From Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching: “Our store consciousness contains the seeds of all of these energies. When joy or anger is not present in our mind consciousness, we may say, “I don’t have that,” but we do. It’s below, in our store consciousness. Under the right conditions, that seed will manifest. We may say, “I’m not angry. I don’t have anger in me,” but anger is still there in our unconscious mind. Everyone has a seed of anger lying dormant, below, in our store consciousness. When we practice, our effort is to water positive seeds and let the negative seeds remain dormant. We don’t say, “Until I’ve gotten rid of all my bad seeds, I can’t practice.” If you get rid of all your unwholesome seeds, you won’t have anything to practice. We need to practice now with all the unwholesome seeds in us. If we don’t, the negative seeds will grow and cause a great deal of suffering…

Practice… is a matter of cultivating the earth of our store consciousness and sowing and watering good seeds. Then, when they arise into our mind consciousness and become flowers and fruits, they will scatter more good seeds throughout our store consciousness. If you want wholesome seeds to be in your mind consciousness, you need the condition of continuity. ‘Fruits of the same nature’ will resow wholesome seeds in you.”

This is helpful commentary for reflecting on Paul’s Works of the Flesh and Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-26.



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