Nothing is beyond our creativity, nor is anything beyond our mind. This is the universal truth, because the Mind creates everything. The Mind manifests everything, and the Mind interconnects everything.
In our daily lives, the things that happen to us are results and phenomena. To overcome the hindrances in our lives or resolve the problems we encounter daily, or to improve the results and uplift ourselves, we need to change from the root, that is our mind, the creator. Thoughts are created; phenomena are created and manifested. From the root–our mind–we create or regenerate the thought and phenomena. The mind is the cause, and the phenomenon we face is the result. We need to change everything from the cause, which is our mind. This is very important.
Thus I teach students that we need to practice “nothing beyond the mind” every day. This is a very important practice. We should bring everything together and put everything in our minds. When we see a view, a person’s good aspects or bad things, it is because our mind is connected to the realm. Our minds create the realm, and our minds are connected to it. Accordingly, our mind is manifesting the realm. The “realm,” in this sense, encompasses the phenomenon.
When we see something, we see the function of our mind and we see different portions of ourselves. When we hear something, it is because our mind opens the channel and allows us to hear something. No matter what we see or what we hear, it is nothing beyond our own creation, nothing beyond our own karma and nothing beyond our own mind. This means our mind manifests our karma. Your mind is manifesting your own karma, your own voice, and your own phenomena. It is because nothing is beyond the mind.
When we blame or scold someone or something, it means we separate ourselves. One part we call ourselves, the other part we call outside, or someone else. Phenomena are together; they cannot be separated. Energy cannot be separated or divided. If you still think this person creates problems or this person creates something to affect your life , with that kind of thinking you separate your karma into two portions. However, you try to push part of your portion away. The real problem is not the person. Instead, the real problem is that your mind is creating the problem. Our mind is creating our own relationship. In the relationship, we think this person is outside ourselves. We separate our relationship so that it becomes two portions. One is my thought–my physical body–and the other is outside my physical body. We call that “outside.” Actually, the inside and the outside are connected. They are one, so they cannot be separated. This is very important.
If we want to resolve the situation and find the solution in life, we need to find the root of the problem. The result is not the cause of the problem, but the result comes from the cause. For example, the fruit of that tree is sour. It is because the seeds of sour fruits are not the sweet kind. We need to plant the sweet kind of seed in order to harvest sweet fruit from the tree. What do I mean by sweet seeds? We need to focus on the cause that can create the result. We all want to resolve the problematic situations in life, and we all want to have a better life. Phenomena, situations and existences in every single moment are manifested or created by the mind. Our mind is full of creativity. For example, we can create a smiling face, but we also can create a sad face and lots of suffering. Everything is created by the mind, and therefore we should practice nothing beyond the mind.
When we practice this way, we bring everything together. Because we have an ego, we separate ourselves from oneness. If we practice this way–nothing beyond the mind–we realize that what we see or hear is part of ourselves. Thus we are able to bring everything together and become one, without separation, and we have an opportunity to put everything together to become one. This is very important. That is what I tell the students. We should practice this way: nothing beyond the mind.
We will have wandering thoughts as we begin the practice of meditation. We should think that the wandering thoughts are created by ourselves. Do not follow wandering thoughts. Do not let your mind continue to generate wandering thoughts, either in meditation or in daily life. Nothing is beyond your mind. If you elevate your mind status and purify your mind, it will be able to create and manifest a better phenomenon. In order to have a better phenomenon, which is a better life, we must first purify our mind. To elevate the mind has nothing to do with phenomena, because phenomena are created by the mind. Therefore, we cannot create a better phenomenon if the mind is not elevated. It is essential.
If you have anger in daily life, it means you have already separated yourself from oneness and become two portions. You have completely forgotten the meaning of oneness. You have also forgotten what “nothing beyond the mind” means. You have separated your physical body and recognized one portion as “my concept, my idea and my physical body,” and then you isolated this portion of yourself. Based on the concept, you do not want to accept what is occurring right now. However, isn’t what is happening right now reality? Yes, it is. You can never push the reality aside. Reality is the reality of right now. According to your habitual ego concept, you separate yourself from the oneness, but meanwhile you do not want to accept what is happening at that moment. You live with duality. In this very moment, you should tell yourself, “I am creating the situation for myself.” Put down the ego and accept the reality, so that two portions become one. Nothing is beyond the mind.
You are the one who is creating the reality and phenomenon at this moment. First, what is happening is the reality, but who is the person creating the reality? It is “yourself.” So, when we have emotions, it means that the identity or ego is working. When the ego concept appears, we completely lose the concepts of oneness and “nothing beyond the mind.” We start to separate ourselves and live in the duality. One portion is my ego, or my body, and the other portion is outside the world. You don’t want to accept something outside the world that is happening right now. Thus your oneness becomes duality. Then, you start to complain, blame someone else or scold someone. You become moody and experience depression. Your ego separates the truth; it separates the oneness. Your ego does not want to accept the reality. This action is against the idea of oneness, and it is against the concept of “nothing beyond the mind”. So, in this very moment we have to ask ourselves to accept the reality no matter what happens to us. Practice this way. When we have emotions, we must check ourselves. Having emotions implies that one does not want to accept the reality that he or she is creating at that moment. This is very important. Even if you do not want to accept the reality that is happening right now, the reality is still here. The key issue is how you can change the reality. It does not matter whether or not you want to accept the reality. If you want to accept it, the reality is there. If you do not want to accept the reality, it is still there. The real issue is how you can change the reality. In order to change the reality, we must find its cause, which is the creativity of our mind. Our empty mind is creating the phenomenon, the reality, right now. In order to change the reality, we need to have our mind changed or recreate another phenomenon and reality. Thus the mind is the cause; the mind is the creator. Think about this: the mind is God, and we should ask God to recreate a new reality for us. God is your mind. If you practice this way, you will have more freedom. You will have more time to put down the things that bother you in life, and you will have more freedom. We truly can uplift ourselves, and we really can fix the reality that we do not want. No one would like to accept the ugly reality, but how can we make a better and more wonderful reality occur? This is the main issue. If you do not want to accept the ugly reality–if you push it away–you can never do this. It is because the ugly reality is created and generated by your mind. The only way to have a wonderful, perfect reality is to have your mind recreate, regenerate and manifest a better reality. This is what it says in the Sutra: Do not become attached to the phenomenon. The phenomenon is created, generated and manifested. If we are much too moody and emotional, we are against the creation. It is not only hurting ourselves, but in the meantime we have no chance to regenerate, recreate and fix the reality.
