Ideas run our lives. Without ideas there is nothing to say about ourselves. If we were to keep ourselves open to awareness of the stuffs running in the mind we will be able to observe the many ideas that make up the meaning of life. That which can be observed as a conditioned state arising within the mind is what we call as “I”. In reality if we are able to step back and watch the drama of those conditionings playing up in the mind we do not see ourselves there. We see only a continuum play of ideas arising one after another, dependent on each other. When we don’t identify with it and instead stay with awareness, observing from the space of impartiality and detachment, the pattern of the conditioning shifts, changing the course which it would usually take when we identify with it.
We are hard wired by our mental conditioning, by the ideas that we take on as gospel truth. We seldom question what comes into our mind. And the mind is like a sponge, absorbing practically anything that comes its way. And that is what advertising is all about – repetitive exposure makes the mind buys into what it is shown. Consider what happens when we are not aware of what comes into our space, like a house with no doors, windows or walls to protect, subjected to everything that comes from all directions. The mind can be represented by this analogy, where there are no doors, windows or walls to keep the mind out from what comes its way. Imagine the countless ideas in the form of information, views, opinions, and judgments infiltrating the mind everyday, not to mention each and every moment.
Thus to maintain mental hygiene is utmost important if we are to choose to live a life that is free from unnecessary influences. And the way to begin is to be aware of what comes into our space. And that takes a little inquisitiveness to observe what the mind is absorbing from one moment to the next. Observe how the mind chooses what it wants to experience, mainly from the hearing and seeing doorways. And observe too, how the mind defines things as good and bad to feed its old conditioning, hence strengthening its egoic position or pattern.
Once we are able to be mindful of our mental processes, we will have the ability to choose what is beneficial to our wellbeing. In the beginning we may observe that what comes into our space has much influence on our habitual patterns. But when we are able to step back and observe the mind a little longer we are able to differentiate what is appropriate and inappropriate to our well being through the natural process of wisdom unfolding in the mind. The mind process is a learned mechanism. When we work along with wisdom long enough, the mind will work according to the wisdom system effortlessly in the future. But for that to happen we have to first train the mind to acknowledge the essentiality of awareness as that is where our choices are.
If we wish to change ourselves we need to start from awareness or mindfulness – not forgetting to be in the present moment. Awareness is the key to any transformative work. The mind is our life and yet we pay minimal attention to it. Our emotions, ideas and thoughts are the causes of our happiness and sorrow, all deriving from the mind and yet we look away from ourselves to seek happiness from the outside. When we bring our attention towards the workings of our mind, we see a world more real manifesting in our experiences, the projector of the screen which we refer as our life. All our source of joy, grief, sadness or happiness is from the projector, not the screen. In the projector is found the source of ideas that make you who you are. To resolve the effect we have to move ourselves to the cause and see the beginning of our issues.