The Mind and The Way

All Our Practice Efforts, Directed to the Cessation of the Taints


The Mind and The Way


Much of human behavior is dictated by the subconscious part of the mind. In fact, our subconscious mind manages about ninety percent of everything we do whether we are asleep or awake. It controls our body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythms. It manages our bodily functions like breathing, digestion, blood circulation, etc. to ensure our survival and maintain our well-being. It stores our beliefs, our past experience, our memories, and our skills.

From time to time, we may experience self-doubts, negative thoughts, unreasonable fears, upsets, or irrational behaviors. This is completely normal. The painful experience of the past, both this life and past lives, clearly have an effect upon our present emotional state and behaviors. Each moment our mind is recording information processed from every sight, every sound, every taste, smell, pain, touch, and emotion etc. These recordings are called kamma (karma in Sanskrit). They are stored in the subconscious mind. Our mind uses this information to make conscious decisions, and also unconscious ones, in order to solve problems may relate to our survival. They formed our personality, character, disposition, and become our personal identity. Some of the past experiences are pleasant and happy, and some of them maybe traumatic and damaging. In our daily life, what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or certain emotional state may trigger some painful experience hidden in our sub consciousness, this is the cause of our fears, insecurities, negative thoughts, unwanted emotions and irrational behaviors.

Our subconscious judgement, feeling, and motivation constitutes our personalities and habits, including traits and abilities. They give us a sense of self. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are generated in our subconscious mind and follow certain patterns. These patterns are called habits, and are determined by our past experiences of this life and past lives. They are an indispensable part of our personality and govern most of our daily life activities. As a human being, we are naturally drawn to habitual patterns because repetition creates familiarity and comfort. Positive habits can even become great tools. Sometimes, however, our habits can interfere with our ability to behave in a desired or appropriate way. Indeed, there are times in which we might wish what we say or what we do to be different and more in line with our conscious and controlled intentions. Sometimes habitual behaviors can even develop into impulsiveness and addiction.

In summary, our habitual thinking and imagery mold, fashion, and create our destiny; for as a man thinks in his subconscious mind, so is he. Being mindless, without mindfulness or awareness, means we subject to our habits and routines, which are determined by our kammas. When we blindly follow habits and routines, we are acting like automatons, with potentially grave consequences for ourselves due to our innate lust, ill will and delusion (rāga, dosa & moha). This also includes visions. By becoming more mindful, we are able to recognize the habitual patterns of our mind, and have greater control of our mind state, to welcome changes, or feel less fearful, and even transcend our human limits.