Aah… how the complexities of the English language and the complexities of human life intertwine! It is so much easier to use coins to create change than to alter our thoughts to create change.
This is where the “Law of Impermanence” reminds us that change is constant. From moment to moment we change. It is estimated cell turnover in an adult human is about 50-70 billion per day. So we are not the same person today we were yesterday nor will we be exactly the same tomorrow as we are today. This physicall change requires little effort.
Our biggest challenge is dealing with the external changes in life...internally. The changes in our beliefs and our attitudes require far more energy and require us to develop a practice of awareness. It’s about letting go of thoughts that we believe define who we are. Once we acquire a repetitious thought such as “I keep failing as always” or “I’m not good enough or smart enough to deal with this problem”, “I am not good at this or that”, “I am not creative”, etc. the thought (a form of energy) transmits signals to the brain. The brain then transmits that energy to our body where we may feel tension, stress, high blood pressure, a breakdown of the immune system and on and on.….. only to perpetuate the emotional and sometimes painful or uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, depression, self-doubt/low self -esteem, etc.
In reality, most of our thoughts are handed to us by grandparents, parents, teachers, clergymen, and even friends and acquaintances. We were not born with prejudices nor did we come into this world with anger, worry, depression, self-doubt and anxiety. These feelings and reactions come from those hand-me-down beliefs that were relayed or suggested to us by others. As a child, you may have heard a parent repeatedly suggesting that “you will never amount to anything” or “you are lazy, shy,” or hear them label others as inferior because of their skin color or religious beliefs. And if you repeat these thoughts on a regular basis, that energy is transmitted to the brain where they transform into non-factual beliefs that not only affect the cellular structure of the brain, they also dictate your future action towards yourself and others. The body does what the mind (our thoughts) does and the mind does what the body does.
But when we become curious and aware that not all our thoughts are factual, that we cannot believe or accept every thought we have as reflective of our true self, then and only then can we choose to change the way we think and act in our external world. Change is about questioning our beliefs, discovering their origin and finding the courage to change….to become less judgmental towards ourselves and others. This is just one merit of Mindfulness Meditation. Count the change we call currency and it will only add up to dollars and cents that will soon disappear before we realize it. Count the change we can make in our beliefs and the way we think… it will lead us to self -discovery and growth, the kind of “change” that will add up to a balanced and more desirable life of joy and well –being.
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. Plutarch