Definition: To mislead or falsely persuade someone that something is true or real.
The first thing I have learned over the last 12 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. Those thoughts are too often self-centered and they are useless if not dangerous.
Learning to be aware of our thoughts / emotions and to assess them to see whether or not they are true, useful or dangerous is a critical step towards your serenity. There is no other way.
What is fooling us during most all our life, day after day?
The outside world or our inside mind-created world?
This is an important question to ask yourself all the time.
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 2 of a short list, in a non-specific order, of 11 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.
- We think that accumulation of goods means accumulation of happiness or “ the more the better”. There is no such correlation and the opposite is obvious when medically verified.
- Our mind is not where our body is, wandering into the future or in the past or doing something else instead of being at the present time where our body is living. Put them together as much as you can, it will ease your anxiety, worries and other negative feelings.
- We state, “Life is unfair”. Is life a living being? Does life should care about us?
- Because they come from our mind, we trust our thoughts are truth. Some of them are, most of them are just ego-centered wishful thinking or acquired values, opinions and judgments. Don’t believe in all your thoughts, this is not only pretentious but also dangerous.
- We think too much. Being mindful on what we are doing is just fine even if perceived being boring.
- We are not paying enough attention to our 5 senses in the present moment.
- We are more connected with our outside self than with the inside one.
- We do not realize that everything including ourselves is transient and interconnected.
- Our desires are endless and therefore never fulfilled.
- Multitasking has been shown medically to be a significant factor of anxiety. Learn to be monotasking in a mindfully way. It will quiet your mind.
- We believe that we are a permanent, independent, unique, separate self-entity. This is a source of worries.
All of the above are mind generated and source of delusions and illusions. 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.
Thank you. Ven. Ji Gong. Dec. 9 2015