The Habitual Nature of the Mind and Change

Our mind is habitual and repetitive by nature.  Recognising this leads you closer to appreciating change.

The mind is slow to change because it is habitual.  Being habitual it has a gradual process, taking time to learn and also unlearn.  Have you noticed this experience?

Our actions express our habits and allow us to engage in the world as effectively as we perceive it.  Even our sense of perception is habitual.  We only see what we are used to seeing.  What we are used to seeing is learned and this is also a gradual appreciation.  It is a habit.

Anything that falls outside our habits is usually dismissed in our own habitual way.  Yet for many of us, especially achievers, we like to think we manage change effectively.

The mind cushions change with expectations: a practice of organising our habits around a situation.  We have neither addressed nor accepted change.  We have only managed our habits accordingly–managing expectations.  Our habits seemingly allow us to engage change but the sense of unsettledness often remains.

Do we really manage change or is the situation only lending convenience to our habits?  Do we engage change by seeking the most convenience for keeping our habits intact?  Have you ever considered these phenomenons?

Controlling our behaviour and action to a situation is often confused with the ability to embrace change.

Changing behaviour without changing habit is toleration.  Over an extended period it can ferment into frustration as well as creating an illusory sense of having choice.  This is where feverishness arises, an expectation for keeping our habits intact, willingly or unwillingly.

Changing behaviour to meet a situation goes beyond just social grace; it also reflects our willingness to experience.  Look back at your own experiences.  When faced with new situations how was your state of mind?  Whether willing or unwilling, we face new experiences through the perceived security of our habits and the phenomenon of prioritising arises.  We prioritize to support the greatest convenience for keeping our habits intact.  The mind would cleverly disguise every opportunity to do so.

Our habits are repetitive actions with practical and preventive measures.  They are deep seeded impressions often expressed unconsciously.  When we are even unaware of the influence of habits in our engagement of the world, how can we begin to manage change let alone embrace it?

The habitual nature of the mind is a very subtle observation which may need some time for consideration.  When the mind begins to settle then its subtlest expression is also revealed.

The great ancient seers established precedents into enquiring about the mind.  Recognising and realising the habitual nature of the mind arises from the maturing of the three great enquiries: “Who Am I?”, “What Am I?” and “Where Am I?”  These three great enquiries arises from the wish to know the truth and only advanced through silent observation: Meditation.

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2 Responses to The Habitual Nature of the Mind and Change

  1. Pingback: 52 Zen Habits (You don’t have to do them all at once.) | Breathe and Smile

  2. Pingback: Breathe & Smile » Breathe, smile, and other simple tools to get on the road to happiness.52 Zen Habits (You don't have to do them all at once.) - Breathe & Smile

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