There are quarks and leptons. We see them as everything from tables to flesh but those are labels. It’s all quarks and leptons – the entire known universe is just quarks and leptons. How you experience them is wide open. There are tendencies based upon conditioning, but you are not bound to experience them as such.
Thoughts and experience are all mind. They rise and fall every moment. How we see, create, and respond to the world is in our mind. It’s a terrifying responsibility but it can’t be shirked. You can work to become conscious of the world you see and project or you can do it unconsciously and live a life of confusion and frustration.
Start by taking responsibility for your emotions and thoughts about the world around you. Deep down you are responsible for every single thought you have. Before paying deep attention it seems other people and events cause your experience of life but really it is your beliefs about those people or events that create your felt experience.
If you want to live a life of freedom and joy, then you must quit reacting to life and take responsibility for everything. This doesn’t mean everything is your fault, it means your response is yours to own and that you are building your future with it. Responding is taking purposeful action with awareness. Reacting is letting events, causes, and conditions evoke your thoughts and actions. The first leads to meaningful living, the latter to hopeless stress and suffering.
Zen Presence – Ideas for Meaningful Living
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