Buddha Mind and the Incremental Steps to Enlightenment 

Buddha mind is best all the time. But a little bit is better than nothing. That should go without saying. Because this speaks to the nature of thought and the nature of consciousness, but mostly to the nature of awareness itself, sati, which is essential to the development of samadhi, a more meditative state which is probably the best one-word definition of ‘Buddha mind.’  

But the problem is the problem of any definition, or lack thereof, in which words compete with themselves for attention, and clarity is often lacking. After all: what is ‘mind,’ anyway? But I think that we can assume that whatever ‘mind’ is, then ‘Buddha-mind,’ must be the cooler (literally) and more meditative version of that, full of kindness and compassion, and with a heavy dose of intuitive wisdom, the kind less analytic, and much less critical.  

But my point is that this is not a yes-or-no binary choice. This is a choice of many incremental intermittent steps, and none is too insignificant along the pathway to enlightenment, whatever that is. Because this is a Mahayana concept, so a full step toward a transcendental Buddha, world-inhabiting and mind-manifesting; and a step away from the more (non) self-centered and discipline-oriented early Buddhism of Theravada, aka Hinayana. Don’t worry about enlightenment. I’m sure that we’ll all recognize it when we see it. The point is to make the world a better place. ASAP.