Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, August 22, 2020! Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.
Our [untrained] mind is either hyper excited or lax. Our mind can be like a team of wild horses harnessed to a wagon. Unfortunately, we are the wagon. More often than not, the untrained horses are either aimlessly chasing an excess of desires or tirelessly avoiding discomforts. Or conversely, being content standing at the watering hole or lazily swatting flies with their tail, the horses may refuse to move at all. Either way, as the wagon, we are helpless – our mind is on autopilot.
From a young age, our subconscious mind has developed a very close relationship with our body. When we were a baby, we cried when we had a messy diaper. This is normal. We did not have to understand it or think about it, it was just uncomfortable, and we needed a clean diaper. Our body communicates to our subconscious mind what to seek (comfort) and what to avoid (discomfort). We tend to think this is a conscious decision. If we sit in an uncomfortable chair, we will eventually move to a cozier one or we will become unhappy. If we have an uncomfortable bed, assuming we have the resources, we may find ourselves spending thousands of dollars on a luxurious bed. It may even be adjustable. We soon find that we do not want to get out of bed. It is so cozy and comfortable, and the world is like a messy diaper.
When we have little conscious contact with our body, our cravings and aversions run the show. At some point in our luxurious life, we became conditioned to believe that we do not have to sit in an uncomfortable chair. And when we do have to, we fidget and are unhappy. Because we are so used to being comfortable, we do not allow ourselves to feel discomfort. This is a tremendous source of suffering because we seem to have forgotten that life has its ups and downs. Our mind has trained us to change any uncomfortable situation, not later, right meow! And when we find comfort, we do what we can to avoid discomfort, “this is my chair, go find your own!” We become attached. And when we do lose it, we are again unhappy.
Just for the sake of argument, wanting to find comfort and avoid discomfort is completely normal. But.
Unless we want to be dragged around by our mind which tells us what to worry about and stress over, what to attain or avoid, we must tame and train our unruly mind. A sustained practice of Shamatha (mindfulness of