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Lions Roar : May 2014
In other words, distraction is fueled by the usual suspects: grasping, rejecting, and denial. So distraction is not just some mental tic. It is highly emotional. Although vikshepa is often translated as “distraction” or “mental wandering,” it refers more specifically to the wan- dering mind being drawn to objects that cause it to lose its ability to remain one-pointedly focused on virtue. So this term points to a specific kind of distraction—distraction from keeping your attention on what matters, on what is genuine and virtuous. The approach of learning how to pull our mind back when it wanders is a reactive one: we are learning how to respond to distractions. But as we get a little better at responding to external distractions, we discover an even more gigantic mountain of internal distractedness. We begin to notice how it is not just a matter of reacting to something outside us— we ourselves are continually creating distractions. We find that we need distractions, so we continually cook them up and keep them going. They are our companions, our pets. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche called our continual inner distractedness “subconscious gossip,” a kind of ongoing drone of thought fragments and opinions. As a corollary, he talked about what he called “entertainment mind.” This entertainment mind needs to be fed constantly. If there are no immediate distractions, it will manufacture new distractions TV Buddha by Nam June Paik PHOTOByPATRICkPOST/HOLLANDSEHOOgTE/REDUx We don’t just react to things outside us— we ourselves are continually creating distractions. We cook them up and keep them going. They are our companions, our pets. SHAMBHALA SUN MAy 2014 46