Consider the situation in which we would usually give rise to anger. What should we do? Reality is there, and this is the truth. First, it has nothing to do with whether you have anger or a calm mind. Secondly, we want to change the reality. The reality is created. Do you think that with anger in your mind the reality can be changed and become better? It cannot. So, this is the issue. If there is fear in your mind, do you think the reality can be changed for the better? It cannot. However, with a calm mind a better reality can be generated. What is your purpose? Our purpose is to create a better reality. Our purpose is not to experience or use anger. If you do not want to accept the reality, it does not mean you know how to create a better reality. A mind with fear or negative emotions can never create a better reality but only creates more of a mess. Later, you will have to go back and fix the results you created when you were angry. This is not saving your time but only makes more of a mess. To fix the reality more efficiently, we need to return to a calm mind. The different statuses of our mind, and the different concepts in our mind, can create different phenomena. Only with the right condition in mind can we create the right phenomenon or reality. Think about this: A mind with fear can never create security; a mind with delusion can never create a clear phenomenon; and a mind with anger can never create something perfect.
Calmness brings forth clarity. With calmness in mind, you will have more power to generate the right thoughts and handle the reality. What do I mean by the word “handle”? When you have a different mood, you treat people differently. Therefore, you get a different result. So, what is the matter? The matter is not the physical aspect but the status of your mind. With different status in mind and different levels of calmness in mind, you treat people differently and obtain a different result. This is what I mean by elevating calmness in order to elevate your wisdom. After we put down the negative emotions in mind, we will be able to have more wisdom. When the wisdom of your mind emerges, you will have the ability to generate a better reality. A different emotion will create a reality that corresponds to the status of the mind. This is an important message for every student. We should put the concept of “nothing beyond the mind” into practice. Thus I create my own reality. You should tell yourself, “With a different emotion in mind, I will be able to create a different reality corresponding to my emotion.”
It is the same in the case of leadership, for example if you run a company. You must realize that you are the center of the universe, the center of your company, the center of your employees’ emotions and the center of your employees’ actions. First, you should make your mind stable, and then you will have a better reaction to your employees. In turn, your employees will manifest a better perspective. With a different level of calmness of your mind, you will have a different relationship and perspective with regard to your employees. The calmer your mind is, the more angles you will have to connect with your employees. This is the real way you can manage your company. For example, if this is the same level of your mind and you use it to deal with your employees, nothing will change. If you practice, you will have different concepts from your mind and can then connect your employees from different angles. That is what we call improvement. This is the real idea behind “handling” your situation. For example, let us say you want to clean up the mess on the table, but you are still sitting there. You just stretch your hands and try to arrange everything. You can only arrange a little bit. You can fix only a little bit of it. This is because you are still sitting there. What can you change? You can only change a little. If you stand up, you will have a greater opportunity and ability to change. Most of the people try to stay in the same place and hope the reality changes for them, but that is not correct. Your chances are severely limited. What do I mean when I say “sitting over there”? The status of your mind is here, but you never change status of your mind. You want to create a new reality based on this kind of creativity, but it is very limited. If you uplift yourself, you will have more ability to create a new reality. This is what we call real management. It is the real way to handle a situation. I used to tell students that they should first go to the Zen hall when they have problems in mind. Go to the Zen hall in your house, if you have one, and burn the incense. Make full prostrations and calm your mind. If you do not have a Zen hall, you should go back to the purity of your mind, which is the real Zen hall. You will be able to calm everything down. The real Zen hall is the calmness and purity of the mind. Gradually, you will be able to change.
A person might wonder how to respond when people are shouting at him or saying terrible things. Should you let it pass over you? What will you react? Should you shout back? Would that work for you? Sometimes, it only causes more problems. Make your mind like a mountain. Let the wind blow against you and pass you. If you do this, you will lose nothing. If you move or start to shout back, because of the shouting, no matter what is created in your mind–whether negative emotions or negative thoughts–you will be the first who is affected by them. Is that what you want? The shouting makes you feel uncomfortable. That is the first hurt. Then, you force yourself to shout back, which generates hatred or negative emotions. This is the second layer of hurt. Do you want to make this happen? People think it is cowardly not to shout back or fight back. No. Have wisdom in mind, and be smart! For example, if a dog is barking at you, what you are going to do? Should you bark back? It is not necessary. When someone is in a negative mood, somehow he loses his wisdom completely.
Remember to make your mind calm and be an observer. Be the observer of your physical body, your mood and the environment. Nothing is beyond the observer. Change your position as an observer, and you will have a different view.