What is the conditioned mind? We think we act with free will, choosing what we want to do that pleases us. But the truth is, we are not as free as we think we are. The reason is, if we are truly free, we will be free from a depressed, anxious, or stressed-up mind. If our brains are functioning well, why are we not free from mental states that make us feel miserable? In the world of mindfulness, misery can be as minute as the feeling of agitation in restlessness. The fact that we are unable to fully enjoy the present while lounging in the chair is something we can look into.
How we make choices from a conditioned mind?
Mindfulness-Based Strategic Awareness Training helps us take a deeper look into our conditioned mind, in order to make good quality choices. In mindfulness training, good quality choices make us feel good inside and produce a good result outside. Good results outside mean making choices that include others’ happiness. Often, we make decisions even if it hurts another as long as it gives us certain gains. If we cannot care about whether another is hurt in order for us to make gains. we neglect to look at what is happening within us.
Our decision affects our emotions and mind, but yet we seldom make choices for self-care. The gains we make at the moment may make us happy at the expense of others, but guilt may creep in. For an immediate reward, we neglect what the choice may do to our minds later.
How to make wise choices?
Mindfulness proposes that wise choices include the well-being of all parties. To do that, we have to be aware of our speech and our behavior. The intention behind this is to create good memories and feelings in our minds. Why?
We don’t realize the power of our minds. Imagine yourself lying on your bed, so sick you cannot get up. You need others’ help. But who would help you, if you showed little appreciation to those around you? Or, you don’t need to wait till sickness comes. Just spend a day alone in your room and see what comes up in your mind. Are there any thoughts of regrets or guilt?
If you do the experiment of spending a day by yourself doing nothing and only looking at your thoughts, you will understand what I mean. Long forgotten experiences you think you have forgotten may turn up. They may be due to the regrets you have from the decisions you made.
Pay attention to become free from conditioned mind
Memories make up our life experiences. Therefore, it makes sense to make good memories. But, how are memories formed? They are formed by the attention we placed on events and things. Why we pay attention to different things is due to our minds being conditioned differently. For example, on a hot day, someone may pay attention to a nearby ice-cream shop while another may pay attention to a cold cup of ice tea. Their choices could be tied to the first time they experienced intense temperatures and reached out to ice cream or an ice tea.
But due to evolutionary conditioning, where many of our decisions are driven by fear of not surviving or not gaining, we tend towards the negative. Fear is useful for our ancestors to pass down their genes. As hunter-gatherers, they had to have the fear instinct to protect them from a potential predator like the tiger. For us, the tiger has become our bosses or our spouse.
Therefore, pay attention to good things. See the positive in the negative and do not miss out on the blessings in your life. If your decisions include the well-being of others, you can expect good things from them too.
Learn how to tune into the positive things with your attention to form good memories with our mindfulness course.