Be “Mind” ful of Your Conditioned Mind
Article by Dr. Pratik P. SURANA
Chief Mentor and Founder
If you look back upon your past you will notice that your life has moved in predictable patterns. You will notice that the circumstances may have changed but your “experience” has been the same.
Your Life has Been Going in Circles
Look deeper and you will notice that most, or all, of your behaviours are very predictable. Consider certain aspects of your life like your relationships or your career, you will notice that they have also followed a certain pattern.
For instance, you might have had a string of bad relationships, all of them following a certain pattern or may be you have always attracted bad bosses or “bully” colleagues in the many offices you’ve worked in. You may seem to attract similar kind of people or situations all the time.
It just takes a certain level of introspection to notice that your life is going in circles. While the situations or scenery might change each day feels like the carbon copy of the previous one.
You are “Predictable”
Anyone close to you will let you know that he/she can easily predict your reactions or behaviour under any situation. They can list out our prejudices, our beliefs, our opinions and even our tendencies, as if they were talking about a “character” from a novel.
So what makes us so predictable, why does life feel so stagnant or monotonous? The reason is simple, we are being run by our conditioned mind. It’s like a computer program running in your head that has been fed data in the form of beliefs, opinions, prejudices, knowledge and perceptions. In other words you are like a robot being run by a certain programming that has been fed into it.
Our Mind is Nothing but “Conditioning”
What is the one place we go to when we have to make a decision? The “mind”, or rather the database of our past. So each decision we take will only repeat our past and so nothing new seems to be happening. Life loses its freshness.
Conditioning certainly has a relative value to help us go about our daily living. But when your life is completely lived out of conditioning it becomes stale, no wonder most people feel “life stinks” at some point.
We also add new conditioning to our mind based on our experiences, interactions, and as we “grow up” so to say. But new conditioning just means replacing one belief system with another. So your life will change a bit when certain beliefs change but soon it will become predictable again. Of course your life will get a breath of fresh air whenever you change something from your old conditioning.
Certain conditioning can be extremely dis-empowering and harmful to our existence. Some people keep getting into abusive relationships because of certain perceptions they hold in their mind. There are others who can’t keep a stable job while some suffer from problems like “social phobia”, “performance anxiety” and other forms of dysfunctional behaviours
Conditioning is the root cause of all the terror and unrest spreading in our external world as well as our inner world of emotions. The tremendous pollution created in the name of progress is just one sad example of how harmful certain conditioning can be.
Living from an “Unconditioned” Dimension
Many of us have a low degree of self awareness. We fail to notice how our life is being run by our conditioning. We want to have fulfilling relationships but they don’t seem to happen, we want an enjoyable work environment but that never seems to be the case, in a nutshell we want a good life but we end up with a rotten one. The root cause of all our miseries lies in the fact that we live our life based on our mind conditioning.
Is there a different way to live besides living from the mind? Yes, in all of us there is a deep place of intelligence which is unconditioned. This is the dimension in us that all the spiritual teachings point to, all religions point to and all sages point to. This dimension in us can be called “stillness” or “consciousness” or “beingness”.
You can get a taste of what living in this dimension feels like just by making your mind still for a moment. What you experience is “pure consciousness”. You become “aware” without thought. You will notice that there is a deep sense of peace and well being in this dimension of stillness. There something sacred about it.
Your Mind Noise Blurs Your True Nature
If this your first experience of “stillness” it won’t be long before the mind jumps back in with its noise, judging and analysing your experience. But just to have a taste of it is enough to realize that we have a dimension in us that we never looked at. This dimension feels more like home, more like our true nature.
Imagine living a life dwelling in this dimension of stillness. You will not live like a “vegetable” for this is not an “empty” stillness but a very intelligent one. In fact this stillness is that one source from which all the world manifestation arose from. This is the sacred space the Upanishads point to. Each moment of your life becomes pure and fresh when touched by this deep intelligence.
There are a few people around the world who live from this dimension. But more and more people are becoming aware of this new way of living. You have to step out of your mind to live from this dimension. The intelligence in this “stillness” is pure and unconditioned, it contains within it the essence of life itself. When you take decisions from this place of silence, it will point you to the “right action”, one which does not create more suffering for you and others.