Our thoughts become the dangling carrot that we’re always chasing for happiness. We have to catch the carrot to be happy and content.
On the rare occasion we reach the carrot, and then we find that the carrot isn’t satisfying. Then a new, juicer carrot appears, and we begin to chase this one down. Then we do reach this carrot and we find the same result of the previous carrot. We are stuck in a loop, and we become obsessed with our thoughts and life isn’t satisfying.
I stopped chasing carrots by doing less. Doing less for me was finding my meditation and mindfulness practice. My initial practice was five minutes. For five minutes a day I did less chasing of thoughts, and this little activity started to quiet the mind.
I’m staring up at the ceiling, and I see the constellation Orion. Then I look around and notice the “ceiling” is filled with stars. I look over at the clock – 5 AM. I still feel myself lying in bed. I close my eyes, and open them again and notice that nothing has changed. No ceiling, 5 AM, still in bed. I do this for several minutes to confirm my reality. This isn’t the first time that I saw stars, but this was the first time I remember doing a thorough investigation of my surroundings.
Later in the day while in mediation, I went into a self-compilation practice. This is where you ask yourself a big question with no easy answer (who am I?).
This was a challenging week, as most weeks are. Life is hard. There was a mixture of desirable and undesirable event, from a new office to a very sick father in intensive care (who has since made a remarkable recovery and is home).
This is all part of my life experience, and these have to be accepted fully. The mind will naturally try to alter the past by denying the current situation, and the past cannot be changed. If I did not accept these experiences or circumstances fully then I’ll give the mind fuel to create stress, anxiety, worry and fear. Accepting each moment is unnatural, since this is not normally taught.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, and Psoriatic Arthritis. I was part of the growing epidemic of those diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease.”
There are many factors to create an autoimmune disease. One factor is the environment. Food, water, air quality and mental state. also contribute. I was frequently under a lot of anxiety and stress, and later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I never knew how my mental state affected my health, and I was not diagnosed with my autoimmune disorders until a period of time after my bipolar diagnosis.
I can count all the sane people that I know on one hand. Most are unaware of their insanity.
The insanity originates from the non-stop mental chatter of the mind. The mind tells you how to behave — the mind wants you working out for endless hours at the gym; the mind wants you to find a new spouse; the mind wants you to punch your neighbor in the face; the mind wants you to voice hate against another race; the mind wants to jerk you around, like a leashed dog pulling you down the street after he catches a glimpse of a cat. This uncontrollable dog rules his master.
The insane are possessed by thoughts. Thoughts create opinions, and judgments — good, bad, right, wrong, happy, sad, love, hate. Thoughts are the root of suffering. Suffering occurs when the mind demands a specific outcome, and the outcome is not met.
Reality is neutral. Thoughts transform nothing into something.