DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 3: “Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”― Dalai Lama XIV
In this sense, discipline is all about reminding myself, daily, of the truth that I have come to understand in the Universe.
The truth is that we are all dying and have deep attachments to things that cause us enormous grief and pain. These attachments can be loosened any time we like. I have come to peaceful understanding with so many of my former attachments and old ideas, as they are called in AA.
My early beliefs were based on the teachings of the culture where I was raised. All cultures have dogma that is perpetuated, with or without its accuracy being questioned. I questioned all of what I was taught, because I was always an avid explorer in the Universal realm of psychic and spiritual phenomena.
Coming into recovery, this deepened and developed to a state where I am no longer in alignment with any of the political, social or religious dogma of my culture. It is all deeply flawed and makes me sad to see how accurate an old statement is that I learned early in Social Psychology classes. That statement is that ‘people are like sheep, blindly following whichever popular leader is currently in vogue.’ This is not the most accurate quote since it is an amalgamation of the theory. The theory explains why thousands, if not millions of people will back a leader, politician, and other popular leaders, despite the violation of social mores and against their conscience.
I have seen this all my life. The beliefs that any one person is a saint or a demon. It takes a huge mass of “sheep” to allow one man or woman to rise to power great enough to influence millions. However, this is not the entire point I wish to make today.
We suffer when we buy into ANY dichotomy that is static and remains unchanged. Voting a straight party ticket ALL the time is one source of sheep-ish behavior. Refusing to learn or try anything new, to move out of that comfortable rut most sheep will inhabit until a crane lifts them to a new level of consciousness. These are the causes of our undisciplined mind and soul. It is, indeed, painful. And no one can help us with this. We must learn to discipline ourselves to reach and grow and expand and let go of the fear and Ego that keep us in pain. So sad. There is nothing worse than the conscience of one person who knows they are spiritually lazy and coasting through life. We all do this from time to time, hoping no one will know. But the truth is that WE KNOW! And it is killing so many of us. This is the wakeup call to pay attention and stop munching the grass!