This week, instead of multiple quotes, we want to focus on a short excerpt from the book "Turning the Mind Into an Ally" by Sakyong Mipham.
We include links to other articles we've written on relevant topics.
"Many of us are slaves to our minds. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to focus, and our mind wanders off. We try to keep stress at bay, but anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love, but then we forget them and put ourselves first. And when we want to change our life, we dive into spiritual practice and expect quick results, only to lose focus after the honeymoon has worn off. We return to our state of bewilderment. We're left feeling helpless and discouraged. It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don't we think about training our minds?"
In one paragraph, the author sums up many challenges we all face:
Our lives tend to follow a common course: we go to school for years and then get a job, and in our spare time we search for happiness in people, things, and experiences.
Through those years of school, work, and life experiences, no one bothers to teach us about our minds. Which is ironic, because our minds are the foundation for everything that happens in our lives.
Why isn't mindfulness and meditation part of our children's core curriculum from an early age?
The Dalai Lama stated:
"If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation."
That may seem far-fetched, but it really isn't.
Our minds are compulsive.
Thoughts, emotions, and urges come at us non-stop.
We have an inner-narrative that comments on and judges everything. It labels people, things, and situations, and creates a divisive environment: me vs. you, us vs. them.
Your mind is always with you - you can't escape it. Take a new job, find a new partner, travel the world on vacation, move to a new city - it doesn't matter. Once the "newness" of external change wears off, it's still there waiting.
And, we aren't even given an owner's guide for it.
It does exist though - and you can access that owner's guide with a consistent meditation practice, and by bringing mindfulness to your daily life.
What are you trying to "cope" with?
Coping doesn't work - addressing the root cause does. We'll show you how.