*Reality is conditionally created Every moment is a constant autonomous subconscious interpretation of perceived causes and conditions referenced against a personal arbitrary belief system to create a conditioned enduring sense of self.
*Attachment to self leads to suffering
*Non-Attachment to self leads to freedom from suffering Can one rest in the awareness of the experience that contains the story of self rather than be the sense of self that believes it is having the experience?
*Transformation from self-referential judgment to non-self referential discernment is the segue to liberation Can one reference experience against universal ethical and compassionate standards and not our personal belief system of unmet psychological needs?
We take such pride in being human. We are so advanced relative to any other living creature in the world. Just compare our mental abilities with a dog, cat, bird, elephant etc. However, are we really that superior to the rest of existence.
One of the main determining factors for our behavior is the biologic imperative of survival. We judge each moment against the marker of will it help one’s survival or not. We have a negative bias in that we are always scrutinizing whether the present moment is for our benefit or not. This historic primal evaluation of physical threat has now been replaced by psychological concerns. We as humans have “evolved” to a higher and different standard to reference all experience. There is no question we want to live but judging our existence against perceived psychological threats may actually limit our capacity to be present moment to moment with some peace and compassion. Just think of how our normal self-referential judging mind leads us to constant criticizing of our self, causing personal suffering.
Mindfulness is asking us to step back from this evolved instinctive reaction to each moment and rest in a new skillful relationship of awareness, stillness and choice. We are asked to De-evolve to a place that predates our apparent evolution to a conditioned created sense of self to non-interpretative knowing of experience.
Is the ultimate goal of mindfulness EGOCIDE? Do we need to kill our ego to be free of self? Who would you be in this world if you weren’t your sense of self? How would you navigate your existence? Pay your bills, have a job and family and interact with others. The sense of self plays an important functional role.
The key to freedom from pain and suffering is to understand the true nature of self. That it is a temporary conditional construct arising moment to moment dependent on one’s habitual patterning. It is the ability to live the paradox of self. To hold self as if it is real, but know that it is an illusion. Not true. To be present in life non-attached to the sense of self. It is a relationship of co-existence, not annihilation.
Where is a thought? What is a thought? Can you touch it? Can you feel it? Empty of form When a thought comes does it hold you tightly? Invisible chains Real as steel Full of form Thought is empty Thought has form Is thought empty form? Is thought formed emptiness?
“Is it about being in the now OR being ok with whatever is now”
When people talk about mindfulness the impression is that it is all about being in the present moment. “The Joy of Being in the Now.” But is that what mindfulness is about? If you are aware of your sadness, guilt, shame and anger you may actually be MORE sad, guilty, shameful and angry. You are suddenly aware of what you are feeling while previously you were lost in the emotion and did not know what you knew. You may actually suffer more with being in the now!
There is no question that knowing what is present is key because if you didn’t know what was happening you would not have the capacity to understand how to act on it. What is it that one wants in the present moment? We interpret every experience and it is that judgment that determines whether we feel suffering or joy. The essence of mindfulness is what you do with what you know. Can you be present in a skillful relationship with whatever your present moment experience is?