​Does disorientation from living distractedly make me vulnerable to beliefs?

JOSÉ PARÉS PÉREZ
Concepción, Chile

So long as we fail to understand that the ability to stop suffering is within us, and only within us, we will fall victim to any outside influence that is keen for us to pursue it.  What happens is that we are not aware that suffering is the result of our internal conflicts.  And these, in turn, are created by our own thoughts.

Do you not believe me?  Let me give you some examples, since understanding this is the root of a solution to your disorientation when faced with suffering.

If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one it is absolutely natural to feel the pain that this involves.  However, if you allow yourself to be distracted by the memories that pass through your mind you will enter into a divisive process that will cause you to suffer. It is not that you should forget your loved one; it is about not allowing your thoughts to wander.  The source of your suffering is the uncertainty of what has happened to your loved one.  That life has ended, as happens with all beings in the universe.  Beliefs have provided the basis of that uncertainty.  Any thought that differs from the reality that we can observe is the source of your disorientation and suffering.

Another example.  You have experienced an unavoidable incident that makes you fear financial hardship in the future.  

It has not happened yet, but you imagine that it will happen in the future.  The fear of that difficult situation in the future preys on your thoughts since you believe that, at your age, nobody will give you the opportunity to get over it.  The imagined problem that may occur in the future takes over your thoughts and you cannot find a way of escaping from the situation.  You are completely unaware that you are the victim of your own thoughts.  Your present life is good and you are just imagining a future problem because you believe that nothing will happen to your life to prevent what you fear.  Your disorientation is born of your wandering thoughts or your doubts about your own ability.  If you are alert and pay attention to the present you will realise that your fear is related to something that does not exist.

I hope that these examples help you to understand that you always need to live in real life, in present events, not in the scenarios that beliefs cause you to conjure up or imagine.  Pay attention to the present and you will save yourself from pointless suffering.  Beliefs are no more than that: beliefs.

mindfulness