Tag Archives: Awareness

Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

 

Does positive thinking work

Question: What is ‘thought’? Why is thought dualistic? What is ‘positive thinking’? Does positive thinking work? Why is positive thinking, a hype?

Acharya Prashant: Positive thought is never fully positive, negative thought is never fully negative. That is the meaning of the uncertainty, that always tags any thought.

What is ‘uncertainty’? ‘Uncertainty’ means, that when you are positive, you cannot be certainly positive. The doubt, that positivity is flanked by negativity, always remains. What do you call as a ‘positive thought’? Thought that makes you happy. A thought about your well-being, a thought that – you would be alright or better-off. A thought of hope.

But hope is not ever certain. Hope is always accompanied by fear. You hope that you might win, but somewhere you are also afraid that you might not. So, uncertainty is there. Similarly when there is a negative thought, yet you keep hoping that the negative might be averted. Even in matters of despair, you are not fully certain. You keep clinging to some hope, howsoever unreasonable. This is what is meant, when it said that – thought is dualistic.

Total certainty is non-dual. Non-duality is possible, only when the other side, any kind of otherness, totally ceases to exist. When there is no ‘other’, there is no duality. But where there is thought, there would always be the other side of the coin.

When you are being positive, then you are looking at one side of the coin, but deep within you know that the other side also exists, and is just waiting to show-up. A little flip, and everything would change, right?

So, thought never gives you total assurance. You remain a bit iffy. Everything remains dicey. You cannot fully relax. You cannot just go to sleep. It always remains important, therefore, to carry your defenses.

With thought, therefore, fear always is there. First of all, fear is there. And second, a continuation of thought is there. When something has not been concluded, it would continue. And with thought, there is never any conclusion, and therefore, an indefinite continuation is there.

You keep thinking. It is like an infinite snakes and ladders game. Just when you think that you are about to reach the conclusion, you land in the mouth of a giant snake, and you are back to square one. And now again you continue with your long, arduous journey. And back again, to the same old point, and then again, a resumption, and then again despair. But all this helps you to while away life.

Thought serves a great purpose, it eats away your time. Otherwise, time will become such a burden.

Thinking, thinking, you continuously think, and you comfortably let days, months, years, decades, slip away.  And then you are so thankful when the death arrives. Otherwise, living eighty years, and that too in awareness, would have been such a pain.

You will have, had to go through the rigors of right action.

Thoughts facilitate an avoidance of right action.

Thought is helpful. Someone comes to you and demands, “Now is the time to climb up the hill, are you ready with your trekking gear?” And you say, “No, I am still thinking.” So, all the effort and the pain, that would have come with climbing the hill, has been successfully avoided. You are still thinking.

Thinking is nice, scaling the heights is arduous.

Have you ever asked yourself – if positive thought is really ‘positive’, then why are there ever any negative thoughts, after a positive thought?

If positive thought is really ‘positive’, it should have ended even the possibility of any future negativity. But that possibility remains, and vice versa.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Does positive thinking work? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Do not try to be aware in ‘some’ situations || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Questioner: What does it really mean to be passively aware in day-to-day life? Whenever someone tries to hit me personally, the reaction happens. But the realization that the personality is defending is not instantaneous. So, how to maintain awareness in such instances, when one feels personally attacked?

Acharya Prashant: Aparajita is saying she wants to maintain awareness in instances when she is attacked. And should I read it to mean that you do not want to maintain awareness, in instances, when you are the attacker? If you can get the incompleteness of your question, you will realize why awareness eludes you.

Awareness is in total so you cannot get it in half. You want to remain aware only in moments of crisis. You want awareness to help you out, only when you are attacked. But when you are enjoying all kinds of pleasures, then you do not want awareness, do you?

When pain hits you, then you cry out awareness, awareness. But in your moments of pleasure, you forget all about Ashtavakra, Rumi, and Acharya Ji. You say, ‘Now, we are anyway happy and aim of all spirituality is to give happiness, so why do we now need spiritual help?’

You are wrong, Aparajita.

