Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Mind, the Distracted Runaway

Our mind often tries to run away. Maybe, there are some difficult thoughts or feelings that keep rolling into our awareness. We don’t want to think or feel those things; instead, we try to refocus our mind in another direction. Yet, it keeps falling back into those same difficulties. We can continue, relentlessly, to refocus our mind and find short-term relief. When we constantly force our mind to focus on something else, we block our awareness of the present moment, creating the potential for mistake and misstep.

We must find a new method to deal with this potential madness. These thoughts and feelings are not repeating themselves for us to ignore. Instead, the repetitive nature should inform us that there is something unresolved within our minds and hearts. Until we resolve these mind and heart concerns, we will continue to have diminished awareness and diminished mental and emotional resources.

If we don’t begin to tackle the more difficult, our external life will suffer as our internal life languishes. And, we can do something about this right here and right now.

Our nature is to avoid unresolved or difficult thoughts and emotions. We simply don’t want to think or feel in a way that doesn’t immediately produce happiness, joy or alleviate our pain and suffering. We must break ourselves of this internal avoidance mechanism. It’s a habit that does nothing to actually resolve the pain and suffering. It is not an easy proposition, to focus on what our mind wishes to avoid.

Until we resolve these internal concerns, our mind will continue to run in the opposite direction of resolution, distraction. And, distraction is in the opposite direction of awareness. It is easy to distract the mind. Often, this is our method of choice. It’s easy to tune out the internal world and focus on something, anything in the external one. Or, we fixate, focusing toward eating, drinking, smoking, or any other behavior. The methods and sources of distraction are infinite whereas the methods of resolution are in one place, within us.

The mind finds momentary relief plentiful, anything to avoid the resolution that lay within. The only concern about the singular source of resolution is that it is almost completely covered by our attachments and aversions and our pain and suffering. This is why we prefer the method of distraction than the heavy internal lifting to reach real resolution.

Our ability to distract ourselves from taking care of these repetitive thoughts and feelings is profound. It can be debilitating, and there are plenty of diagnoses that can be given. These diagnoses are often not followed with internal engagement. If we do little or no exploration of these internal difficulties, we are missing the best medicine, awareness.

True renunciation is possible, but we must start with where we are today. We cannot remove all of our attachments and aversions in one sitting. We can begin the process though. We cannot put an end to our pain and suffering today, but we can begin the process of understanding, patience and compassion about the truth of our pain and suffering.

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