Whether through accumulated stress or the mechanism of social conditioning, we may have become habituated to the practice of ignoring subtle changes.
These subtle changes give rise to vital information on how to act in accordance with the needs or demands of the moment.
In that moment, we may have some flicker of awareness – either on the level of the intellect, or on the more subtle level of the intuition – that we discount or disregard. Therefore, our subsequent thoughts and actions fail to factor in vital information.
When based upon partial information, our thoughts can misinterpret a situation and our resulting actions will be less fruitful, or perhaps even entirely misguided.
The result is suffering, for ourselves and quite possibly for others.
Ignorance is a practice, a practice of ignoring something we already know.
Realization is the first step toward eliminating ignorance. Realization gives us the awareness to stop ignoring something now. We have some relevant information, and we factor that in instead of leaving it out.
Realization is a good and necessary first step, but ignorance does not disappear through realization alone. Since ignorance is itself a practice, getting rid of it is also an active practice. Like any practice, we progress the more we do it.
Though daily meditation, we increasingly attune our awareness to the subtle. When we sharpen our ability to detect subtle changes – internally and externally – it becomes harder to keep ignoring what we feel, sense or know.
Systematically, we move toward minimizing suffering, until ultimately we eliminate it altogether.
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