The deluded power of habit ~ Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

If we are attracted to objects which affect us, we must remember that it is not external reality which affects us, but only our previous habit of the reality of those objects reflecting back to us.

As long as we have dualistic mind, we always think objects affect each other, but these effects are only the activity of habit created by the passions.

For example, when we are awake, if we are attracted to someone through the habit of a previous karmic connection and create more habit through our attraction, we may begin to dream about this person.

Also, just as our waking phenomena affect our dream phenomena, our dream attachment affects our waking phenomena. If we dream that we are separated from the person to whom we are attracted, we may awaken feeling sad, and if we dream we are united with this person, we may awaken feeling happy.

The strength of karmic effects depends on the strength of the passions formed by the mind’s reflections and the energy of intention. For example, the winner of a game may be satisfied by winning, while the loser may think continuously about his frustrated desire to win. The loser, therefore, trains his mind with the energy of strong intention, which creates the new karmic form of the habit of winning.

In a future game, the loser may conquer his opponent with the new energy he has created from his reaction to his previous defeat. But samsaric losers and winners never realize that they are only playing against their minds’ apparitions, making what does not exist seem to exist through the deluded power of habit.

Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

from the book White Sail: Crossing the Waves of Ocean Mind to the Serene Continent of the Triple Gems

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