The Entrance to
harmony is the spontaneous outcome of removing from our mind the learned mental
formations or conditionings that we develop from uncontrolled cravings and
aversions. Anxiety-and-stress—what the Buddha called 'suffering'—is the set of negative
feelings generated by cravings for what we lack, and aversions to what
imaginarily or actually surrounds us.
harmony is the absence of suffering. When we manage cravings and aversions,
anxiety-and-stress disappears and inner harmony blossoms. Mindfulness, the
permanent awareness of our life as it unfolds, is the path to eliminate suffering.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that strengthens our faculty of awareness,
which allows us to habitually stay mindful, which paves the road toward the end
of anxiety-and-stress, which keeps open the door for inner harmony to enter our
harmony, we experience less resentment or hatred, we forgive and forget easily,
we are relaxed and balanced most of the time, we calmly tolerate waits and
delays… When we are in harmony, we move through life effortlessly and
most everything seems to work fine.
books and motivational speakers give many well-intentioned recommendations on
how to reach inner harmony (or whatever they consider its equivalence). Some
examples of these common considerate advices follow; however thoughtful, they lead
nowhere, let alone to inner harmony.
Forget!" The offenses we are to forgive and
the events we are to forget are bad memories that trigger aversions to real or
imaginary things or events. Mindfulness facilitates the stopping of the
automatic negative reactions whenever the bad memories arise. Forgiving and
forgetting do not come from mechanisms that erase the obnoxious events from our
brain records; they result from neuronal brakes that stop the conditioned reactions
which automatically recall wicked, useless memories. We cannot take action to
forgive or forget in the same way we choose a restaurant for tonight’s dinner.
down! Maintain balance!" Calmness and poise come from mental
quietness. We do not command our brain to be silent. To calm down and maintain
balance, we should stop the noisy conditionings that are disturbing us.
in the present!" Our brain does not perceive time;
our brain constructs time as a reference for our sense of identity. As
mindfulness sizes down the acquired harmful mental formations (our redundant
ego), the dependency of time loses strength. Our present is the motions and
postures of our body, the sensations we perceive, and the mental states we
experience. When we are mindful, our uncontaminated, essential self is in
command; living in present time is an outcome, not an intention.
spontaneous! Flow with life!" We cannot be spontaneous when we
act out from the redundant ego. When the redundant ego is in control, cravings
and aversions make all decisions for us; we do not notice their works and might
even get pleasure from this slaving submission. Our redundant ego distorts what
would otherwise be our natural, spontaneous behavior; we can only be
spontaneous when our actions come from the essential self, free from harmful
mental formations; at that stage, life actually flows. We cannot be spontaneous
things as they are!" What keep us off from acceptance
are both the cravings for what we lack, or those things we do have but want
more of, and the aversions to what actually or imaginarily surround us.
Acceptance is the absence of cravings and aversions. As mindfulness places
mental formations at bay, we take things as they are. Again, we cannot decide
to accept something that our harmful mental formations are rejecting.
criticism does not mean that we should always scorn the above or similar well-intended
pieces of advice; they might have some cheering content and open up channels for
self-observation, which is good. When we put a smile on our face, we will feel
better than with the frown we had a few seconds before. However, motivational
texts and speeches are not—cannot be—alternatives to mindfulness; they have
mindful-born individuals might not need meditation; their nature allows them to
remain aware of their body, sensations and mental states. The rest of us,
average people, vulnerable to conditionings, need the practice of meditation that
strengthens our faculty of awareness, helps us to stay mindful… And eventually opens
the door for inner harmony to enter our lives unexpectedly.
Smyrna, GA, February 2014