What changes, hopefully, is how we relate to them, how we become aware of their emptiness, and so are able to view ourselves and the world around us directly, with dispassion, free of labels, free of the intervention of the thinking mind. As the ancient Chinese poem, “Affirming Faith in Mind,” says. “When the mind rests undisturbed, nothing in the world offends, all obstructions cease to be, for things are things because of mind as mind is mind because of things.” When we are in this space there is no doubt or confusion, no fear or anxiety, no negativity or anger.
And how do we find that space and increase the amount of each day that we are in that space? Through meditation, practicing the Six Paramitas (generosity, virtuous conduct, understanding, enthusiastic effort and diligence, meditation/
concentration, and wisdom), and following the Noble Eightfold Path (Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration) ... but above all through meditation, the “gateway to freedom.”
Within the space of this post, I can’t address each of these aspects of practice. For more on the six paramitas, see my book, Scratching the Itch. For more on the Noble Eightfold Path see my recent post and many other sources. For more on meditation, see any of my books and various posts, but if you want a very detailed guide to meditation then go to one of the many sources out there that provide that.
Suffice it to say that incorporating these elements into your daily life is important both for the discipline it brings to your practice and also for the support these elements provide for staying on the path in the face of the challenges that our ego thinking-mind and our culture present. This is taking refuge in the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.