Question: We are looking only from our own sensory experiences and conditioning. Then, how do I look?
Acharya Prashant: Continue to look from there. Continue to look from where you are looking. You do not require changing even that. Just honestly acknowledge, that looking from there makes you feel uneasy. Had you felt easy, you won’t have asked, “Sir, how do I look?” The question itself reveals that you are not convinced that you are looking rightly. So, continue to look the way you are looking because you have no option. Continue in your ways, but be honest to acknowledge. Simple, basic honesty is needed. Just acknowledge that this is not quite right. When you acknowledge that this is not That, then you don’t identify with it, then you don’t associate with it.
If you are not feeling right in somebody’s company, don’t push yourself into believing that everything is alright. Your nature is total security and total relaxation. Any iota of doubt proves that you are not centered. Entertain it. Don’t dismiss it. Your doubts are not without a purpose. The agitation of the mind is not without a reason. The mind is agitated because the mind is misplaced. Mind is agitated because mind has moved to a place of its own making, has wandered too far away from the Source. And whenever that happens, then the engine starts making noises. Acknowledge those noises. Do not bury those sounds.
There is nobody here who does not receive those sounds. What else is boredom? Don’t you experience boredom? Boredom is not your nature. Yet you experience it. If boredom comes to us, it means that there is something greatly repetitive going on in life. It means that the mind is desiring for something else and not getting it, which means that the present occupations of the mind cannot be proper. Now, acknowledge it. Acknowledge it and then act on it. Have the guts to act. Boredom is not just one of those things. Boredom is a great indicator. Pay attention to it.
Wherever you are, that is where the door will open for you. You need not go to any other place. If you are bored, then boredom is the door. If you are attached, then that attachment itself is the door. If you are angry and fearful, then the anger and the fear could lead you to yourself. Don’t dismiss anger and fear as evil. “Oh, my Guru told me that, you know, the yogi does not experience anger or fear. So, if anger arises, I treat it as an enemy and try to dig a hole and bury it.” If anger arises, know anger. Do not treat it as an untouchable.
There is nothing evil about us. We are wonderful beings, perfectly good, totally acceptable. Nothing about us needs to change. And only this needs to change that we think that something needs to change. Nothing needs to change. It’s already alright, perfect. And when we say that it’s already alright, perfect, that includes all your imperfections. It includes all your pettiness, jealousy, your little thefts, your great lies, your lust, your attachment, all the stuffs that have been branded as sin.
The only sin is to know anything as ungodly.
If anger arises, then know that anger has been sent by the Centre itself, as a reminder. It is not ungodly. It’s a message of God. If lust arises then know, that lust is there to expose your body-centricity. It is not ungodly. It’s an envelope. It has got a love letter to deliver. But if you refuse the envelope, then you have missed the message.
Listener 1: Is there a way to look at the mind while sleeping? The mind is still active.
AP: Aren’t you still looking when you are sleeping?
L1: Looking yes, but it’s not under our control.
AP: Is there anything in your control while you are awake?
L1: At that time we can focus our attention on certain things.
AP: Is the focus a deliberate choice? We think we are choosing to focus on something. We are walking and the woman is so beautiful, you focus on her. Is it a choice, really? We are walking and the sale attracts you so much, you enter the shop. Is it a choice really?
L1: But you said to focus your attention on certain things?
AP: I never said focus. Not even once did I use the word ‘focus’, because focusing is an act of narrowing down, narrowing down to some chosen object. And you will only choose that which pleases you. Have you ever focused on something totally repugnant, or something to which you are indifferent? You will focus on money. You will focus greatly if there is a cobra hanging from the ceiling. It must be important to you. Only then you focus on things. And, what is important to you is the same as you.
So, in Spirituality, there is no question of any kind of concentration or focus.
L2: Is everything pre-determined?
AP: As we are, yes. And as we are not, yes. As we are, we are so mechanical that obviously everything is pre-determined. But one thing more is pre-determined that you will not remain what you are. Your destiny is to dissolve. So, that too is pre-determined.
L2: But what about our choices, if we make a choice.
L2: So, we don’t have to worry about making choices.
AP: We don’t have a choice in that – you will worry (smiles).
L2: But knowing this I will not worry.
AP: Try. Try not worrying. I sometimes tell my students, “Try not thinking about monkeys, the monkeys that live close to the Shiva murti, the way they hang from the trees. Try not thinking about them, the ones that keep showing their jaws and their red-buttocks. Try not thinking about them.”
Do you have a choice of not thinking about these monkeys?
L2: Why does communication seems virtually impossible?
AP: Because there is no need. What we call as communication is actually a barrier to communication. Your Beloved is sitting next to you and you are using so many words, thinking that you are trying to communicate. You don’t need to communicate. You need to embrace. Everything you do to communicate, blocks communication. Don’t even try. Just let the communion happen. Whenever you will ‘try’ to communicate, you will fail miserably.
L2: Are thoughts created? Should we use them to create a future for us?
AP: You cannot use thoughts. Your thoughts use you. Why do you think you are master of your thoughts? When you see the total slavery inherent in a life based on thought that is when you drop that life. Till the time you are complacent that you can direct your thoughts and you can control thoughts; and you can do this with thought and that with thought, you will not see that you don’t rule your thoughts.
Your thoughts rule you.
L2: Can we then become friends with thoughts?
AP: That is another thing, a totally different thing. And friends don’t talk the language of control. Friends don’t discuss each other behind each other’s back.
When you are friends with the Heart, then you are also friends with your thoughts. Your first friendliness, your first love must be with the Heart, your own Centre. When you are in love with yourself then you are in love with everything about you, and hence everything about the universe.
And that does not mean that this love will correspond to that image of going, hugging, embracing. In that love, you may even kill.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Shri Prashant: With all your imperfections, you are Perfect
The Beautiful Heart
The Beautiful Heart, a paragon, will introduce you to an extremely different way of living, not professed by many before; a way that is far away from calculations and manipulations and calls for a fearless venture into it.
Living by the Heart is a harmonious way of living. Author has extended an invitation through this book to come close to the beautiful heart of yours and see how enchanting it is to live by it.