Conditioned Mind

I originally posted these thoughts on my personal instagram story earlier in the month, but they are worth a full post. Some of the teachers I connect with most are Rupert Spira, Deepak Chopra, and Adyashanti (some works from each – not everything. The links are to what I go to for each to date) talk about this topic a lot, as do all “spiritual” teachings. I am taking the phrase “conditioned mind” from Deepak Chopra. I like it. It’s simple. It makes sense. It’s true.

These thoughts were originally in response to a lot of day-to-day observations, interactions, and so on, but this post was sparked by the video below. I had seen this clip in the past but it is so on point that it deserves more attention….



Our minds are conditioned. My mind is conditioned. Your mind is conditioned. All of our minds are conditioned. Even “my thoughts” in this post are conditioned. They are not fully my own.

The thoughts we think are our own, are mostly made up of things other people have said…somewhere, sometime.

We are all part of a larger collective mind. That is why who we surround ourselves with and with whom we interact and the vast majority of things we consume matter. The collective mind is the society and culture in which we live – family, friends, neighborhoods, cities, countries, religions, teams, hobbies, social media, TV, movies, etc. Whether we are aware or not, all of these people, products, groups are influencing our thoughts, sensations, emotions, and perceptions that come from our individual mind and connect to our individual body – the body-mind.

But, it is also important to understand that the mind is not who we are. My mind does not define me. I do not identify with my mind or my thoughts. I am aware of my thoughts, knowing they come and go without my choosing. However, I do know that I can influence (not control) the content of my thoughts that come and go, and I definitely can choose with one’s to which I react and hang on, or let go. Our thoughts are not who we are.

The ego is nothing more than the beliefs, ideas, and images we have about ourselves — and so it is actually something completely imaginary.

From – Falling into Grace by Adyashanti

By the way, this is something that I have been actively aware of and working on. It has become easier and easier to acknowledge what I call my negative thoughts and adjust my actions or reactions accordingly to my true nature. But I still slip up and have my moments. I am able to more quickly recognize those moments, learn from them, and move on. In the past I would have dwelled and over-thought for who knows how long, further fueling insecurities.

Our mind is the way in which we interact with our body and this thing we call reality, the world, other people, and the like. The mind is complex, we do not fully understand it and probably never will because it is actually working along with something much bigger than the mind so the mind will never be able to fully comprehend something beyond itself. That’s a challenge for a lot of people.

Happened to walk by this old pamphlet on the sidewalk the other day in Philadelphia….

We often identify with our thoughts, believing them. However, this is where we are misguided. Our thoughts always come and go, we choose which ones to hang on to and which to let go. The conditioning of our mind thought our lives plays a BIG role in which thoughts and perceptions we choose to identify with and as. A lot of people are fighting for power of something that does not actually exist or matter. It only exists and is given power through the collective mind – which means it can change that way too.

We cannot control our thoughts, but we can influence them. We can effect our reaction and action to our thoughts, memories, sensations, and perceptions. We can control the conditioning of our mind. Once we taste peace, love, happiness, freedom, acceptance that is what we truly desire. Degrading and hurting people, animals, the earth is not the path.

We are beyond all of that. The more you, I, and we all realize this…then amazing things can, will and DO happen. This is love. This is peace. This is happiness. This is freedom.

This is working together to enjoy everything in life.

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