The Perils of Mindlessness

The Perils of Mindlessness

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Mindlessness comes at a very high cost; a cost I hope you will agree is too high. To put it in its most general term, living with a mind that we don’t know very well, that is often out of control and semi-conscious much of the time causes us and others to suffer greatly.

Probably far more than we realize. The Buddha, an individual who knows the mind far better than most of us put it this way:

“Whatever an enemy might do to an enemy, or a foe to a foe, the ill-directed mind can do to you even worse” – Buddha

Is it any wonder we so frequently attempt to silence or alter our minds with amusements or other forms of distractions? It’s probably no coincidence that individuals who choose to live their lives by gunshot almost always put the bullet through their heads.

Fortunately, most of us don’t reach this mind-driven state of total despair but we nonetheless endure the consequences of an immensely powerful but unruly out-of-focus mind. Often we find ourselves entertaining the ill will thoughts that serve no wholesome value in our lives.

We make snap judgments about individuals based on the slimmest and trivial evidence. Spread out falsehoods that we come to believe. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, a practice that inevitably leads to pain. Whether we measure up favorably or unfavorably.

All of this and more, drive us to lead frenzied lives often on the verge of misery.

I.      But there is a better way-  

The sense of dissatisfaction of which we are more or less conscious at different times in our lives impels us to find something, anything to bring relief. Unfortunately, our minds have been conditioned to seek the infamous solutions to its torment in the most unhelpful ways.

For most of us brought up in the modern west, we look for solace through intoxicating substances and entertainments, incredibly busy lives, over devotion to work, shopping in the acquisition, and hours on the internet.

Vast sectors of our entire culture have become refugees for individuals searching for ways to bring contentment to their lives. So far, I have never met a single individual who has professed to find genuine satisfaction in any of these ways.

And yet the search rages on, the believes that compels us to keep looking somewhere else or something to bring us relief are so common that we rarely consider that it might be time to try another approach.

Rather than seek happiness through the usual, ineffective, and often casual counterproductive means, we on Prokensho will help you find a different way.

II.   Practicing Mindfulness-

Practicing mindfulness is predicated on the conviction that it is not necessary to live at the mercy of an untamed mind. It’s possible to cultivate a wholesome mind that will produce thoughts that contribute to our well-being and the well-being of the whole world.

We can actually shape our mental function in ways that will remove the frantic, driven, distracted, semi-consciousness qualities from our lives, but it will not be easy.

This conviction is founded on the belief that our minds are malleable realities, they are plastic and they can be reshaped in ways that we choose. The mind, in other words, is a conditioned phenomenon.

III. How did our minds get into this sorry state, that many of us find them?

Perhaps we were born with certain dispositions to act and think in particular ways. Many Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains think that karma profoundly influences the mental states we have at birth.

But you need not accept the theory of rebirth to accept the underlying principle of karma. Essentially the idea of karma suggests that the way we are now is the consequence of the ways we have thought and acted up to this moment point.

(Note- Karma: thoughts, words, and deeds from previous lives)

In short, we have been conditioned by ourselves and by others.

Whether we believe the conditioning process begins years ago, or in former lifetimes, or whether it simply begins in this life.

The term conditioning is a very useful one for describing this process, think of it as an exact way you might think of going to the gym for strength and aerobic conditioning each time you walk the treadmills and lift the weight your body responds in a way, that makes it slightly easier to manage the same action a few days later.

The more you train, the easier these actions become until they almost seem effortless. Gradually, over time it will strengthen your body. The more with think about a particular thought, the more our minds are prone to generate thoughts of that nature.

The process of mental conditioning is so powerful that it may seem at times there our whole cerebral function is entirely determined by the factors of our biological makeup or our upbringing.

But on prokensho, we take the position that we have a small but extremely important capacity to redirect our minds in ways that allow us to recondition it.

Our minds have been considerably influenced but they are not completely destined by the past. To put this, stand in a philosophical term, we are largely determined, but we have a modicum of free will. But free will in this sense is not just a giver, is not just a feature of our makeup.

Free will is something that we must exercise and develop, without cultivation we are vulnerable to losing the ability to act and think freely all together.

Ultimately the goal for us on Prokensho is to assist you to increase your freedom by practicing.

IV.   Mindfulness: the need of the hour    

This website is for the people whose minds are overstimulated and for the ones who need resting from too much thinking.

Mindfulness is the skill of being deliberately attentive to one’s individual experiences as it unfolds—without the superimposition of our usual commentary and conceptualizing.

The capacity to be genuinely mindful provides a wholesome way to attend to our own experiences and helps us overcome the unskillful habits of our mind that cause us to suffer needlessly. 

(For more information, read this article, this post is a practical guide to developing the skill of mindfulness and applying it to every aspect of one’s daily life)

Practicing mindfulness over time reveals and develops the qualities of pure wisdom and compassion, the twin virtues of the discipline.

Wisdom is usually defined as seeing clearly into the fundamental nature of reality. Through the meditative practice, we can deeply recognize the eternal arising and passing away of all phenomena and see the unsatisfactory quality of ordinary human experiences that derives from the illusion of the self as an entity separate from the rest of the reality.    

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