There are further methods. While acting in daily life try to reflect on your actions. When you perform an action or think in a certain way, ask yourself why you acted in that particular manner. Is the action a conditioned response, without relevance to the given situation? Once you begin to recognize your conditioning you will unconsciously start to take steps to remove it. Recognition is the important thing. Most people don’t realize that they are acting like robots. The same is with all your beliefs. Question them realistically. “Are they valid, or am I holding on to those beliefs without any real conviction or reason? I have the belief that all people who leave doors open are idiots. Why do I have such a belief?” It is the same with all our desires. “Why do I have such a strong desire to eat five bars of chocolate every day? Why do I take such great pains to impress my neighbours?” The list is endless and you must consider the question yourself. But reflection is important for the process of deconditioning the mind of habituated actions and patterns of thought. Don’t suppress your actions under any circumstances but at least try to recognize them and reflect on them.
At first you will notice little effect on your life, yet slowly but surely you will feel a great sense of freedom in your activities. The more the mind is emptied not only of conditioning but all types of problems (though these are really no more than forms of conditioning) the more aware you will become. If one has a higher experience, even for a few seconds, then this taste will act as a wonderful incentive and dispeller of conditioning. Personal experience is the best way of removing conditioning. But for the mind to have these experiences of higher knowledge it must first become less clouded with limited patterns of thought. Meditational practices, reflection and any other method you think suitable will help to decondition your mind. Notice that we did not say recondition, for that would be replacing the existing patterns in your mind with another cloud or set of limitations. And this is totally defeating the aim. It is not necessary to add anything to your mind, only empty it of the mental disturbances and conditioning that are obscuring its clarity. What you seek is already there; all you have to do is to clear the mind sufficiently to contact it and know it.