The Importance Of Personal Exploration On The Habits Of Mind

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In a way, the ego would rather believe that life is oppressive, difficult, a series of incomprehensible struggles, rather than acknowledge that we each choose our lives’ parameters to some degree, and that happiness and peace are often the result of our own choices. By hiding, we tacitly acquiesce to the ego’s notions of what it needs to be “safe.” We hide our power, and we hide our love, in order to make another ego feel more comfortable with whatever power it imagines it has. This practice serves no one, and it stifles the creative fires that fuel authentic living. We are much more than the ego. There is a deeper self, a well of humble strength that welcomes the challenge of being able to shape its reality, even as the ego cowers in the face…show more content…
What recurring thoughts do you notice? Do you notice that you frequently compare yourself to others? Perhaps ranking yourself according to personal qualities, talents, possessions, or accomplishments, comparing yourself to loved ones, community members, or celebrities? If it is difficult to slow down your thoughts enough to witness them, you may find it useful to try Personal Exploration #10: Awakening to your habits of mind first in order become more aware of your habitual thoughts. When you notice painful, judgmental thoughts, there is no need to feel badly about them, or to argue with them. Instead, be grateful that you have recognized them. Choose just one thought that has emotional weight for you, something like, I am too fat, or nobody treats me well, or I’ll never be happy. Now endow that thought with loving awareness. I find that it is helpful to meditate on my heart space and to witness with the gentle interest of an impartial observer. For me, one visual that works wonderfully is to think of Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. Regardless of the horrors he saw, he kept his wits and composure, musing simply, “That’s…show more content…
And there are many profound and beautiful ways to approach this central knowing. People who find those other concepts elusive can truly deepen into presence by practicing using death as an advisor, since it has a tangibility to it that can feel far more real. Often, we don’t really contemplate our own deaths until forced to confront a life-threatening situation such as a terminal illness or some other physical danger. Of course, life itself is a terminal condition. From a shallow view, contemplating one’s own death can seem like a morbid fixation. On the other hand, when contemplated with the appropriate reverence and depth, death can be an incredible motivator, inspiring us to break through walls of fear and doubt, guiding us towards our deepest, truest

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