My mind wants a good life.
I would imagine that your mind does too.
It would also make sense to say:
"I want a good few decades." because that probably makes up a life.
But oh! Let's keep going.
"I want a good year."
"I want a good month."
"I want a good week."
"I want a good day."
"I want a good minute."
"I want a good second."
"I want a good.... now?"
A good now is neither good nor is it now.
This statement is rather odd.
How can "now" be good?
How can it be possible that the present moment takes on some attribute, some clothing, that will make us feel "good"? It doesn't make sense. Now is now. Right? It is what it is.
Our minds are severely limited in this way. The present moment confuses it. It's almost like it cannot exist in the present moment.
Having observed this, I noticed my mind was looking for something to feel good about. As always, it first started with the outside world.
"Anything good happening here?"
"Eh. It's just a bunch of stuff."
This manifests typically when we look at what is currently present to us that can fill some interest/boredom gap. For example, I am sitting in my office writing this article. I can see my computer and all the other objects in the room. I can also feel my lower back aching and some sensation in my heart. I hear my family doing something, not sure what, in the other room. I smell dog treats. I taste my mouth.
My mind looks through these senses, forms an image, and presents it (to itself?).
It (the mind) then compares the image showing up to other images (past, other people's lives, the hopeful future). This act of comparison causes immense suffering.
My mind would like my life to look like this (right now):
Where did the desire for these things even come from?
Why is it that we want the things we want?
Maybe it's a sprinkle of mimetic desire, cultural/social conditioning, or people selling a dream that doesn't exist.
Let's compare that to the following:
What my life looks like right now (from a sensory perspective):
Not even close to what my mind wants, and that invites an incredible...
Tension. Resistance. Rejection.
This is our suffering. Well, technically, this is our minds suffering, and most people identify as their mind.
We then look inside ourselves, daydream, and slightly reject this moment in favour of our present ideal moment.
We SUPERIMPOSE our imagined reality with our actual reality. But it's a mismatch. And that disappoints us.
And the mind continues to hope. It believes that if it conjures a future vision, it will get exactly that. But life rarely unfolds the way we want it to. We don't get what our minds want. We get what we get.
And that invites the most heinous suffering of all. Expectation.
Forget about a good life.
And see the good unfolding right now.
That requires becoming thought-less.
To truly see, we must drop these things.
They are masking the present moment. They draw our attention to them. Without distracting us, we might realize what our minds wanted never mattered. It may become incredibly self-evident.
Why does it not matter?
The mind, body, and world are LATE! They don't exist in the present moment. They are always after it. They arise IN the present moment, requiring the present moment to EXIST before each object.
The now is before these things.
And that is who we are. Truly. (far-out)
This space (mental & physical) we're occupying is simply an experience that arises. Our experience is the effect of an ancient cause. Maybe it was the big bang or some act of divine will (we may never know), but there was a cause, and we're living the effects every moment of every day.
Life was never about us. Life was never about me. Life is what it is, and we're here for the ride—playing our part in this beautiful mystery.
A Mental Practice
Here is a short practice you can give your mind. It's challenging. But good results come after doing hard things.
The practice is to aid your mind in tracing its way back to its true nature.
Starting with the outside world, dropping its importance, and then moving to the inner world and dropping that as well.
It may help you to allow your mind to ask itself the question: "Am I aware?" and follow its trace.
Keep dropping. And you'll see. That's the most I can say.
We do not live in a separate universe. You and I are not separate. At some level, we all share the same universal space. Our being is the same. Our minds are not.
You are on this planet. I am on this planet. We are deeply connected. We should explore this together.
Be as you are.
And a relatively good life will be forced to find you.