“no idea”

Excerpt from “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching” by Thich Nhat Hanh

To practice is to go beyond ideas, so you can arrive at the suchness of things. “No idea conception. As long as there is an idea, there is no reality, no truth. “No idea” means no wrong idea, no wrong conception. It does not mean no mindfulness. Because of mindfulness, when something is right, we know it’s right, and when something is wrong, we know it’s wrong.

We are practicing sitting meditation, and we see a bowl of tomato soup in our mind’s eye, so we think that is wrong practice, because we are supposed to be mindful of our breathing. But if we practice mindfulness, we will say, “I am breathing in and I am thinking about tomato soup.” That is Right Mindfulness already. Rightness or wrongness is not objective. It is subjective.

Relatively speaking, there are right views and there are wrong views. But if we look more deeply, we see that all views are wrong views. No view can ever be the truth. It is just from one point; that is why it is called a “point of view.” If we go to another point, we will see things differently and realize that our first view was not entirely right.

Buddhism is not a collection of views. It is a practice to help us eliminate wrong views. The quality of our views can always be improved. From the viewpoint of ultimate reality, Right View is the absence of all views.

About Still Water Sangha of MN

We are a community, formed with enthusiasm and joy, practicing Mindfulness and Meditation together in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. We meet on Monday nights from 7-8:30pm in a private home in Stillwater, Minnesota.
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