It is our belief systems that govern our thoughts, feelings and our actions to a large extent. And it is mostly through conditioned thoughts, feelings and actions that we create and navigate the story of our life. In this article I am going to explore how belief systems usually arise and how you can transform them into helpful powers that uplift yourself and others.
How We Experience Ourselves…
…is caused by countless moments that lay buried in the footsteps of our past. Every single thought has been learned, every feeling is completely and utterly conditioned. All facets of our personality, every fiber of our being has been – and is currently – formed into existence. The summary of all these factors create a personalized experience of yourself and what you call “life” in this moment. Isn’t this absolutely mind-blowing?
Every little thing in this universe arises due to its specific cause and is simultaneously causing further development. Thus we might actually speak of processes rather than things. This already points to the liberating fact that we have the choice to condition or cause our own experience of life. We might not have complete control over circumstances but we can change the way we receive them. You can change the way you think and feel about yourself and your life right in this moment should you decide to do so.
When many different thoughts, feelings and “certainties” come together, we form a belief. When many beliefs start to support each other, we have a belief system. Such a system might either be beneficial or harmful depending on its direction. If a belief arises out of suffering, tension or pain, its direction is in accordance with its cause. If it arises out of kindness, compassion or wisdom the same law applies. A belief is also often born of a repetitive – or very powerful – experience formed by thoughts, feelings or perceptions.
These systems are very comfortable within the subconscious realm of our mind. They run as background-tasks, much like the background apps on our phones. They make sure to fetch your mails, or check if you have new messages on facebook etc. A belief is very similar. It makes sure that your experience of life is in accordance with itself. In order to break through old and harmful belief systems we need to follow a proper system of consistent practice.
Overcoming Harmful Patterns
The way to deal with old and painful beliefs is actually quite simple. Most people probably don’t think it’s very simple (this might serve as an example of a belief system that might not serve us here). Trust me, it’s simple! You can do it, many human beings with human minds and human problems have done it before – so why not you? Here we go:
1. Make it Conscious
By becoming aware of harmful belief patterns we have done the first step. It’s those that limit you, keep you confused and locked within mental (and often also physical) pain. It’s those things you feel you can’t do – even if you wanted to. All your unfulfilled goals and dreams point to harmful or fear-based belief systems that hold you back. I would define a harmful belief as any belief that keeps you incapable of experiencing and expressing kindness, inner peace and wisdom. Cultivate some Mindfulness to do this step well.
2. Let it Go
Once you know it, let go of it. Realize that the nature of belief systems is nothing but mental stuff that you have learned to repeat at some point. It can be re-shaped, re-formed and re-structured. It’s like gas, insubstantial and ethereal. Your inner experience is something very flexible. It’s based on repetitive thought patterns that you feel certain about and think of as “the truth”. Thought patterns are powerless movements of energy once you see them clearly. See them vanish before your eyes. You need to learn meditation for this!
3. Fill the Space
The last step is to empower yourself with a new – and better – belief. Whether it’s something simple as “I can do this” or anything else, you need to figure out very clearly what you want! If you don’t know what you want, you will feel stuck right here. You identified your obstacle, you broke through it but now you’re still aimless. The space that’s there after you let go of an old belief should be filled with a new belief that is both kind and wise.
About The Author
Tobi Warzinek has been working as a spiritual guide and mentor since 2009. His journey started in early 2002 when he entered the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rabten Choeling. He spent approximately 7 years in the community and studied the Tibetan language, mind-training and various meditation methods. Additionally he trained in traditional monastic debate and Buddhist philosophy. In 2011 he subsequently began practicing within the “Forest Tradition” in Thailand. Altogether he has dedicated his life to the exploration and refinement of introspection throughout the past 18 years. You can connect with Tobi on his page or on facebook.
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