Our mind is like a lens we use to see the world through. When observing the world, we rarely view things as they are; instead, we judge them by the experiences we've previously had. For example, when seeing a bird in the air, we know it's a bird because we've seen one before, so our mind clings to the idea of a bird and not what we are actually seeing. To put it simply, the only time we've ever truly seen a bird was the first time we'd seen one.
The same is true of all of our experiences. As humans, we depend on our intricate programming to understand the world around us. For the sake of convenience, streamlining our experiences saves energy and makes life simpler. However, once we've begun to get sucked into a state of being filled with misery, we seldom can free ourselves without interrupting the mind completely. We refer to it as a program because it makes us behave like machines, acting out protocols in a predictable and timely manner.
Interrupting our programmable minds, or what some call our self-structure, is the main point of meditation practices. When we disengage with the pattern of ourselves, we allow for new experiences to enter our field of perception once again.
To live in a state of openness to new experiences is akin to being a child. With judgments put aside, colors will glow with new vibrance, food may taste different, and an appreciation for all that exists may emerge within us. When entering a separate state from the mind, we can experience the pure joy of being.
Let's examine different forms of spiritual practice, such as chanting, yoga, qigong, and even modern practices like listening to binaural beats. We can see these methods work by distancing us from our minds, which lets us be in the here and now.
For human beings to live in a world that is both true and beautiful, we must let go of everything we are clinging onto in our minds and learn to see things clearly.