Yesterday SS and myself was invited to dinner by his cousin. So we all met at Rebung, which is a quaint Malay restaurant near Bangsar. At the dinner were SS's cousins. It was the first time I had dinner with them and to SS it was also a first for him as his cousins hardly meet over meals.
During the meal, we talked about everything under the sun from recent happenings, doing charity work, meditation practice, politics, etc. As I was observing, I was the only one in the group that had only known them for a short while. When they started to talk about how their grandfathers were connected and several versions of the story came about. The best thing is that their memories were stories that they heard from their parents.
I realise that as I listened to them I also now have in my memory bank the stories they have. Now the strange thing is that there was no door at my ears that I could close and say that this bit of information I don't want or open the ear when i want to hear something. So in other words, all our senses do not have doors and they act as a gateway for data to flow in. Once a data enters the senses, the mind very quickly start to make a judgement i.e liking or disliking, holding on or resisting. From here we start to create a reality that defines us as who we are and how we are in this reality.
Another examples is taste, we tried 3 types of dessert , Pengat pisang, bubur kacang hijau and pengat durian.
I noticed that everyone started to categorise the 3 desserts into the most delicious to least delicious. So with this, if we ever goes to the restaurant again, automatically we would go straight to the most delicious one. In one hand, it saves time but in the other hand, we had just cornered ourselves and gave ourselves less choices.
So if I was to observe myself, I would always prefer something over other things or someone and until I'm aware that I'm doing that, I will be constantly putting myself in a box, defining my reality from the my past conditioning. As TL said, the way out of our conditioning, is to be mindful of it. So being mindful is not an exception now its becoming the rule if I want to get out of the box.