Common Issues and Solutions

For many of us, whether we realise / understand it or not, we are affected by the environment, physical, social and environmental where we were born and grew up.

This early ‘conditioning’ sets up internal standards, likes, dislikes, personality traits that we carry through our life.

Many people never break free from these patterns, all the time remaining in the environment where they grew up. This has the effect of continually reinforcing those early patterns making it almost impossible to see a world beyond this conditioned perception.

Some, like me, because of that early conditioning feel the need to ‘escape’ to move away from this continual reinforcement to discover who they are beneath the layers of conditioning. Why does this happen to some and not others? I suspect, following my limited understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, that our past creates our present, and the present creates our future.

So, if, at some point on our journey, and here I would include the ‘soul’ though I am not really sure what this means, other than to say it could be an aspect of ‘us’ that survives death and continues its journey, being born into a body once more when the ‘charge’ is sufficiently strong to allow that to happen. This is way more involved than I can go into in this short article so just try to accept the possibility for now.

Now, along our journey, a situation may have arisen that caused us to reflect and question our reality. Alternatively, nothing arose in our awareness to make us question the manifesting reality and we remain content within the dream like state that we currently energise.

Either way, and these are the two extremes of the example I want to share, decisions made in the past affect the future. You can see that if you remain in the small village where you were born, surrounded by the same people with the same attitudes and opinions all your life, you would be a part of that reality and, hopefully, content within it. If, in your past a little seed was planted, a nagging though or feeling that there was more to life than the small village then there would have been an almost sub-conscious desire to explore possibilities. Incidentally I suspect this is what happened to Gautama Siddhartha, later to become the Buddha.

If this seed was planted and then encouraged to grow because of significant challenges in the home life, again, any challenges in early years must have been a product of past decisions ‘choices.’

When we follow this desire to see more, understand and experience more, then this ‘choices’ lead us into many adventures beyond our previously limited understandings. Subsequently, this opening up to the many and varied possibilities this world has to offer, creates, within itself, a significant shift in our awareness and understanding.

If we follow the earlier reasoning then this must have a significant effect upon our future, so what may have appeared to be an established destiny in the small village a very new perception of the world unfolds for us.

Then, like dominoes falling, each ‘decision’ creates a different reality, and the dominoes continue to fall instead of remaining static, or falling glacially slowly.
In earlier times, pre internet, radio, TV, newspapers etc, story telling was how people got their news. Obviously this would depend upon the person telling the story, were they just repeating stories, adding to them, changing them to fit their dialogue or?

If a story teller happened to show up in your small village and inspired you, by their stories, to look outside for adventure, this would be the seed.

According to Buddhist teachings, 3 life times on this path, diligent, devoted etc, then enlightenment, or freedom from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is almost guaranteed.

So choices or decisions you make today are going to impact and create your tomorrow. While we blindly follow the conditioned dictates of our childhood, nothing can change, tomorrow becomes a repeat of today. Start slowly, stop, give pause for a moment in your life and ask yourself, “Is there a different way I could deal with this situation?”

While we believe that we have to work harder, longer, put in more effort to reach goals, then that will be the reality that unfolds for you, seemingly confirming that this is what must happen for change to occur.

Simply because this might be your current belief is it really the case.

Only by slowly collapsing our focus on this way of being can a different way arise. We do this slowly, taking a moment, whenever we think of it, to ask ourselves:

“Is there a different way I could deal with this situation”?

Your choices are going to be limited by those thoughts and actions you made yesterday, this is a slow road, requiring patience and perseverance but the rewards are beyond your imaginings.