Buddhist Reflection: Creating Stories

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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”-Buddha

“Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true” –Gil Fronsdal

I’ve attended many a dharma talk and listened to many a Buddhist podcast. I’ve noticed a recurring theme; the power of the stories we create in our minds. As one becomes skilled in meditation, patience and equanimity develop. Equanimity allows us to observe the thoughts and feelings that arise in our mind without reacting to them. In a perfect Buddhist world, practitioners should be able to note their thoughts and allow them to pass without attaching to them. Once we attach ourselves to our thoughts we create stories around them that may or not be true. Once we create these stories we often run with them. Reacting to a false reality and creating a worse situation than what really is.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect Buddhist world. We all get caught up in the stories we create. I recently experienced a situation that revealed how much I fall into this pattern of behavior. I learned that a lack of understanding and insight coupled with an unhealthy attachment caused me to not only create a story and hold is as truth, but to react to this “truth”. Essentially I got in my own way and helped to make a bad situation worse. Just because I think something, doesn’t make it true. Yet if it is true, that doesn’t mean that I have to react to it.

At the same time, I have a very keen sense of intuition, so how do I separate and recognize the difference? I believe the answer lies somewhere between cultivating insight and strengthening my confidence in my intuition. Lack of insight causes us to miss the bigger picture and doubt results in misjudgment.

My current experiment is to attempt to find a perfect balance of  insight and intuition. Maybe I’ll write a followup blog with my findings. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

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