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We all want to change the world. It starts with you.

We all want to change the world. It starts with you. Yes, you.

Look deeply within yourself. We tend to think that we don’t create our identity, but that’s not true. We constantly create and re-create it. Look within yourself and find the preconceptions and thoughts that aren’t helping anyone and try to let them go. Sometimes this can be very difficult, but if we really want to understand why we do and feel the things we do, the answer is within us. We CAN improve ourselves. The only person you should try to be better than is the person that you were yesterday. Through meditation we can understand our minds a little better. Our minds are full of preconceived ideas and we sometimes don’t even know it. That’s why we can do things like make snap judgments, or be angry at someone when they haven’t even done anything yet, or be sad because our life hasn’t changed fast enough in the way that we want it to change. Preconceived ideas are often harmful.

And we can improve society as well. I don’t think people realize how many of the things that divide us are arbitrary and man-made. Religion, Political Views, Money, even Race. Humans invented these because we like to put things in categories. That doesn’t make the categories real. It’s hard to wrap our heads around the difference between REALITY and our conception of reality. I can say “my phone is black.” But that’s not really true. Black is just a label I’ve put on it to make things easier for myself. Labels and categories can be helpful, but when they’re not we need to try to let them go.

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Author:

Daniel is a Zen Teacher in Kansas City. He leads Fountain City Zen, a floating meditation community. Daniel is affiliated with the Dharma Winds Tradition, where he ordained in 2018. Daniel is a co-owner of the website The Tattooed Buddha and he has a weekly podcast called Scharpening the Mind.

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