People only drink too much when they are drunk.
There was a time when I drank a lot of alcohol. It was a way of life and a great escape from the rat race. Of course I experienced some negative consequences of this drinking and they where especially prominent if I “drank to much”.
I noticed many things looking back at that period of time. One was that I only drank too much when I was drunk. So if that logic applies, if I didn’t want to drink too much, all I had to do was not to get drunk. Not having the first drink and there was no chance at all I would drink too much! Wow! That made it easier and I saw a lifetime of not experiencing this “too much-consequence” ever again in my life.
What has this to do with mindfulness? What has mindfulness to do with business? It has everything to do with both because all big things start small.
All big things start small.
The things Buddhism call suffering and what some new age philosophies call low vibration states, all starts small. Suffering like uncomfortable feelings, feeling of un-satisfaction, irritation, frustration, stress, fear, anxiety, anger, rage, jealousy, depression etc, they all starts small. A small seed is planted when a thought arise by an interaction with a circumstance. It then starts to sprout; association from other previous bad and threatening experiences kick in. It grows big and branches out; inner suffering fuels a reaction of projections of badness onto the outer world – we have arrived in hell. Hell is a place where we believe our thoughts. Reality still is what it is regardless of our thoughts. Its neither hell nor paradise, just what it is in this moment. And this inner hell is what we leak into whatever we do.
Mindfulness means being present and aware of the life experience with a neutral mind. That experience you call “you” is where life happens and it happens now.
All our actions like for example how you do a business or being a friend or loving a lover, are a reflection of our inner states. All of our relations are a mirror if what is going on inside the domain we call “me”. We leak our inner state into everything we do because that’s the source where thoughts and action comes from. Thats the color you dip your pencil in. If you want to paint yellow you will not succeed no matter how hard you try if you dip your pencil in black.
Where change starts
If we think the business world or humanity in general is heading in the wrong direction we need to become mindful of ourselves. Inside “you” are where “humanity” or “business” is happening and that is the only humanity or business you can change. To start changing the behaviour of others does not work. You can ask any teacher that tried stop a kid from bullying by scolding the bully and explaining how bad he/she is and how he/she not shall do that. It doesn’t work. Instead the bully gets followers because the strategy to get attention and be acknowledged worked. He/she becomes real.
Or look at humanity as a whole. We are not dumb. We have tried to promote peace, justice, sustainability and equality for many sun circles. Did it work? No, it got worse. And yet it’s so simple. You want the war to end? – Well, just stop it! Easy. Stop it. But we don’t do that. Because we are a reaction to our inner and on the inside there is a war happening, that’s where the non-sustainability lives. The quality of our inside decides whether or not our action to prevent bullying turns effective or not.
See the small seed with a neutral light is enough
If we are mindful we will see the small seeds and by that mere seeing we become free. Free to water it or let it dry out by itself. We are the one giving fuel to the inner war by reacting to it. We react by opposing or desire something and then take action because of that reaction. All of a sudden it’s real, it has a function and will start to grow. A thought is an illusion, but if you believe its reality – its reality. The opposing or desire attention is believing that its real. Why else would you consider if it’s good or bad?
Why does opposing a seed make it grow? Should opposing it not kill it? No, because it’s not an actual seed, a thought is an illusion. It arises and disappears and there is no “thinker” behind it. Thoughts come and go. The only reason we mistakenly take this as a “person” or as a “thinker” is because of the memory function. Imagine yourself without any memory. Thoughts would be perceived like a fun phenomenon. An event, just like everything else. Birds come and go. Clouds come and go. Trees come and go. Mountains come and go. Planets and stars come and go. And thoughts come and go. Sometimes they are beneficial to us sometimes not. We would use them as a tool or lay them to rest when not needed.
We don’t identify with the clouds and think we are they just because we like them or dislike them. But with thoughts we are trained to do exactly that. That’s the ignorance of our culture, that the source of all disease or “dis-ease”. That’s why small things turn big even if we don’t want it.
How illusions become reality
A thought concept like jealousy or anger consists if many thoughts, emotions and associations stored in the memory. These concepts is fuelled by energy. And your attention is energy. But not any kind of attention, a certain kind of attention – a sticky and evaluating attention. This kind of not neutral attention provides the thought concept with energy and makes it real. Whether it is the energy of opposing or the energy of desire makes no difference for the thought concept – it becomes real. It is no longer an illusion. We have identified with it and made it reality.
When you see a thought with equanimity it doesn’t provide the thought with energy. Equanimity isn’t sticky. It is clear vision and sees what is. It is like light. Light don’t cling on to things. After you turn off the light it doesn’t stay on the object. It sees a thought, it knows it is an illusion coming and soon going. Only I can choose to make it real or not by liking it or disliking it.
If presence and awareness is what makes you see the small seed before it grows, equanimity is the quality of that seeing that makes you see reality and not the illusion. It prevents from fueling the thought concepts and sooner or later they will loose power and wither away.
Meditation is the gym for training the mind to be clear, to be equanimity. Meditation is where we condition our mind to be less sticky and more like light of wisdom. Meditation is where we condition the mind into experiencing more of reality and less of our thoughts of reality. It takes us out of the tight bubble of illusions into the unlimited magic of reality: Life in universe. Wow! Experience a fraction of that magic and there will be no need to compete, win, demean or concur. The game of one-upmanship on universe, nature and other humans becomes automatically unimportant and meaningless. It’s clear it’s a game of one-upmanship on yourself since you are not separate from universe – you are universe. You are nature. You are the other.
It so happens that meditation is the process of enlightenment or self-realisation not just self improvement or end of wars and poverty. It is the paradoxical process of diss-identifying with what you are not until experiencing what you are – everything. An experience impossible to be described or created. It is what it is.
So if we as humans, either collective or personal want to have different consequences in our life, we need to not get drunk with our thoughts. That’s when we drink too much. We need to be mindful of the small things inside. This is how we can live a more conscious life and manifest more deliberately what we wish to see in the world. This is how we can create transformation on the personal side and revolution on the collective just by using our presence and awareness in a quality of equanimity.
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