Bhikkhus*, I do not see even one other thing that when tamed leads to such great good as the mind. A tamed mind leads to great good.
The Buddha - Numerical Discourses Book I, 32 (2).
*'Bhikkhus' means 'monks' but has come to mean all those who follow the path of the Buddha
Ghatikara Dhamma Centre
Ghatikara Dhamma Centre (GDC) is an online Buddhist workshop, retreat, and personalized one-on-one resource. GDC adheres to Theravada Buddhist instructions and a strict moral conduct of harmlessness but it has a Mahayana heart with an emphasis on heartfulness, friendship, compassion, and humility. The centre draws all its teachings from the Buddha's Suttas (discourses). GDC's aim is to provide instructions and resources for practitioners at all stages, from new seeker to beginner to experienced, to assist them on their path to the highest happiness.
Your best friend comes to you with a complaint. They tell you they suffer due to negativity, sometimes they are angry, sometimes they are sad, sometimes they are jealous. They are confused about what is harmful and what is not, who is good company and who is not, what is permanent and what is not. Your friend is at the mercy of so many painful, confused, and deluded thoughts.
Because you are kind, you tell your friend to look at these painful feelings, to study them, to remedy them where possible, and to walk away from them when they are too powerful. Your friend agrees to do this and goes away.
After some time, your friend comes back and tells you that half of their painful thoughts and feelings have dissolved by themselves, all they did was follow your directions to be mindful, harmless, and to meditate and now they feel so free and happy. You tell your friend to be patient and keep trying. Even though your friend thinks it's not possible to be any happier, they agree to keep trying and go away.
After some more time, they return elated and tell you that they are now almost completely free of all mental and emotional pain and suffering. You rejoice in their progress but you ask them, if you take medicine that frees you of fever six days of the week, why not take it on the seventh and be completely free of fever?
Your friend thinks it may not be possible to be completely free of suffering and asks you, isn't the human condition one of at least a little suffering? You answer your friend by reminding them that they were first able to get rid of half of their suffering, then they were able to get rid of most of their suffering, so they should try to get rid of the rest of their suffering, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of everyone whose lives they touch.
Your friend is convinced and goes away again where they strive with effort and precision until all their suffering comes to cessation and they are completely freed, light, and imperturbable.
This is our potential relationship with ourselves. We start by befriending ourselves with all our heart and then we steadily develop, breath by breath, year by year, until we attain the goal we can all strive for but some of us, due to being misled, stop short of our full and practicable potential. The path is simple but subtle and we work with what we know: our suffering, not with a fantasy of enlightenment. We endure the challenges of relentless practice because suffering is even more challenging...and relentless.
Buddhism is the solution to human suffering: it is why the Buddha taught 82,000 teachings all concerned with suffering and the overcoming of suffering. We do not rely on beliefs or on external agents to transform our life, we take responsibility for every thought, every word, and every action and we turn the weed-ridden garden of the mind into a simple, fragrant, weed-free garden that is always in perfect bloom.
I take refuge in the Buddha, The great teacher who was self-liberated to the Supreme Enlightenment through his own efforts and by his own wisdom; the one who shows me that complete freedom is possible
I take refuge in the Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha and his greatest disciples; the teaching that when correctly and diligently undertaken can lead me to the threshold of freedom
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community of liberated followers of the Buddha and the Dhamma, whose wisdom, direction, and love I can always count on until I am freed through my own efforts