The first component of mindlessness is the desire to control. Everyone carries a fantasy of how they and the rest of the world should be. People are constantly putting intense pressure on their own selves as well as others to match up to this image.
Usually, there are reasons behind all negative and dysfunctional behaviours and these attributes cannot vanish until understood and dealt with systematically. If we try to suppress negativity, there is often a counterattack from negative forces. In our desire to control things, we forget this simple fact and end up creating more misery for ourselves and others. Mind power can be utilised only when we give up the wish to control and instead, work to build understanding.
Another element of mindlessness is our obsession with the past and future. There are individuals who relive memories of a happy past or mourn negative experiences. Some are petrified by possibilities of future uncertainty and focus their attention in fighting imaginary battles. There are still others who keep daydreaming about an ideal future. On the whole people spend a lot of their present time in either dissecting past baggage or imagining an ideal future. As a result, they are not anchored in their present and are unable to put it to good use. We need to understand that what really exists is neither the past nor future but the present. We can grow only when our complete attention is anchored in the present.
The third component of mindlessness is greed for quick enlightenment. Several people experience disillusionment because they commit themselves to superficial perspectives for instant nirvana. Another set of people are those who commit to a valid perspective but leave it halfway as they are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both types of individuals experience intense suffering due to their attitude.
It is important to remember that no one can give you enlightenment. The wise can guide you but enlightenment will come only gradually with your own consistent efforts. When even the most revered masters got enlightenment after years of hard work and patience how can there be a short cut?
In order to grow and blossom it is important to become aware of our mindlessness and gradually change it to mindfulness. Mindfulness is very liberating as it requires us to notice and understand all kinds of thoughts, feelings and actions without judgment or criticism.
We should try to keep our attention in the ‘here and now’ and observe all that is happening around us without clinging to either the past or future. In this journey, we need to move at our own natural pace with perseverance and without greed. Although mindfulness appears to be simple and trivial at the outset, it is,in fact, the essence. About mindfulness Buddha said-‘Mindfulness, I declare, is all-helpful.
All things can be mastered by mindfulness.’