As you explore and ponder your pathway toward Awakening, it can be lots of fun to play around with different “mindsets”. Usually, we operate with a default, Unconscious Mindset, based on the Standard Dualistic Model of the universe. However, you can adopt a Conscious Mindset — a mindset that you create in order to ‘frame’ the world in a way that is more fun, more productive, or more compassionate — anytime you want. Adopting a Conscious Mindset can take a little work, since we’re pretty conditioned to our usual view of the world. But if you wake up each morning and devote ten or fifteen minutes to reinforcing your Conscious Mindset, you can have some real fun with this. Best of all, you can use and discard mindsets as you would put on and take off clothes — one day you can choose one, the next day you can choose another. This four-part series will suggest four different mindsets and tell you how to reinforce them in your thinking. Of course, you’re free to create your own as well!
Conscious Mindset #1 The World Temple
In this mindset, we stop looking at the world as a place where we’re trying to provide for our own security or always trying to manipulate events so that things happen in a certain way. In the World Temple, you are a monk, and every experience and person is a teacher that can enrich our spiritual lives.
To create this mindset, consider that perhaps the meaning of life isn’t to acquire tons of stuff or to make things happen perfectly. Maybe the meaning of life is to grow and experience. Looked at this way, the world is a perfect temple, providing us with all sorts of fellow monks and various experiences to challenge us on our journey. You are a monk, and the world is your temple.
— Affirm each morning that you want to intentionally hold this mindset using the following thoughts —
Other people are my temple teachers. No matter what they’re like — friendly or mean, stressed or calm — they are teachers from which I can learn. I don’t need to change anybody — I only need to observe them and see what they can teach me on my spiritual journey. If it seems that someone has nothing to teach me, I’ve missed the lesson that is hidden within them.
This point of view gives us a deep respect for others, and also helps us to increase our ability to recognize life lessons in others. Seen this way, someone who calls themselves ‘teacher’, and is willing to feed us lessons, is not nearly so great a teacher as the mean grocery store clerk who, like a wise Zen master, is making sure that any lesson we discover is found via our own inner wisdom.
Experiences are delivered to me in the temple in order to increase my spiritual understanding. I need not seek out happy events or disappointing events, since all events and experiences hold equal ability to enrich my spiritual journey.
This point of view allows us to see all experiences as equal. If we get in a car accident or our boss yells at us or we lose our keys, these are valuable experiences that we can approach with openness and curiosity. Likewise, if something very happy occurs, this is not an experience to lose ourselves in — it’s an experience to observe with openness and curiosity. Nothing ‘bad’ can happen, since we eagerly open ourselves to every experience that emerges in our temple.
Developing This Mindset
This mindset can be refined and evolved if you choose to play with it for more than a day or two. It will begin to beg questions such as: “If I am open to every experience that emerges in my temple, why am I still seeking out certain experiences and avoiding others?” or “Why do I usually see other people as faulted when it is so easy to see them with respect and curiosity?” As you answer these questions for yourself, you’ll come to some interesting realizations.
Next time we’ll explore another fun and interesting mindset to play with. Until then, give the World Temple Conscious Mindset a try and see what transpires. =)