How to Understand the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind

How to Understand the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind

by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, August 29


This book offers us deep insight into our mind, and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in every day experience to improve our lives.

Part 1 is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind - showing how to recognize and abandon states of mind that harm us, and to replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones.

Part 2 describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of the Buddhist understanding of the mind. It concludes with a detailed explanation of meditation, showing how by controlling and transforming our mind we can attain a lasting state of joy, independent of external conditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781906665821
Publisher: Tharpa Publications
Publication date: 08/01/2014
Edition description: 1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 760,641
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism who has pioneered the introduction of modern Buddhism into contemporary society. He is the author of 22 highly acclaimed books that transmit perfectly the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded over 1200 Kadampa Buddhist Centers and groups throughout the world.

In his teachings, Geshe Kelsang emphasizes the importance of meditation and how to apply it in daily life. He reveals practical methods for developing wisdom, cultivating a good heart and maintaining a peaceful mind through which we can all find true and lasting happiness. Demonstrating these qualities perfectly in his own life, Geshe Kelsang has dedicated his whole life to helping others find inner peace and happiness.

Read an Excerpt


We should know that in recent years our understanding and control of the external world have increased considerably and as a result we have witnessed remarkable material progress, but there has not been a corresponding increase in human happiness. There is no less suffering in the world today, and there are no fewer problems. Indeed, it might be said that there are now more problems and greater unhappiness than ever before. This shows that the cause of happiness and the solution to our problems do not lie in knowledge or control of the external world. Happiness and suffering are feelings - parts of our mind - and so their main causes are not to be found outside the mind. If we really want to be truly happy and free from suffering we must improve our understanding of the mind.

When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations, we tend to regard the situation itself as the problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from our mind. If we were to respond to difficult external situations with a positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us; indeed we may even come to regard them as challenges or opportunities for the growth and development of our happiness. Problems arise only if we respond to difficult external situations with a negative state of mind. Therefore, if we really want to be free from problems we must learn to control our mind by controlling our desire.

By controlling our desire we can make ourself happy all the time. This is because uncontrolled desire is the source of all suffering and problems. We have strong attachment to the fulfilment of our own desires, and because of our uncontrolled desire we human beings create so many problems and dangers in the world. We experience so many problems because we are unable to control our desire. By controlling our desire we can be free from all problems.

The instructions presented in this book are methods for controlling our mind, such as our attachment to the fulfilment of our own wishes. Especially, through studying and practising the different subjects and topics presented in this book, we can improve ourself and advance from the state of an ignorant lower being to that of a higher and higher being and finally to the highest state, that of an enlightened being. We human beings have this opportunity, and it is this that makes our life very precious and meaningful. Animals such as dogs do not have this opportunity, no matter how intelligent they are. We should recognize how fortunate we are and rejoice in our good fortune.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
June 4, 2013

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is Our Mind?
  • How the Mind is Able to Move
  • The Gross, Subtle and Very Subtle Minds
  • Primary Minds and Mental Factors
  • The Five All-accompanying Mental Factors
  • The Eleven Virtuous Mental Factors
  • Virtue, Non-virtue and Delusion
  • The Six Root Delusions
  • The Twenty Secondary Delusions
  • The Four Changeable Mental Factors
  • Part Two:
  • Conceptual and Non-Conceptual Minds
  • Sense and Mental Awarenesses
  • Direct Perceivers
  • Subsequent Cognizers
  • Re-cognizers
  • Correct Beliefs
  • Non-ascertaining Perceivers
  • Non-deluded Doubts
  • Wrong Awarenesses
  • Valid and Non-valid Cognizers
  • Meditation
  • Meditation of a person of initial scope
  • Meditation of a person of intermediate scope
  • Meditation of a person of great scope
  • Conclusion
  • Dedication
  • Appendix I - The Condensed Meaning of the Text
  • Appendix II - Sadhanas
  • Liberating Prayer
  • Essence of Good Fortune
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Study Programmes of Kadampa Buddhism
  • Tharpa Offices Worldwide
  • Index


We often say, 'My mind, my mind', but if someone were to ask us, 'What is your mind?', we would have no correct answer. This is because we do not understand the nature and function of the mind correctly."

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews