Definition: To mislead or falsely persuade someone that something is true or real.
The first thing I have learned over the last 11 years from my Zen teachers and practice is not to trust my mind at all cost.
Of course proper thinking is critical in our day-to-day life to make decisions, to plan and to assist others but most of the time our thoughts, opinions and judgments are just ongoing inner voices, sort of a permanent sound track to which we are addicted. Being too often self-centered, they are useless if not dangerous.
Learning to be mindful to our thoughts to see whether or not they are true, useful or dangerous is a critical step towards your serenity.
What is fooling us the most all our life, day after day? The outside world or our inside mind-created world?
This is an important question to ask yourself. If you find the answer and deal with it your life and how you see it will change for the better and forever.
This is part 1 of a short list, in a non-specific order, of 10 mind-generated delusions that Zen Buddhism has identified over the last 2500 years or so. Each cause listed below can be a great mindfulness-based focusing point during our meditation.
- In our mind we have pictures of how people, things and events should be according to our values, opinions, judgments and expectations. Too often, unfortunately our mind sees things and people with a distorted view. This is deception at its best. We must learn to be aware of these ego-mind distorted views as they appear and should try to see them as they are like a simple reflecting mirror, especially when we cannot bring any solutions, whether it is frustrating or not.
- We believe that we are controlling our mind. Think twice. Who is controlling whom? You or your mind?
- We have the tendency to carry a negative self-image. Look at or discover your positive image since there is always one hidden.
- We worry too much about our little self and interest and not enough about others and our surroundings.
- We are an ongoing judgmental machine even when our opinion and judgments are not necessary. When our judgments are not solicited and not decisional, why to make them, to whom, who cares?
- We are living with too many unrealistic expectations and we are attached to them at different degree. Having expectations is OK but being glued to them is detrimental since they are in the virtual reality of the future. Future is a wonderful invention but it exists only on the calendar for the purpose of convenience.
- We believe that success brings happiness. On the contrary, happiness is success said the Buddha.
- We believe that money buys happiness. Is it so? Does buying a new car make you happy? Yes for few days until you get the new bills.
- We believe that we control our life. Probably far less than we think. Do we control our birth and death?
- “ I have no time for this or that”. This is our first excuse given when dealing with a non-priority.
All of the above are mind generated. As long you are aware of their origin you should be able to control them. The human mind is a fantastic helper but also our worse deceiver. Don’t be attached too much to it.
Part 2 will follow soon. Thank you Ji Gong Sunim Dec.2015