Responding to patterns of our mind

I was watching a very awesome video by Mattheu Ricard, a French born Tibetan monk. The topic of his discussion was on happiness, I recommend his books and this video to any whom might have an open mind and want to learn from a very deep thinker and sincere practitioner.

However this post is about something he said that fits into what I have been learning. We have patterns of our mind, like I mentioned in my previous post about desire, and when we experience these sensations, emotions, or though patterns we often follow after them, engage in thinking about them in a kind of dialogical way. This typical response to such impulses leads us to common actions and habits: e.g. so when I’m lonely I do….this, or when I’m sad I do…..this.

So Mattheu Ricard was noting that when we have these thoughts, what we do is to focus on the external object of the thought pattern. It was interesting to me as I thought about it that such thoughts and patterns are always usually focused on external things, because we humans naturally look external to ourselves for our satisfaction and our happiness. He suggested that when we experience these thoughts and patterns that we might rather focus or investigate inwardly, investigate and become aware of anger itself or of desire, or fear. To not focus and run with the mind to the external but to turn inward and to observe and be fully aware of the thought patterns themselves. This struck me because it is closely connected to what I talked about in my post on desire, he just put it in a very understandable framework. Look inward, not to the object of our emotions, but to the emotions themselves. As they come and fade, we will learn much more about ourselves and change.

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