Step One – Awareness

We admitted we were controlled by our Conditioned Mind Patterns and became aware of how they caused our behavior and reactions to be self-centered.

The most important realization for an awakening to begin is coming to an understanding of how one is controlled by their Conditioned Mind Patterns and how one’s behavior and reactions are derived from self-centeredness. All thinking is centered on satisfying a self which constantly makes one look externally to fill an internal need. This realization opens the door to the beginning of a path to true freedom.

This is my understanding of how a person becomes conditioned throughout life, all without permission. We use the past and future to fulfill a created lack in the present moment. This lack is created by the Conditioned Mind (our ego). When we understand we are complete just as we are and nothing added will ever make us more complete, we stop using the past and future as a means for our fulfillment. The illusion created is that we need something for our completeness, whether it’s an object, a created purpose or whatever else our Conditioned Mind conjures up. So we search the past or future for it, but when one is present, there’s nothing needed so the search ends because there’s the realization one is complete; in stillness is our completeness because in stillness we are present. The illusion that the past or future is a better place than now creates our lack and in the process our incompleteness. A created purpose is a created illusion.

A person’s created lack is dependent on the way Conditioned Mind Patterns rule their life. The more controlled one is by these Mind Patterns, the more one lacks and the more this lack will be filled with behavior that isn’t conducive to one’s Spiritual well being (love). Learn to change the conditioning so there isn’t any lack and you will always be filled with love, which is the essence of stillness. The lack doesn’t have to be there, but that’s dependent on how one practices living by Spiritual Principles, which allows one to be guided by love instead of their lack.

If lack exists, its base will be centered in greed, hate, and delusion. The energy of love naturally dissipates any lack. Learn to allow the default setting of the mind to be of love and there will never be lack; the lack is only there because of the absence of love. It doesn’t matter what’s used to fill this lack, the main concern is that there’s lack to begin with. When this is understood the process to stop creating lack, which will stop one from being controlled by their Conditioned Mind Patterns, begins. This occurs when the mind is still. This is the stillness of life. In stillness no lack exist so in stillness one is complete as they are, but this requires an understanding of what one is truly up against; your own mind. Admitting and becoming aware of this goes a long way in establishing the willingness that will lead to the process of going deeper by continuing on to Step Two of the Twelve Steps to Freedom. 

Michael Cupo
I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, one of six children. I have been married for 25 years. I own a home, and I have two children. I have been at the same job for 28 years. I am the happiest I have ever been and it is all because of the Love that has always been in my life. I attribute all that has happened to me to that Love. None of what has transpired in the last five years of my life has anything to do with any accomplishments on my part. There was always a lot of love in our home as I grew up, but for reasons unknown to me at the time I was always in trouble. I was at the top of my brother-in-law’s “Who My Sister Shouldn’t Marry” list. I drank alcoholically, gambled, abused drugs and painkillers. I bounced from relationship to relationship. Even after I stopped abusing alcohol and drugs in 1987, my so-called outer troubles stopped, but my self-centered behavior never changed. All I did was substitute one compulsion for another. Although my addiction became more respectable—taking the form of material possessions—I was still trapped, migrating restlessly from one obsession to another. I went to Twelve Step meetings, derived some benefit from them, and then fell away. My loved ones got me into de-tox and rehab programs. But once I was released, the cycle of insatiable craving started all over again. This cycle seemed to work for me . . . until it didn’t. And then my life changed — not instantly or magically, but profoundly. I share this change in It’s Monday Only in Your Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts. I discovered that I wasn’t dependent upon a substance or activity, but ruled by my ego. My need to reach outside myself for fulfillment was created by a false perception of deficiency. If this sense of lack didn’t exist in me, there wouldn’t have been a need to reach and grasp. My credentials for writing this book are simply that I live this change each day. My view of life is so different from the way it used to be. Through the practice outlined in my book, I have learned to quiet my mind enough to allow my heart to open. The quieter my mind becomes, the more Love becomes the default setting of my life. This is truly a modern-day miracle, a miracle that can happen to anyone who has the urge to change.
Michael Cupo

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