“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ― Lao Tzu
Worry, stress, division, and fear are going viral on the planet right now. It is such an important time as we are coming to a point where our future depends on the way we live our lives and adapt. Big changes are coming and how we approach our minds will be crucial to our wellbeing and the harmony of society as we go through this huge transition in the world. To make important decisions and move forward in balance and harmony, we all need to take the ultimate medicine: Awareness.
If we are aware and awake, then the difficulties that we are facing in our lives are exposed in the clarity of our minds. This clarity gives us the wisdom to make decisions based on reality, rather than our mental projections. So many of our so-called problems are really just our mind making problems. These mind-made problems are always the result of our constant divisive mind following endless likes and dislikes, opinions, and projections. This mind can be called the “small mind”; it can also be called the conceptual mind.
The Conceptual Mind
The conceptual mind can only function in the field of duality: this and that, me and others, pain and pleasure, it is endless. The conceptual mind needs a problem to remain in charge, if there isn’t a problem, then it will for sure make one! Our conceptual mind is the base of the “I” sense, our ego. It is constructed of past experiences and our cultural conditioning. It is a construction of the past reaching forward into the future that hasn’t happened yet. When we are operating in the conceptual mind it is the same as a dream. In a dream, we can wake up and see that it was all a big story operating in our mind that evaporates on waking. We can also wake up from the waking dream of the small ego-mind and its dualities and projections and see life as luminous and wonderful.
This awakening from the waking dream is seeing the clarity of things as they are, not how we would like them to be. It is free and flowing, in the present moment without the boundaries and restrictions of the ego's projection. It has no polarity or opinions: things are as they are.
“People with opinions just go around bothering one another.” -The Buddha
The problem is that we are not aware that we are not aware! If someone is dreaming and not aware that he is dreaming, then the experiences in the dream are real for him. The same applies to us in our waking dream, we are usually just projecting our conditioned mind and believing that is true. If we are not aware of our thinking mind and the thoughts that are constantly judging, commenting, liking, disliking, then we are taking the form of those thoughts - this is called the waking dream. The content of the discursive mind is deep and endless. What we are aware of is the tip of the iceberg, while underneath there is our unconscious mind that is also connected to the collective unconscious of all humans.
How to wake up, the alarm clock of being present:
This is a meditation that we can all practice, it is the most simple thing we can do because no doing is involved! It is so simple that it may be missed, our ego-mind may dismiss it as not complicated or difficult enough.
The way to become aware of the waking dream is simply to be present.
Be present with our senses, such as what we are eating. Are we tasting the food or just shovelling it down?
Be present when we are speaking. Are we listening as much as speaking?
Be present with your thoughts. Do we believe every thought that passes our mind?
Be present in a conflict. Can we see both sides of a disagreement and not react based on our small-mindedness?
Essentially, we can practice this any time as it is connected to the pure awareness that isn’t dreaming up a false reality. It wakes us up from the dream of opinions, divisions, and fear, and gives us peace of being. It isn’t static, it is alive! We are alive!
If we are not present we are more dead than alive, so let's wake up, set our alarm to NOW, and start enjoying freedom from fear.
May all beings see their own mind and wake up to the Buddha within.