We all hold beliefs. Some are religious in nature, others sectarian and national, and some political. Others are complex beliefs about parenting, social ideals or resource consumption. Some things that we believe were instilled in us from a young age by our parents or caregivers, schoolteachers and other outside sources. Others we have chosen for ourselves with careful thought and consideration. Some beliefs we are passionate about, others we have given little thought to, yet all beliefs we hold we call our own. And in the face of challenge we are most likely to hold firmly to them with defense and zeal, and to try to convert the naysayers and those who disagree. We spend a great deal of our lives, often unconsciously, trying to convert those around us to our own set of beliefs.
While beliefs bring people together, they also separate and create intolerance. One only must turn on the news, or open social media to see countless examples of both.
So, what does this mean for us and our personal beliefs? First, we must find out if we can study ourselves in relationship to a belief. We must see if we can open ourselves enough to look at our beliefs objectively, with non-judgemental questioning. And we must get to the root of our beliefs – the very “why” we have them in the first place.
Why do we accept beliefs?
We accept beliefs in our lives out of fear – fear of emptiness, loneliness, stagnation, not succeeding, not achieving, not becoming something or someone. To escape from this fear, we create beliefs; they give us an anchor in this complex universe in which we live. They provide a sense of purpose and of reasoning for our lives and our place within it. This is why we accept beliefs so eagerly and greedily in our lives – we are constantly seeking comfort and security, and beliefs, often unconsciously, provide that for us.
But beliefs in fact, hinder our understanding – of self, of others and of the world. Belief is like a veil or layer through which we are looking at ourselves and the world. Beliefs feel like a safety net for us through which to determine our place and purpose in our lives, and yet this safety net does more constricting than freeing.
So, what is the alternative? If we had no belief, what would happen to us?
Is it possible to live without beliefs? To not change beliefs and not substitute one for another but to live entirely free from held opinions?
It is challenging, but yes this is possible and the freedom it provides is life-altering.
If we have no beliefs with which the mind has identified itself, then the mind, without identification, is capable of looking at itself as it is—and then, surely, there is the beginning of the understanding of oneself, of others and the universe. Then we have the capacity to be without conditioning and reaction to the past. We become able to meet life afresh each minute and to live in true freedom and joy.
At the Happyness center our main aim is to help you develop mindfulness and deeper awareness of your inner self. It is within silent observation that we can learn to see ourselves.
We invite you to join us for our Monthly Meditation on Saturday November 28th, as we explore how our thoughts and beliefs affect our lives and discuss how we can building the inner awareness and attention we need to rid ourselves of beliefs and find peace.
We all lead busy lives, and meditation can help us relax and renew. We will share, learn, and practice together. Group meditations has many advantages that can reinforce our desires of daily practice that inspires us and others.
Your Happyness Team