The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master said, “The way in which wholesome and unwholesome mental states arise from our nature, which is originally free from discrimination and attachment, is just like the way in which various types of crops or weeds grow in a field. The so-called ‘field of the mind’ is the foundation of our minds, for, just as we may cultivate a fallow field to make it into a productive one, so too we may cultivate the foundation of our minds in order to gain wisdom and merit; thus, the expression ‘cultivate the field of the mind’ was coined. Hence, people who cultivate their mind-fields well are like good farmers who keep weeding their fields again and again until they eliminate all the weeds and are growing only crops, thereby reaping a good harvest in the autumn. In the same way, you must investigate over and over the arising of wholesome and unwholesome mental states: when an unwholesome mental state arises, you must eliminate it over and over until you eliminate it completely, nourishing only the wholesome mental state so that wisdom and merit will always be abundant. People who do not cultivate their mind-fields well are like bad farmers who neglect their fields whether weeds or crops sprout there, and so have nothing to harvest in the autumn. In the same way, if one follows one’s mental states regardless of whether they are unwholesome or wholesome, and acts just as one pleases, one will encounter only suffering, and the path to wisdom and merit will recede still farther. Therefore, our myriads of transgressions and merits depend on nothing other than whether we cultivate our mind-fields well, or not. How then can we be negligent in this matter?”