We Need To Pay Attention Before The Drama Happens

So our problem is, the commonest question: “When I’m in the middle of getting angry, what can I do?” That’s like asking, “What’ll I do?” when your wheels are falling off. It’s too late to ask! Damage control is the best you can do.

But, you learn from it, and you start realizing you got to do some methods.

So our problem is this: our mind is going at a subtle level, this unconscious from beginningless lifetimes. It’s all there. We know from the second we wake up until the second we go to sleep, there’s these raging uncontrolled thoughts. Is it not true? But, they’re deep down in there, and we don’t pay attention until it’s like a football field with 100,000 people all shouting together in the distance. It’s just a roar, isn’t it?

But, that’s what it’s like inside. 100,000 different thoughts all happening, non-stop, chaos. Utter, unedited – I think it’s unedited James Joyce. I mean, I’m going to be stupid here. It’s complete chaos in there, but we don’t pay attention because we’re addicted to the physical world today, and the objects of our senses and getting the things done, and doing this, and driving the car, and picking our nose, and going to the toilet. But the thoughts are never stopping, right? It’s always there.

Now, the only time we notice what’s happening is when one of the voices is louder than the other 999,000. Do you get my point?

And that’s when the anger finally, which is underneath there as a conceptual story raging on, raging on, chatting away, old habit, old habit, all mixed with the jealousy thoughts, the attachment thoughts, the love thoughts, the kindness thoughts. It’s chaos.

Then, one of them finally comes to the surface and you hear that voice, and that’s when I’m about to kill Dalglish. “Oh, I’m angry. What’ll I do?” A bit late! But, this is our problem, because we don’t have methods and it doesn’t fit with our philosophy or psychology to pay attention to the mind before the drama happens.

From teachings at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s center in San Jose, CA, Ocean of Compassion Buddhist Center, in 2018.