If we allow the mind to go into the future or into the past, this can be a doorway to immense suffering. It would seem there is an unlimited extent to which we can predict dire consequences for ourselves or relive old traumas.

Why would we choose to do that to ourselves when we have a choice? If we were trapped in a prison and then one day our captor released us, why would we remain inside? Once we know that we don’t need to suffer any longer, why do we continue to indulge in it?

The reason is that we are creatures of habit. If we want to free ourselves from the bonds of mental suffering, we need to train the mind to refrain from constantly reaching for the future or running from the past.

There is a set method for this kind of training which is called insight meditation. It starts with a basic course which we offer at our centre.

The present moment, as learned through this course, is a refuge for all of us who are seeking shelter from the slings and arrows of life. It is like a warm cabin in the midst of a cold winter forest. All we need to do is open the door and walk in.

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(4) The Courage to Learn