32. Onde é nossa mente?
32. Where is our mind?
It is easy to recognize our physical bodies by using our five senses, however, it is hard to define where we have our mind. Some say that our mind is in our brain. Others may say that our mind is in our heart. Most scientists say that our brains control all of our physical and mental activities. If this is true, what is guiding the growth of a small embryo? Why do people undergo parental training during the pregnancy? If our mind is in our heart, when a doctor performs heart transplant surgery for you, does your mind become the same as the donor's mind? Many patients who lose a portion of their bodies continue to feel itching or pain in their lost body part. There are many unsolved mysteries about our bodies and mind, even when you study today's advanced medical science.
In Buddhism, we believe that our spirit stays in our body while we are alive. The spirit is the core of our mind and we have many opportunities to add other features while we are living, such as emotion, instinct, knowledge, reason, etc. Each cell has a portion of our spirit. Each cell contains the unique identification of our body and mind, therefore, when a virus or some other bacterium tries to invade the body, the body starts working to destroy them. This we call the immune system of the body. Your identity remains in your body even when your physical body ceases to function. Therefore, when your organs are transplanted to another person, that person may face rejection problems depending upon the condition. The physical body is the medium of the mind. When the physical body cannot work as a medium anymore, this condition is called physical death, and the spirit goes back to the original source of life, just as a glass of water evaporates and merges into air moisture.
When we look at nature, we can see all the trees and plants which do not have brains, but grow regardless. They know when to bloom and when to bear fruit. All living things have spirit in their bodies, the same as human beings. We live differently because we have different body and brain systems. The concept of life, however, is the same.
There is a famous verse that we recite before meals. "I have eight thousands of tissues in my body, each tissue contains nine hundred thousands of cells. I take this food to sustain my life and my mind. May I attain the Buddhahood as all awakened ones realized before." How many of us can see the concept of life in this short verse?