What is the mind? The mind doesn’t have any form. That which receives impressions, both good and bad, we call mind. It is like the owner of a house. The owner stays at home while visitors come to see him. He is the one who receives the visitors. Who receives sense impressions? What is it that perceives? Who lets go of sense impressions?
That is what we call mind. But people can’t see it. They think themselves around in circles. “What is the mind, what is the brain?” Don’t confuse the issue like that. What is that which receives impressions? Some impressions it likes and some it doesn’t like. Who is that? Is there one who likes and dislikes? Sure there is, but you can’t see it. That is what we call mind.
Host and Guests
Your mind is like the owner of a house and the feelings are like the guests that come and go. But have only one chair in your house so you can see each guest clearly. See the moods and emotions that come to bother you, then let them go. Keep mindfulness in every posture. If you just follow your moods, you won’t see them.
These reflections by Ajahn Chah are from the book, A Tree in a Forest, (pdf) pp. 90, 89, respectively.