We all have biases. Our biases come from our conditioned minds. Based on conditions, we make decisions. But without awareness, almost all of our decisions come from a wandering or self-absorbed mind. With these two minds dominating our thoughts, we go about our lives unaware, holding onto unhelpful beliefs. One of our most unhelpful beliefs is our opinion that as long as we are thinking beings, we are right. The opinions that we hold to be right, are how our bias defines us.
Our Doing and Being
Doing is what we show with our behaviour and with our emotions. Being is who we really are and who we are is defined by our biased beliefs, worldview, values, and assumptions. Although what we show on the outside does not really reflect our being. For example, I have met those who behave friendly on the outside, yet they have ill intentions as their beingness. Despite the mismatch in behaviour and true intentions, who we really are, and the biases we hold exist in our minds.
It is our beingness that views the world, prompting us to behave the ways we do. The ones who act friendly but are really unfriendly within, view the world as complex and a threat to their wellbeing. As such, they act in ways that they view can give them an upper hand in all situations. There are those, whose behaviour reflects exactly what they think. Despite these two differences, it is important to know our beliefs and assumptions.
Why understand how your bias defines you?
Why should we bother to understand ourselves and the beliefs we hold? Very simple. Ask yourself this question, are you not making choices all the time to feel safe so that you will be happy? Whether you act in a way to protect yourself or you act in unfriendly ways, you are trying to make a choice to be happy.
However, our choices are dubious because we are unaware. We are unaware that our unfriendliness, in order to gain respect and fear from others, does not really make us happy. We are unaware that we are always planning happiness in the future, and daydreaming about it. Instead of savouring the present moment and being comfortable with ourselves right here and now, we look to the future for that elusive elation.
How to understand your bias?
There is a story of a man standing on a pathway as he sees another man on a horse rushing past. The man on the pathway asked the man on the horse, “Where are you going?” The man on the horse replied, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”. The horse is our thoughts and biases, leading us as we navigate unaware through the communication and situations daily.
How then, can we stop the horse? To admire the scenery (the present moment), we need to stop the horse in order we can direct it to go where we want.
The CEO of BETA
The CEO of Beta is a short MBSAT practice that helps us to stop the running wandering and self-absorbed thoughts in our minds. Our BETA consists of our body sensations, emotions, thoughts. and action impulse. Being aware of our BETA is like peering into the door of our subconscious reactions.
By practicing the CEO of BETA several times a day for about 5 minutes, we learn to stop the horse that is our thoughts. Only by making it a habit to stop, can we admire what is in reality surrounding us for us to make good quality decisions.