It is my daughter's birthday this week and I am reminded that when she was five or six years old, she wrote and illustrated a thought more profound than I’m sure she knew:
Such is the wisdom of the innocent. But how do we know if “it is good and something [we] want” or something that’s not so good for us? We can only know by cultivating clear seeing, developing what Ajahn Chah called the Eye of Dhamma or the “one who knows.” The path of practice is to continually cultivate a mind aware of itself. In seeing how the mind works, we understand how mind creates the world.
This is a fundamental insight of vipassana.
Most of the world “out there” is manufactured internally. It’s certainly true that stuff happens, but the interpretation is entirely my own. As I gain confidence in my ability to see clearly, discriminatory wisdom grows. I’m better able to decide if something is “good” or “bad” based on whether the contemplated action or activity will create suffering for me or for others. Armed with awareness, I can take the skillful path. Armed with awareness, I can “let [unskillful actions] fall on the ground.”