Spirituality is not about happiness. Spirituality is not about relief from pain. Spirituality, before it ameliorates your pain, does away with your pleasures.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: You are the mother of all importance

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Acharya Prashant: All your student life, you have been talking and studying about this and that. The languages, Science, Social Sciences – History, Geography, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry. Now, Technology.

But there is one entity that you have forgotten so much, that it is very difficult at this moment, to even remind you of that entity. That entity has never been in the domain of your education. You have studied about a lot of things, but there is one entity that you have never studied about. Never bothered to attend to.

What is that entity?

Listener: Personality.

AP: Personality?

You will get to study a lot of Personality.

In fact, you have been studying about nothing but ‘Personality’!

‘Personality’ by definition is nothing but what you gather from outside.

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Acharya Prashant, with students: The need to impress

Acharya Prashant: How many of you see, this, a very important factor in your life? Actually, we have been able to look at the issue right in the eye then we say that we need English to impress others.

Someone talked of communication. ‘Communication’ is an expression, right? And that’s a pure thing. Uncorrupted, unadulterated. But when ‘expression’ becomes a desire for ‘impression’, then are we really aware of what is happening?

You have the photographs and words of this man (Sh. APJ Abdul Kalaam), all over this place. Have you heard him speak? If not, look at some of his videos on youtube, expression is happening, communication is purely happening. But is there also a desire to ‘impress’ anybody? Did he proceed with a particular kind of accent? Does he proceed with great fluency?

Listeners: No.

AP: Is ‘communication’ happening or not?

L: Yes.

AP: And is communication happening with great felicity or not? ‘Felicity’ means, ease, smoothness. Is communication happening in a very smooth and spontaneous way or not?

L: Yes.

AP: But is he also inflicted by a desire to impress somebody?

L: No.

AP: And what would have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience? What would have happened? Let’s try to understand, what might have happened, had there been a desire to impress the audience?

L: The pitch goes high and higher.

AP: What have you printed here? His accent or his words, his content?

L: Words, content.

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The greatest dependence is psychological dependence

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future? Tell me?

To look towards future, one would have to take his attention away from the present, right?

Your goals cannot be bigger than your awareness. Goals will just be within the circumference of what you know.

Life is the present moment, there is nothing else. If you are free right now, there is no need to become enslaved the next moment. Why do you want to pretend that we are slaves? You are not! You are free this moment!

And remember, financial dependence is not a great dependence. Even physical dependence may not be a great dependence. The greatest dependence is psychological dependence.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting


 

Acharya Prashant: On plans and goal-setting

Question: Acharya Ji, we should have future plans also. What should set that in our minds that what we are going to be in future!

Acharya Prashant: Alright, that is a very sensible question. What’s your name?

Questioner: Aanchal.

AP: Right. Aanchal, suppose if one day, you give one of your friends a call. And say, tell me, which road goes to Chandigarh? How do I reach Chandigarh? And you are feverishly asking her. How do I reach Chandigarh, tell me, how do I reach Chandigarh? If your friend is sensible enough, what is the question she is going to ask you?

Listeners: Where are you, now?

AP: Where are you right now? To reach anywhere, shouldn’t you firstly know where are you right now? To talk about future, shouldn’t you firstly know what the present moment is? And if the present moment is known, is Chandigarh too far away?

Before you talk of the future, shouldn’t you first understand what you are doing right now?

And right now means exactly right now! Are you aware of how your thoughts are wending? Are you aware, from where are these questions arising? Are you even aware, why there is incessant thirst for the future?

In your moments of deepest enjoyment, have you ever thought of the future?

Tell me?

Have you noticed? Have you been attentive to the fact that when is it that you really start thinking of the future?

When you are? Insecure. When you are insecure, and tense and anxious, that’s when your mind rushes to the future.

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Absence of action

Attentiveness is not a separate activity in itself. You do not do attentiveness.

Attentiveness is not something to be done. If you are doing something that becomes another ‘action.’

Attention is the complete ‘absence of action.’

You are free, to see what is happening. Just see, not do anything. This seeing not doing. Don’t burden yourself with it.

Knowing is ‘just’ knowing, It is not any separate activity.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant: Is witnessing a hindrance to living?