Our minds provide the only connection, the only interface we have with our lives, the universe and everything. How we use our minds is critical to absolutely every aspect of our lives and yet it is a sad fact that most people spend more time and money on their hairstyle than they do on their mind.
Add to this the fact that we are essentially emotionally driven beings and yet most of us have had little or zero training in recognising emotions as they arise in our bodies, what emotions are – let alone how they interact with thoughts and perception.
The mind and emotions have evolved to ensure just two things: that we survive and procreate, but in an environment radically different from the one in which we live.
Our perceptions, emotions and reactions which evolved on the African Savannah to keep us alive when for example, being hunted by lions is now triggered inappropriately by traffic jams, our annual performance review, increase in mortgage interest rates, being late for a meeting which, in turn, causes all sorts of unnecessary mental and physical suffering.
Many of us have an acquired prejudice against training our mind and emotions. In our ignorance we puff out our chests and take great pride in how we think. In our ignorance we identify too closely with our thoughts, in other words, our rational mind (as if that was all there was to know). Sadly our wonderful minds are mostly used to justify our emotions. The result is that we all live each in our own bubble called the “me centred universe”.
Sadly, we are ignorant of our ignorance.
So what are the stakes? Why should we want to awaken from this ignorance? Why should we even bother? There are many scientifically proven reasons: at a personal level – feeling centred, having a greater sense of equanimity, an experience of connection, more fulfilling relationships, better concentration, improved creativity, better health – both physical and mental – all elements of happiness. Essentially, a healthier mind and happier heart.
At another level it I do not see how we can leave our children and grandchildren a world worth having if we cannot recognise the need to rise above our “me centred universe” and take action to train our minds and bodies, to expand our consciousness, free ourselves of our evolutionary autopilot and its’ tribalism – our heritage and greatest threat and instead experience the reality of connection with each other and all things; appreciate the wonderful miracle of being alive and the fact that we all make a difference whether we want that responsibility or not. The importance of making the best difference we can for all men and all creatures.