The Importance of Training

We all have the same issue to some degree or another, and it is overcome by all of us in only one way. Our issue is not that we are not enlightened, it is that enlightenment is obscured by the habitual patterns that we develop during our lifetimes. Training in meditation, in my humble opinion, is the only way to break through these obscurations. I am not one who generally sees much of anything as “absolute” but mind training, breaking down the habitual patterns and developing mindfulness is necessary if you want to work with yourself. At least you should train in some way to become familiar with how thoughts arise and how they influence your emotions and effect your body. Other than meditation or such a program, I haven’t learned of another way.

In my journey through life I have realized that my greatest fears have been (most of the time) magnified by how I perceive what is happening to me or around me. This has to do with what is commonly called the “subconscious.” The subconscious is where seeds are planted that grow and mature. For example, if you grow up in a culture where one group feels superior over another group, chances are that you will carry this into adulthood and for the rest of your life unless you become aware of it and work diligently to change it. You will feel that same sense (key word) of superiority because that is what you were taught and how you were “conditioned” to think and to act. To some degree it was that way when I was a child and a young adult. Personally, I was one of the lucky people that got immersed in the hippie culture of the day. I know there are those who thought all of us hippies were druggies, but that is not true. Yes, I experimented with lots of things, but I was also profoundly effected by the peace and love movement of which I was also a part.

Our five senses (hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling and smelling) are the gateways to the subconscious. It is through the senses that the “seeds” I mentioned before are planted and cultivated. If you have a bad experience as a very young child and you have the bad experience over and over again throughout your childhood and perhaps into adulthood, that “seed” will grow, mature and will cause you tremendous pain and suffering if you do not begin the practice of working on yourself. What is interesting is that I have heard those who would know say that bad things that happen even as early as birth and some say before birth can effect how you look at things for the rest of your life.

Please understand that I am not blaming anyone for tragic or bad things that happen to them. I am not implying that one can stop their feelings simply by deciding to to do so, on the spot. That is heartfelt advise, but it is impractical and probably to some extent impossible. That is, unless the person has been able to gain an understanding of themselves and how their mind works with their emotions to cause them grief and emotional pain.
There are very simple meditation techniques that one can employ to assist them in gaining control of their runaway mind. I do not use the term “monkey mind” as some do, because I think that monkeys are generally more in control of their minds and actions than some of us are as humans.

Our world is geared toward being successful at any cost, even if it means running over someone else. Unfortunately for the human race, it seems that over the past few years being hateful, rude and nasty stuff is leveled at those who disagree with others, or at those of a different race or sexual orientation or even at those who follow other religious paths. This has all been learned behavior and attitude. At least that is my observation. I am neither an expert, nor am I a whiz-bang at always meditating with great results, but I do know what I have observed in my own life.

This particular topic is one that I will continue on this blog in a few days. I want to present this material slowly and deliberately so that you have the time to read it, think about it, and perhaps, start a practice of meditation.

More very soon,

James at Musingly Mindful

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