Life is full of paths, full of roads.
A road is the perfect mirror image of our minds, all the more so when we see the mind as a road itself. When we are in the city, the roads we encounter tend to be more bustling — busy, and crowded with people. There is some sort of activity happening at every corner, and the mind becomes fiercely engaged — analyzing, observing, engaging, judging, liking and disliking — there is such a vast array of ways that the mind can engage a busy environment.
Thoughts are a natural response to the kind of energy that we are experiencing, whether it’s a memory or an experience from the past, or something that’s looming in the present moment, a thought can arise from an idea, knowing, even when we engage in something that we are (energetically) aware of, we continue to produce thoughts.
With this approach, we can start to pinpoint the process of how our feelings are affecting our thoughts.
For example, we might be working at a busy fashion company, being in charge of a great number of tasks. Fashion is a very diverse industry, and even though it looks beautiful on the outside; the (inner) process that goes on from establishing an idea into material form takes up a lot of mental energy, which oftentimes is stressful, tense, difficult, and otherwise uneasy.
Watching documentaries about what goes into making a fashion show a reality is truly eye opening, the amount of preparation that goes into converting a design drawn on a piece of paper to having a fashion model wear it down the strip in front of hundreds of high-calibre people is one of the most highly stressful environments, yet we we somehow manage to find the same pattern in more industries than just fashion; the food industry, computer science field, and even education can all be very high stress levels environments.
In this example we learn more about how our environment creates the energy we interact with.
Spending extended periods of time in an environment where the dominant energy is stress, anger, resentment, anxiety and other similar (toxic) feelings is going to leave a notable impact on your overall perception of your own being, of your surroundings, as well as the kind of interactions you make with other human beings.
Energy is vibration, vibration creates experience
The above insight gives us a much more broad understanding of how energy can affect our overall state of being, and to take it a step further it’s helpful to acknowledge that energy is vibration, and vibration is what shapes our life experiences.
Being in a low-end vibration (sadness, hatred, depression, anger, and so forth) will inevitably manifest thoughts that have their roots planted in such unhealthy feelings and emotions, whereas high-end vibration like joy, happiness, contentedness, peace, calm and others are going to make thoughts and life experiences much more authentic and enjoyable.
Raising our vibration can be as simple as dancing and singing, as well as other practical techniques that we already are very well aware of.
The great Gurus, Enlightened Masters and even people who work in Counselling will all tell you that chasing temporary experiences of happiness is a one-way street towards more unhappiness and sadness. Our aim should be clear — to cultivate a state of awareness in which we can recognize our false beliefs, our noxious habits, and tendencies that make us lean towards satisfaction based on desire, opposed to cultivating a state of clarity, in which we can choose to have the kind of experiences we wish to experience.
Recognizing our response to life experience
Life eventually gets tricky and becomes hard for all of us, without true hardship there cannot be true learning, true wisdom, or true understanding of the way that the mind works, and the way the mind responds to any given situation at any given time. The less engaged we become with being aware of our states of mind, the more likely it is that we will encounter experiences where the mind will seek instant gratification, and unless it’s of positive nature, the entanglement will continue.
The entanglement in this context can be understood as the direct misunderstanding of how the mind responds to feelings, surroundings, or as we learned; vibration. All of us develop habits of judging, disliking, and having strong opinions, but what we usually lack in these habits and behaviors is the basic compassion necessary for recognizing how these habits shape our life experiences.
You might have undergone, much like myself, a difficult life experience where you are being forced to awaken from a situation where people are taking advantage of your kindness, warmth, or other similar personality traits, and this tends to plant a very deep seed within our subconscious mind as to how to respond in similar situations, as well as how to treat similar people and experiences that we encounter on daily basis.
It doesn’t matter if this difficult experience had anything to do with people, animals, or other emotionally related events, what matters is to recognize that these experiences have happened on multiple levels throughout our lives; childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. We are by nature creative and expressive loving beings who are learning to bring awareness into a lifelong process of learning; shedding away limitations, patterns, and fears.
Seeing our thoughts as non-essential
Our emotions and feelings are key players in the way we feel, react, interact, and otherwise connect with life, but nine times out of then we are using our thoughts to respond to feelings and emotions, and depending on the kind of feeling that’s dominating our energy at any given time — it’s very easy to fall into levels of consciousness and awareness where we use the thoughts for self-defeating purposes.
When we start putting all these concepts in different contexts together, we can begin to realize how non-essential thoughts can be to our actual life experience. What’s important for us as evolving beings to acknowledge, is that letting go of our thoughts creates a space of emptiness, and within this space of emptiness we can see more clearly what we are feeling, how we are feeling, and what are our inhabited reactions towards our feelings.
The path of awakening involves a lot of inner-work with our true nature, recognizing and clearing limiting beliefs is one of the ways that we can begin to revert back to life experiences that have made us react to feelings in the way that we do, particularly if these reactions are unwholesome; joyless.
Such work calls for constant attentiveness to our natural state of being, and within this space of awareness we can begin to recognize our thought patterns that shift our vibrations towards the lower-end. Having worked hard on my own patterns and beliefs, it’s my obligation to say that joy and happiness can be truly challenging, but not because we are not worthy, or good enough, but because challenge helps us appreciate growth and all the fruit that it bears.
Resorting to a road in the countryside
The post was started with the context of how the mind interacts with the surroundings of busy city life, how it can affect our thoughts and responses to everyday life. Coming to an end to this observation, it’s time to resort to a more relaxed environment — the countryside.
Being by the countryside helps our minds relax and let go of all the chaos happening in a city, it helps us to enter a state of tranquility where natural healing can occur. Yes, it comes with its own challenges, especially for those who spend most of their lives living in the countryside, but more than anything it offers a way of reconnecting with our inner-voice and everything that it wants to tell us.
The actual surroundings of your meditation practice are completely irrelevant, meditation can be practiced anywhere at any given time — what we are trying to understand here is the importance of giving our mind a “space to breathe”.
Meditation is not difficult, what’s difficult is having the courage to continue with your practice on daily basis, for extended periods of time. If you aren’t well-versed in meditation already, you may explore one of my previous posts where I have discussed the basic meditation techniques for beginners; all of which will be very practical in your journey of self-discovery.
Keeping up with our theme of not paying so much attention to our thoughts — once we establish a solid meditation practice, we can begin to observe and investigate our thought patterns and how they affect our life experience in each breathing moment. Meditation opens the door for being more in-tune with our true feelings, and consistent practice offers continuous insight as to how better balance our energetic bodies; emotions, feelings, and of course the past, the present and the future.
Hold no expectations for what meditation should do for you, and let the process become natural. Thoughts are only thoughts thinking about thoughts. Slowly, step by step, begin to return to your conscious awareness and begin to appreciate states of mind where thoughts are the non-dominant factor to your life experience.
Take refuge in stillness and allow yourself: simply to be.