"Do you often imagine to escape to a better reality?"
There may be a bird chirping in front of us. But with the power of imagination, we can transform it into a fire-breathing dragon. The mind thus is capable of imagination: the power to create its own realities and fantasies.
In this article, we will explore this faculty of the mind to see how using it excessively can impact one's experience of happiness.
Imagination In Depth
We can use our minds to imagine more than we realize.
Sometimes, we can consciously use our minds to imagine things. But most of the time, it can happen subconsciously.
One can start daydreaming about sipping coconuts at a beach whilst slaving away at the workplace, and this can happen consciously or subconsciously.
We can use one's imagination to predict how it would be to fall in love with someone they like.
One can use their imagination to come up with different solutions to an intricate problem they are facing.
One can even imagine oneself to be happy when one is not.
One's imagination can even make one believe that a person is bad before even getting to know them.
So, the mind has the ability to write its own realities.
Is it bad or good to imagine?
The answer is, it can be either.
On one hand, imagination can be used as a tool for creativity, motivation, visualizing one's goals, and the exploration of possibilities. But on the other hand, imagination can blind one from seeing the truth of reality.
To simplify, there is really no harm in using our imagination when we are in control of it. It's only when the mind begins to imagine things outside of our control that can pose problems to one's health and happiness.
Realize that any habit that is outside of our control will always lead to suffering.
Because these habits will always be driven by the suffering states of mind!
Importance Of Addressing Imagination
Let us explore the negative side of imagination, i.e. how it can negatively impact one's life.
When we use our imagination in the desire to escape facing the world in front of us, the line between what is real and not can become blurred. When the mind is constantly verging on the borders between fantasy and reality, it can promote the state of confusions in the mind. I.e. one can begin to react to life experiences as "they have imagined" rather than as "they are".
Have you ever seen someone overreacting to something insignificant?
When we constantly dwell in the world of imagination, it can weave its way to become our reality. For instance, we can have millions of dollars, but as long as we continue to imagine ourselves as poor, we will see ourselves as poor and incomplete, always desiring for more money.
Our fears are the worst drivers of our imagination, taking us to believe that the experience in front of us contains the worst of what we fear.
For instance, when we fear rejection, we can start to imagine that other people won't like us.
When we fear being embarassed, we can start to imagine people judging us for our every little action.
So it's important to become aware of our suffering states of mind as they will always make the mind subconsciously imagine things that are not there!
Do you often believe that people are thinking negatively about you?
When we are unable to control the mind from imagining things, we can end up over-thinking, which will come at the cost of our energy, making us feel fatigued and less focused during the day.
The excessive use of one's imagination can also greatly stimulate the mind, making one ungrounded and lose focus of what is happening in the Present Moment.
Path Of Creator
Imagination In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey is about developing the awareness of the suffering states within because they can drive one to imagine in an unwholesome way.
For instance, our anger issues can make us imagine that others are deliberately saying things to make us angry when they are simply being themselves.
Or, our tendency to be jealous can make us imagine our partners to be sleeping with someone else whenever they are not around us.
Or, the impatience can make us believe that we have been waiting 45 minutes for our meals when we have only waited for 20 minutes.
Thus the suffering states of the mind can drive one to over-imagine things. This is when the states of imagining can be detrimental to one's physical and mental wellbeing.
But, as one addresses their suffering states of the mind, the issues to do with imagination will naturally resolve themselves.
As the seed cause of suffering is Self-Rejection, let us look at the ways to address the suffering states of the mind by developing Self-Acceptance.
Realize that the key to Self-Transformation is to develop Self-Acceptance.
For instance, if one can learn to accept themselves even if they fail, then the fears of embarrassment will disappear.
If one can accept all possibilities in life, then one will no longer experience any fears.
If one can accept all possibilities of Self, then one will no longer be angry at another person.
Thus, if one can accept the Present moment as is, then the mind wouldn't want to escape it with imagination!
The journey of developing Self-Acceptance will be quite a challenge. But by incorporating the daily practice of meditation into one's life, the journey will be much easier. Meditation will help one to develop Stillness, which will help one to see Reality as is. By learning to put the imagining mind aside, it will give one greater courage and wisdom to go into experiences directly to experience the truth rather than let their fears tell them what they are. This will help one to see that what one fears most is actually not too scary in life, and to see how happy it can be to live in the Present Moment rather than in one's Imagination. Thus, going towards what one fears can be quite a transformative experience.
Realize that the Present Moment is the best moment to be in. It is the moment where one can experience the greatest happiness. The journey will take one to realize that the reason why the mind desires to escape the Present Moment through imagnation is due to the Suffering States Of The Mind making the Present Moment worse than it appears to be.
The destination thus is towards transforming and releasing all suffering states of the mind so that one does not need to use the imagination to escape one's pain, or to escape to a better reality.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Notice the quality of the experience when the mind is wandering around in imagination: It's an unhappy state of mind!
So whenever you find yourself fearing the worst, worrying about things, or imagining things that have not even happened, simply ask yourself—
"Do I love myself more or my imagination more?"
Choose the former if you wish to experience greater happiness!
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
In your meditation sessions, realize that the Reality of the Present Moment is simply you sitting there observing the different physical sensations coming and going throughout the body.
This is the act of observation rather than imagination. Practising this will help you to become aware of the moments when the mind begins to imagine things; and when it does, pull yourself back to simply observing reality!
This is how you can teach the mind to stay in the reality of the moment.
Know and Transform The Self!
Use the 10 Day Self-Knowing Vipassana to learn how to meditate every day so that you can learn how to be the master of your mind.