We must stop reacting and start replying mindfully.
Reacting behaviour is one of the main hindrances in our spiritual advancement.
Here I am mostly referring to the mental reactions and chain of thoughts that involuntary start developing in our own mind.
Think about it. Whenever someone says or does something ‘wrong’ our first reaction is that of outrage, anger.
But what is right or wrong. What is this anger. WHo is angry and towards whom? Have we asked this fundamental questions and gotten their answer first before we get so reactive.
This ‘instant reaction’ leads to a chain reaction of thoughts (mostly negative) and other ‘reactions’.
Realize that when you are doing this you are :
1. Losing your focus from the present moment to some imaginary moment/universe.
2. Creating more karma for yourself which binds you further in this world.
Hence thinking that we are ‘right’ and others are ‘wrong’ is a very unwise outlook towards life.
It doesn’t really matter if you are right or not.
Hence the best course of action is to not react but understand deeply. Then if there is a reply / action needed in that moment we should do it mindfully.
If there is nothing that can be done in that moment, it is unproductive to get lost in a train of thoughts and create further internal anguish about the situation. (like I said, regardless of whether we are right or wrong)
What this does not mean:
This does not mean that you become inert and don’t do anything.
We all have our dharma (duty) in this world and have to do our karma(action) accordingly.
e.g. if you are a policeman and your duty is to stop injustice you have to consider the situation and act accordingly and mindfully.
What this does mean:
In most situations, whenever we disagree with a person or situation, instead of reacting (in our own mind), we should:
1. Accept the current situation in the present moment (because it has already happened).
2. Watch the train of thoughts of emotion (outrage, anger, that arise) and kill them at their root. Realize that the world is karmic and everything happens according to people’s karma.
Hence it’s unwise to react mentally.
3. If you feel inspired to act, act on it mindfully. This action can be a verbal reply and physical action, a plan for action, etc.
I am no one. I am also a learner like you. If you have any thoughts or comments please comment below I would love to discuss.
Human beings are never content regardless of their external situation.
In other words, a human being’s satisfaction is not related to his external situation.
It is only related to his state of mind. This is 100% inside him (intrinsic not extrinsic).
Human’s in developing countries express dissatisfaction at more fundamental issues.
As fulfulmient progresses (let’s use maslow’s heirarchy as our development/fulfilment model), the cause of dissatisfaction/concern changes accordingly.
Even so, the basic feeling felt is similar(not including physical wants like food, shelter, etc. The subject of this article is mental discontentment, viz. suffering in Buddhism )
The only difference is the object of dissatisfactionchanges (e.g. from the unavailablity of food, to the unavaiabilitty of infrastructure, to the sub par performance of socieity/government to the lack of external love and so forth … ad infinitum.
When I lived in India, the poor people were unhappy with the unavailablity of food, lack of safety net for their future, etc. These are all very valid concerns.
The middle class are unhappy with religious conflicts, lack of social status, monetary issue, etc
The (monetarily ) rich people were unhappy with the government, Modi, Gandhi, Trump, etc.
When I moved to Singapore, where people were well off, their future secure, their stomachs well fed; they were unhappy with things like inability to buy a car, train system breaking down 1% of the time (even thought they were priveledged to have top 10 in the world level of public transport), etc.
Hence the level of happiness, internal satisfaction is empirically seen to be almost entirely unrelated to one’s life situation (i.e social status, wealth, etc)
With that thesis, we can logically derive the following conclusions:
Conclusion 1: The human condition is beget with mental anguish. This is inescapable and is not resolved by changing one’s outside situation.
Conclusion 2: we must seek the way out within ourselves.
Man, mistaking himself to be the doer of actions also mistakes himself to be the enjoyer of results.
Reaping the fruits of his previous karma, he gets either prideful or frustrated about the his life situation mistaking himself to be the cause of it.
His forgetfulness makes him think the good/bad events in his life are a result of his success/failure.
The truth is we are just reaping the rewards of our karma from 50, 10, thousands, millions of years ago (from our millions of past lives).
When a person hits you with a stick, we dont consider the stick to be the cause of our pain.
Similarly considering ourself the cause of our life situation and getting either excited or sad is like blaming the stick for hitting you.
The logical thing to do is not to react to our life situation and only do actions (surrendering to him) which create more love and peace in and for the world(starting with your ownself).
Oh foolish man, surrender everything to his will and be happy forever. Look within and you will discover riches beyond your imagination.
Note for non-believers:
If this were not so, why are some so-called ‘evil/bad’ people seemingly successful and possessing all things which are deemed ‘good’ (like power, money, fame, etc)? Similarly why are some seemingly good people leading a life full of misfortune?
There can be possibilities for this:
1. law of karma (continue reading above)
2. nature is chaotic/random chance
But nature is not chaotic. This is being proved again and again by scientists. Order is discovered even at the quantum level (Quantum mechanics is not chaotic, but probabilistic.)
I see a lot of people talking (sometimes satirically) about how bad 2016 was. After all, it does seem like it was a horrible year. So many ‘good’ people ‘died’. So much political turbulence was created in this world. No end in sight to all the terrorism’ and ‘wars’.
But … is death a bad thing?. How much power do politicians actually wield? Where is the real ‘war’ going on? All this are questions for another time. But today I want to talk about why 2016 was awesome.
2016 has been such a great year.
This mind-body failed a lot. It won sometimes. It was happy, it was sad sometimes. It was lonely, it was in love. Just another day at the office (AKA earth).
But I ask you guys, what is a year? What is a month? What is a day? What is an hour? We say time flies, but have we ever asked ourselves why it does that?
We think that time is linear. We assume it starts and then it ends. I tend to disagree with this notion – simply because I have never experienced time in any other form than this moment right now.
I experienced 2015 as now. Same for 2016. And 2017 too I will experience right now, in this moment. The 2015 you think of as past is not 2015, it’s just your memories of that time, a data dump in your brain if you will. It’s not real.
What is real is right now, the present. And the present moment is a wonderful thing. I find it so full of love, joy, happiness, giving, peace. All I want is right here. And all this is within me, I haven’t even started to look outside yet.
This is because each moment is now. And each moment you create your own reality.
The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you – Jesus
I used to think the world is a disgusting place. After all it seems to be full of murder and corruption. It seems we are destroying our own planet for our own greed for power and notes of paper (aka money). All this made me very upset, very angry with the world and my own life. Until I saw how wrong I was.
How does all this shit equate to a beautiful world, you might ask? To answer this question, we need to define the meaning of the word: “world”.
What is the world? Where is the world? Where does it spring from?
I want to encourage you to think about this for 2 minutes before you read further. Ask yourself: “where does the world come from“?
The world is nothing but a projection of reality that is within your self.
Ever been in love? Doesn’t the world seem like a beautiful place then, no matter how bad your current circumstances? Ever been scolded by someone? Doesn’t everything suddenly start to suck, even thought everything else in your life is fine and dandy? If you can relate with this, you have experiential knowledge of the world being at least slightly influenced by what is going on within you.
This little thought experiment is just a method to help you explore deeper on the reality of origin of the world.
If you look deeper, you will start to realize the fact that the entire world is within you and is generated by you.
When you project your hate to ‘the world’, try to think where/to whom you are projecting it to.
When you give something back to ‘the world’ realize where you are giving it to.
If the world is within you and time only exists in the present moment, what is left to hate?
Hence, 2001, 2010, 2016, 2020 – I love you.
Whatever a person’s mind dwells on intensely and with firm resolve, that is exactly what he becomes – Adi Shankaracharya