“Our mind is a succession of moments of awareness – and these moments of present awareness cannot be extended. We cannot say: “Thoughts, please stop for a moment so that I may look at you and understand you”. Trying to stop the movements of our mind, in order to look at a thought or insight more carefully, blocks the natural, spontaneous dynamics of the mind. There is no point in trying to seize an insight so that we can look at it closely. In true insight, there is nothing that could be looked at or understood.
As long as we cherish the desire to understand something, to define and explain it, we miss the real point of our practice and continue in our ordinary mental fixation. If we wish to appropriate an insight, there needs to be someone who wants to understand something – and immediately we create the ‘I’, the thinker. In reality, there is nobody who understands and no object that is to be understood – there simply is only seeing. As soon as we cling to an ‘I’, there is no more seeing.
If we are dissatisfied with the prospect of not being able to understand, that is because we wish to have something for ourselves. We hope to be able to control and master things. But in truth we cannot control or understand anything. If we wish to arrive at true understanding, we must let go of all personal desire. We should search for the thinker who wants to understand and control. Then we will see that we cannot find them, since they do not exist as such. If there is no thinker, then it is only natural that there is no understanding of thought processes and the mind.”
Gendun Rinpoche in “Heart Advice of a Mahamudra Master“