Naturally enough, I’d like the mind to be happy or at least co-operative, and may assume that that necessitates being in a good mood. There’s attachment to pleasant contact, or contact with things that we understand and feel familiar with. There is a powerful inclination to just contact that which is stable and secure.
There is a middle way here: it’s not that one should be choiceless and unguarded, but one’s choice should be based on inclination towards what is wholesome, rather than desirable on other counts. There is a kind of ease that arises from being blameless or at least ‘facing up to the music’: provided that one is ‘in tune’ and can contemplate uncomfortable states in terms of Dhamma.
So we guard ourselves from greed, jealousy and spite, but not from insecurity or uncertainty. The variability that occurs in terms of situations, people, moods and states is a sign of Dhamma. It provides the right focus for the heart. There can be a lot of seeking to find stability or permanence in an idea or a system or a group or a community, a job, a position — or a meditation practice. We can try to mould ourselves upon it and then try to bend life around to fit. This is a hindrance to the path, although quite a subtle one.
It’s only when we realize that all security is really taking away freedom and purity of presence that relinquishment comes about and we enter the Dhamma at a deep level.
This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Kalyana, (pdf) p.105.