With much emphasis on what the science of wellbeing entails, the most important question we miss out is the question of self-identity. Who is the one receiving the attention for wellbeing? If we really are masters of this self, why is mastering wellbeing so hard? We go about the day with many thoughts in our minds. They range from the things we have to do in the office, to whether we should have a second breakfast, to feeling that it is a dread to have to walk under the hot sun. If you take note of your thoughts in a day, you may notice that most of it have to do with yourself. What you think about the weather, what to do, whether to meet someone or not, all of these are self-oriented. Since we spend so much time thinking about ourselves, what is the self? Who are we really?
Starting With The Body
We are most protective of our bodies. We eat supplements to keep it healthy. Choose organic food for our health as a priority versus the earth’s wellbeing. Most of us are also super conscious about any wrinkles or acne that appears on our face. Not to mention being conscious of our waistline and physique. If we are told about any health problems, we are worried and fear arise on the potential of losing this body.
This all seems normal to us as humans. However, we forget one thing. That one thing is that this body we have only has one path. That path is birth, development, and death. No matter what we do, we cannot stop this process. With this fact in mind, is it wise to worry so much about this body whose fate is sealed?
I am not saying we should abuse the body we have. Only to recognize the fact that we cannot hold onto it for eternity. Therefore, it makes no sense trying to stop aging or trying to shape our bodies in a way that defies nature. Also, bacteria and viruses are a fact of life. We cannot prevent ourselves from illness. We also have to ask ourselves, if we are the master of this body, why do we have such little control over it except for making it move? When age catches up, we may even lose mobility and will lose even this little control we have of the body. If the body is not the answer, what is the self?
Are We Our Thoughts?
Just as how we have questioned the amount of control we have over our bodies. It would be wise to ask the same about our mind. The mind’s key function is to think. So, the question here is, can we control our thoughts if we cannot control our body?
Are you able to stop your thoughts at will? Or, are you able to channel your thoughts to thinking positively all the time instead of being negative sometimes? If you say no to these answers, can you say you actually are a master of your thoughts? Or that your thoughts are yours?
In fact, we go about our lives making decisions about things. These decisions make opinions in the mind. The opinions we make are always swinging between “I like it” or “I dislike it” and the extremity varies. What we think about someone or some situation is really just our thought about it. Whether it is true or if it really exists, is something to be pondered upon.
Take for example, if a person who you have fallen for, is someone whose identity is fixed and doesn’t change, then why are there so many divorces in the world. We usually fall for someone and pick the moments we liked about them. However, these moments we like about someone does not make a person. It’s just a concept we conjured at those moments. But since everyone has the ability to change their habits, these moments we choose to hold dear about someone may not hold forever.
Truth Allows Wisdom and Joy
When we can be truthful to ourselves, we can start to have a wise perspective about ourselves and how to live joyfully. It is because we take ourselves so seriously, that there is much rife in the world and tensions in relationships. Think about it, when someone criticizes you, what are you really angry about? You are angry about someone slandering your body and your thoughts?
But if you are no master of your body and your thoughts, such that the sensation of anger arise quickly even though you do not wish to be angered – who are you in this moment? Are you truly the owner and controller of this body and mind? If not, what is there to be angry about?
The body and the mind is a set of habits built from choices made. These choices have become our reflex memory. Sometimes, alternative ideas based on these choices appear in the dream as well.
There are many meditation methods. From breath and body scan, to friendliness and the meditation of watching thoughts. Out of these, though breath is the most popular, it is friendliness and the meditation of watching thoughts that truly changes and allows a practitioner to be cool in socially stressful situation.