The sky is pure, open space, free from all obstructions. The nature of our mind is similar: the afflictions, self-centered attitude, and other obscurations are not in its essential nature. Just as clouds may temporarily obscure the open sky, anger, attachment, and confusion can temporarily obscure our mind. When they do, the pure, open nature of the mind still remains; we just can’t see it at the time.
By generating the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence, we will be able to eradicate obscurations from our mind forever and enjoy the sky-like spaciousness of a purified mind.
I will eat in moderation. Reflecting wisely, I shall eat neither for amusement nor for self-indulgence, nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the endurance and continuance of this body, for ending discomfort, and for supporting the holy life.
Thus, I shall terminate old desires without arousing new desires, I shall be healthy and blameless, and shall live peacefully.
Precepts help us to see our impulses, how we follow them, and the results. The restraint and restriction of the Precepts give us a sense of stopping. With reflective awareness, we begin to notice how strong the mind’s impulses and compulsions can be. We see them as mental objects rather than as needs we must fulfill.
Even though the mind sometimes screams, “I can’t take any more of this,” the truth of the matter is that we can take more. Human beings have amazing powers of endurance. If we learn to endure and not just be caught in the momentum of impulsivity, then we begin to find a strength in our practice. We do not have to be slaves to habits and impulses.
Within the body of sentient beings is the indestructible essence of Buddhahood. It is like the sun disk, pure from the beginning, expansive, vast, and without limits. Because it is covered and obstructed by the heavy clouds of the five aggregates (form, sensations, perceptions, formations, consciousnesses), sentient beings do not see it.
When they meet the wind of insight, the heavy clouds of the five aggregates are cleared away, and once they are gone, the Buddha essence shines everywhere, a vivid and pure presence.