Today we begin our exploration of our mammal mind / emotions. This is where all of our suffering and stress start, and where we can and will change the deep, unconscious habit that is responsible for them.
As a way to broadly frame what this mind is about, we talked about two vast and very important concepts: original sin and karma (both of which we'll unpack more over time).
Original Sin: In the beginning, the world was good, with no suffering, until we humans learned about good and evil, aka judgment ("I like it!" and "I don't like it!"), aka reactivity. Reacting is something that we DO (although at first it'll feel like something that just happens with little or no ability to control it), and eventually we'll build the awareness and acceptance required to NOT do it. Every moment of reactivity is a seed of future suffering.
Karma: Cause and effect. The seeds you plant determine the harvest you reap. If you plant seeds of a bitter lemon, you will only get bitter fruit. Whereas, if you plant seeds of sweet mangos, you are guaranteed sweet fruit in the future. The reactions that you've had in the past are the cause of your current suffering. The reaction that you learn to attenuate today, ensures that you will enjoy a stress-free future.
We are going to learn to notice and take full responsibility for our reactivity. According to the historical practice of mindfulness, this is required of every adult. This deep self-control will ensure that you are not adding to the sum total of suffering in your life and on our planet, and are planting only positive seeds with every feeling, thought and action you have.
Notice your reactivity – all of it. Simply be aware that you're reacting. Also notice the reactivity in others around you (in your life, on TV, etc.).