize, Oh, this is not satisfaction.
Lord Buddha is saying that you only have to know what you are, how you exist; that’s all.
Just understand your mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; just that gives so much happiness and peace. Your life changes completely; everything gets turned upside down; what you interpreted as horrible becomes beautiful.
How to check the mind?
Just watch how your mind perceives or interprets any object that it contacts; what feeling – comfortable or uncomfortable – arises.
Then you check: When I perceive this kind of view, this feeling arises, that emotion comes, I discriminate in such a way.
This is how to check the mind; that’s all. It’s very simple.
~ Adapted from a talk given in April 1975