We all do this. We have an idea, an opinion, a like or dislike that set and hardened in our consciousness sometime in the past. And because of this we still think we feel the same way now as we did then.
But where did those ideas originally come from?
We are all born with a gender, a culture and in a time and place where the rules are already set. As children, we have very little free will and wind up adopting our parents’ outlook. We are also very much influenced by our teachers, peers and siblings. This is all very clear to us when we look to cultures outside our own and wonder how people can think the way they do.
How can a ten-year-old be a racist or an eight-year-old hate hippies? Well, we think, they were not born this way, they were obviously influenced by others.
But what about our own influences?
Do we ever stop to look at all the ideas we readily adopted as children without ever investigating how we truly feel now?
Developing a meditation practice is a great place to begin the process of figuring out which thoughts are ours and which ones are just holdovers from a previous time. When we sit in meditation we are not concerned with the future or the past — only the present moment.
This frees us from all the ties that bind.
Residing in the present moment creates a great spaciousness –
a place where we can touch our very nature because we are free from the thoughts, ideas, values and judgments of ourselves and of others.