The mind is the source of all suffering, and the source of all happiness
“The mind is the source of all suffering, and it is also the source of all happiness. When something comes up in your life that causes you dissatisfaction, or triggers habitual patterns and reactivity, or makes you angry, lonely, and jealous, ask yourself: Are these emotions happening because of outer circumstances? Are they completely dependent on outer circumstances? The path of meditation says that we have to work with our mind, and that if we do work with our mind, the outer circumstances become workable.” ~ Pema Chödrön
The mind is responsible for our happiness – but it is also responsible for your suffering. The mind — YOUR mind — determines how you see life – and whether life is ‘sunny’ or ‘rainy’ on the inside. Outer circumstances alone do not make you happy or unhappy, that is the greatest spiritual truth, and stand the test of time.
If we choose to meditate and take the inner journey to truly look at ourselves, we will be able to change our reactivity and habitual conditioning, dissolving negative conditioning at its root. If we don’t, we will surely suffer, sooner or later.
We can look at our negative reactions to life as a type of “program” that the mind runs, which is triggered by an outer event of some kind. Just like we double-click on an app on our computer to run it, we double-click on the apps stored in the subconscious mind all the time – largely without realising it!
The subconscious mind is a huge database of every thought, feeling and emotion we’ve ever had… so it’s incredibly huge, and we typically access this data in nanoseconds, before the proverbial blink of an eye.
We run simple programs like ‘tie shoelaces’ or ‘board the train’. We don’t think about them, they just execute themselves by default. We may also run programs like ‘speak to my mother’, which is a different program than ‘speak to my father’.
All is well and good if the program is healthy – but what if you have an infected program? What if it has a virus? When you run the program, the virus runs too!
If you’ve always had a bad relationship with your mother, we could say that you have a virus that runs every time you speak to her. If you’ve always felt undermined by your father, then you might ‘run’ a programme of ‘feeling diminished and upset’ each time you speak to him.
How many times have you reacted badly to a loved one, or even a complete stranger, only to realise it was ‘your stuff’, not theirs? They just gave you permission to ‘see’ your own conditioned habits! Someone might remind you of your mother or father and you react accordingly!
I had a client tell me that she was recently cornered by someone at a spiritual gathering, who then proceeded to offload on her. When she decided to walk away, the person shouted at her that she was just like her mother, and that she expected her to walk away.
Additionally, how many times do you hold onto negative energy (thoughts and feelings) long after an argument has finished?
If you have an argument with someone else, and then walk away without healing it, the energy may become dormant within you if you don’t make peace with that person and the situation itself. It could be days, months or even weeks later, but if you come into contact with that person the chances are the negative energy of that last situation will be triggered, and you will feel all of the same negative energy you felt before. Even if you supposedly forgot about it!
The negative programmes and energies that we run can make one’s life very challenging!
However, we can access and change the programs stored in our subconscious mind with two powerful keys: intention and attention.
Programs can be memories, tendencies, attitudes or anything else. The negative ones tend to limit us, so we need to take responsibility for them and clean them up when we notice them. The positive ones help us – they are gifts from the Universe. So, we don’t typically need to do anything with them, except be grateful.
The most disempowering thought we have individually and collectively accepted is that we are victims of our own programming. We have been taught that we can’t change, that ‘it’s in our genes’ and that we have a certain personality type.
None of this is true.
We can heal the root cause of suffering by accessing and reprogramming our minds! We just have to be willing to take that all important journey through inner space! Of course, it does help to have an expert guide who can help you see your own patterns and programming, and also work with Spirit, or Divine Source, to clean them.
Updated: July 2019.