by Derek O'Neill
Do you remember where you were when you had your first cigarette? Even if you can’t recall, think about that time in your life. What was going on? Chances are that when you began your habit, those cigarettes created a figurative smoke screen, hiding something you didn’t want to face. When smoking begins at a young age, it’s often a lack of confidence or need to connect your identity to your peer group. Though it may have been an unsurprising result of wanting to feel mature, the habit then took on more psychological and physical elements.
Over time, smoking becomes connected to relaxation, the irony being that nicotine is actually a stimulant. It’s the deep breath that you take when you smoke that confuses and solidifies the message your mind gives you. People continue to smoke because they become programmed that it is a relaxing thing to do! What other needs are seemingly being met by smoking? If you...
Everyone struggles between awareness and judgment. Awareness just is. Judgment is not. Awareness and judgment are a double-edged sword with an extraordinarily sharp blade. The way to know the difference between the two is to feel it in your body. The discernment of awareness has no fear. It just is.
The discernment of judgment cuts hard, and when you find out you judged wrong, it creates pain. If you want to know the difference between the two, it is a feeling. Awareness is sent down the tube of easy reality. Judgment is sent down the tube of your will. The most important awareness is to be aware that you are not aware of anything.
What is causing most of the pain is judgment. Judgment comes from information from others, gleaned from others in this lifetime and past. Judgment causes a lot of pain. Judgment comes from comparing yourself to others.
If we take the word judgment and transfer it to conditioning, well, then you know why you are here. You have come here to have your...