Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Object:  Virtual Reality Goggles

Teacher:  Will Kabat-Zinn

Listen to This:  It's Hard Being Human

Observation:  “Most people are not comfortable in their own territory, and that’s evidenced by the fact that people spend zero time alone with themselves not plugged into something. Why?

Because it’s hard to be you. It’s hard to be a human being. A lot happens to us by the time we reach any age. And its not always a friendly world that we come up in. Just to be a human being is to experience feelings and sensations, and many of them are uncomfortable, so that makes it hard to be in your own experience anyway. And most of us are really identified with all the content that’s present in us, that this is who I am; this person with this history and these limitations and these hopes and dreams and aspirations. And I’m trying to get everyone to like me, or at least enough people. Im trying to get what I want or what I need or what I don’t have. I’m trying to prove myself to whomever. I’m also trying to get rid of all these things that I want to get rid of in myself, these habits and thoughts and patterns and beliefs.

You don’t have to get rid of your thoughts because thoughts are just a small part of what’s happening. When you don’t have awareness watching thoughts, you’re just in them. You have a fearful thought about tomorrow? That’s your world. It’s like virtual reality, only you didn’t put on goggles so you don’t think it’s virtual. If you put on virtual (goggles) you’d be like, whoa I’m really scaring my self about tomorrow, but you don’t have any goggles, so you’re just like, shit…

That’s what happens when you don’t see a thought as a thought. When you don’t see that there’s awareness here and thinking is happening within it. And same with emotions. Same with feelings, same with reactions. So there’s something else happening here that we could miss. And if you think it’s something that’s created by meditating, you will also miss it. You will miss that fact that it’s here before you ever meditated. And it’s just here through all your experience. And that’s important because it’s a part of who you are. It’s not something that your going to get when you’re worthy.
You already have what you need. Awareness is full and complete as it is.

Awareness is always present, even when you say, ‘oh I wasn’t aware for that time,’ or ‘I spent the whole day and I wasn’t aware,’ I think what people mean by that is that they were mostly in thinking, and stories, so you were here experiencing mostly being in these virtual realities, which is the way most people are living all the time.

So firstly, we got to recognize that the situation for most people is, and this was certainly true for me, and it is still true some of the time, the mind is totally in charge, meaning the thinking mind is totally running the show. So you got to do a little something. Awareness doesn’t need a practice, it’s just here functioning, but for most of us, because were not able to just relax into what’s here, we have to have something intermediate to do with our attention, and that intermediate thing is called meditation. And it’s really important. Just paying attention at the nostrils, or the breathing in the body, getting caught up in your thoughts and coming back to this, again and again, that would be a great thing for you to do, for an hour a day or 45 minutes a day, everyday. So that you can learn how to be a little bit stably present, from moment to moment, and shift to being here.

Source: Transcribed from Being Human is hard Will Kabat-Zinn