The tipping point

posted Dec 7, 2009, 2:41 AM by ash ‎(evermindful)‎   [ updated Dec 11, 2009, 6:48 PM ]
In the previous “The pursuit of Happyness” article I described an experiment that I conducted in a controlled environment. In that time I crafted a set of lenses that flattened out the highs and lows in life; I was at peace and at ease. My path now is to return back to the commercial world and refine those lenses to work under all conditions. Refining these lenses is a non-trivial process. Each lens wraps each of the six sense media. The lenses are governed by the four right exertions:
  1. guard against unskillful qualities
  2. abandon unskillful qualities
  3. develop skillful qualities
  4. maintain skillful qualities
The process of calibrating the lenses takes time; it requires patience and a good deal of acceptance. Each and every experience in our life is the result of the contact with a composition of the five aggregates. The five aggregates are form, feeling, perception, mental fabrication and consciousness. With each experience lies a test and the lens’ boundary conditions get exercised.

In a controlled environment the conditions are well, controlled (ie. constrained, serial in nature, orchestrated or timed). In the commercial world the conditions are chaotic (ie. unconstrained, synchronous/concurrent, amplified and viral).

Since returning back to consulting I have been reacquainted with my old friends, namely political agenda, greed, desire, and aversion. I have been wearing the lenses at all times, so I am left with the question of “from where did these characters return?” It turns out that I never fully dissolved these characters from my ego. Many characters have evacuated my mind knowing that there is little to feed their hunger. However, many characters lay dormant waiting patiently for the tipping point. The tipping point for me occurs in the commercial world when a number of my attachments combine in quick succession. At this moment the four right exertions that govern the lenses are silenced. Mindfulness is still present but skillful diversion of the flow of the mind from its habitual kammic stream requires strength that is difficult to summon.

In the last month I have broken or shattered many lenses. Once the tipping point is reached the guard for the sense media is dropped. The attitudes of expect nothing, pace yourself, accept everything, let go, be gentle and note similarities starts to get compromised. Soon the mind entertains unskillful qualities and defers the development and maintenance of skillful qualities. A good example of this is eating. When I eat mindfully my mind monitors for the state of relief from hunger. When that relief state is reached, the mind notes that I should stop eating. However, in those times when the tipping point is reached, I would mindlessly feed myself until the mind notes rejection of food.

After contemplation I no longer think that the controlled environment and the commercial world are vastly different. After all, at the atomic level all phenomena is experienced serially.

Therefore, as I approach the tipping point I just need to learn to slow things down and deal with conflicts one at a time to shape and free the mind.