Dalai Lama Quote from Snow Lion Publications

Snow Lion Publications

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

The crazy elephant of the mind behaving wildly
Is tied to the pillar of an object of observation
With the rope of mindfulness.
By degrees it is brought under control with the hook of wisdom.


“Wisdom” here is introspection. Hence, the example of taming an elephant indicates the achievement of a serviceable mind by way of the two–mindfulness and introspection. The subtle vajra that is the base on which the mind is being set is like a stable pillar to which an elephant is tied. The unserviceable mind is like an untamed elephant. Causing the mind not to be distracted from its object of observation through relying on mindfulness is like using a rope to tie an elephant. Setting the mind free from fault–when it does not hold the object of observation as originally set–through immediately recognizing such by means of introspection is like a herder’s hitting an elephant with a hook and correcting it when it strays from the tie-up.

Hence, there are two important factors with regard to holding the mind:
– From the beginning, stay on the object of observation without being distracted to anything other than it.
– Then if distracted, immediately recognize such, and again focus the mind as before.(p.94)

–from Yoga Tantra: Paths to Magical Feats by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Dzong-ka-ba and Jeffrey Hopkins, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications

Yoga Tantra • Now at 5O% off!
(Good until April 27th).

(For a pictorial explanation of this, see the Shamatha Meditation foldout.)

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