2023 marks my 51st year on this planet. As a way to structure the coming year, I have decided to review the 51 mental events throughout the year, 1 mental event per week. I was introduced to this material in a Nitartha Institute course, Mind & Its World II, and will be relying on this source material to help me review and really understand mind and mental events.
First, some definitions. In my review, unless otherwise indicated, all definitions come from the Lorik text by KTGR.
- primary mind: that which is aware of the essential nature of an object.
- mental event: that which is aware of the features of an object
There are six groups of mental events. The first group consists of five omnipresent mental events. They are called “omnipresent” because they accompany every primary mind. If any of the five omnipresent mental events is absent, then the experience of the object cannot be completed. The example given by Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen pertains to a sovereign not being able to go anywhere without their entourage.*
(mental event 1:51, omnipresent mental event 1:5)
ཚོར་བ་ (tshor ba)
feeling: that which is of the nature of experience
Every primary mind is accompanied by a feeling. Feelings can be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, experiences of happiness, suffering or indifference. Every primary mind. Every perception and every thought carries a positive, negative, or neutral charge.
The degree to which my virtuous, non virtuous, and neutral karma influences my experience is humbling to consider.
There is emphasis placed on the congruency of primary minds and mental events in the presentation by Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen in the Mind & Its World II text.
- Why do we care how primary minds and mental events are congruent? (Is this point made clear in a debate context?)
* bonus question: Wasn’t Buddha Shakyamuni a sovereign who managed to escape the palace without his retinue?