What do you think is the most curious thing to explore? the outer world including the planet, oceans, lands, space, solar system and the universe itself or the inner world which is your mind, spirituality, psychology, consciousness and awareness?
We often think that we should explore the outer space by making space shuttles. Today people are making their efforts to discover space. Exploring space using physical tools and machines may be too limited when it comes to acquiring accurate knowledge. We can get a bit knowledge and utilize it for limited purposes. However, this are all worldly and not worth to explore for when it comes to a practical level.
Buddhist view of the world is that what we refer as “World” is within the fathom-long body. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the (World) cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."
-S.N. Rohitassa Sutta
All living beings, be they human or non-human, are constituted of a physical element and a mental element. The two may be said to be comprised of the following:
- The physical element is constituted of a body or material substance
- The mental element has four sub-sets of aggregates or collections:
- Sensations, feelings
- Mental formations
The two elements are mutually dependant, with complementary roles to play in securing the well-being of the individual concerned. Both should be kept in balance; neither being permitted to assume predominance over the other. Sadly, the reality is that very often the mental element finds a way of dominating the physical element with disastrous consequences for the individual.
This mutuality of interests can, for example, be seen in the relationship between the captain of a ship and the vessel he leads. The captain must ensure that the ship is steered in the direction he desires it to travel and the ship must respond accordingly, not seeking to strike out on a route of its own seeking to the detriment of all concerned.
To take another example, consider the case of a cripple and a blind person. One cannot walk and the other cannot see. But if they pooled their resources and go the aid of the other they could make life more tolerable for both.
When the five constituents of the physical and mental elements identified above assumes a dominant position in the lives of individuals, suffering and/or unhappiness results. They all share the same characteristics as follows:
- Impermanence – change and decay
- Constant change of both mind and body creates unhappiness
- Because of this intrinsic nature of impermanence of the constituents of the physical and mental elements, nothing lasts forever and we have no full control over anything.
Mindfulness of body and mind is a powerful tool for identifying these universal characteristics – NOT as theory but as actual personal experience. Seeing the reality of this mind and body as they are, is essential to finding true happiness.