Tag Archives: response

You are a man of patterns

You are a man of mind. You are a man of reactions. You are a man of patterns. Who wants to talk to such a man?

An ordinary man in the name of learning from failures, Just tries to react differently. The second time a similar situation arises. And this he labels as learning from failure.

Zen is your essential core that reacts not, that it’s his own master. Has it’s own way of living.

Two or three years are needed so that all the pre-existing answers get clear. Not that the new answer is needed but the old answer need to go.

Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?


Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?

Acharya Prashant: Joshu went to Hermit and asked, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit lifted up his fist and Joshu said, “Water is too shallow to enter here and went away”. Joshu visited the Hermit once again, a few days later and said, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit raised his fist again then Joshu said, “Well given, well taken, well killed, well saved” and he bowed to the Hermit.

A few things Right-living, Wisdom, Spirituality, Zen are all about a non-reactionary way of living. A non-reactionary way of living. So, Joshu asks the hermit, “What’s up?” He isn’t parlance as indicated. It means, “Have you any Zen?” Now, Zen is not an object. Zen is not a part of ‘duality.’ The answer to the question that asks, Have you any Zen, can neither be ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ as such. When Hermit raises his fist. It is inferior to remain in silent. It comes across as a reaction to Joshu’s question.

The situation become such that Joshu’s question becomes actually a provocations, a stimulus to which the Hermit reacts this is not really the way of Zen. The question demanded no answer. The question demanded rather the stillness of Zen or the silence of Zen. The question, “Have you any Zen?” is aching to the questions — “Are you God? Is the universe same as or different from it’s source? Are you in God or God is in you? Have you any Zen? Have you any God? Have you the Truth? Have you Love?” All these are questions in the same dimensions. To such questions ordinary answers don’t suffice.

So, upon seeing the response of the Hermit, upon seeing the raised fist of Hermit. Joshu says, “The water is to shallow to enter here.” Zen is still an intellectual thing for you, ‘shallow.’ It is not yet reached your depth. Zen has not yet reached your depth. It has still not yet penetrated your heart. No point talking to you.

You are a man of mind.

You are a man of reactions.

You are a man of patterns.

Who wants to talk to such a man?

Joshu walks away. Who wants to talk to a monk? For whom, Zen is a matter of questions and answers. Then comes another day, Joshu goes to the same Hermit and asks the same questions.

Now, see what happens. The first time the Hermit has had an experience. The experience say that when somebody asks you about Zen and you respond by raising your fist, you get an insulting answer and the questioner walks away. That is what the experience of Hermit has been, right?

In one situation, the Hermit has given one particular answer and that answer has ostensibly not sufficed. The questioner has walked away dissatisfied. Not only has he walks away dissatisfied. He has blatantly on the face of the Hermit said, “The water is to shallow here.” Now, what would an ordinary man do then when faced with the similar situation again?

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In real relationship you are free to respond

Life is flexible. A real relationship is very liquid. It’s free to take all forms. It does not bind you. That’s the test of a real loving relationship. You are free to respond. You are not confined and hesitant. You do not say that if I say this to Papa then Papa will get very angry, so whenever Papa says something I must respond in one particular way. If that is the relationship then you please be cautious. There is something wrong somewhere.

In a real relationship, you can sometimes hug Papa and if needed even hit Papa. It’s alright. Just sometimes, not always. Have you not seen little kids do that? Have you not done that yourself? That happens in love. In military you cannot do that. But is your house a military cantonment where you cannot disobey your seniors?

In love you’re free to disobey, and you’re free to obey. You obey in your freedom, you don’t obey in fear. You obey because you love them. And because you love them you also have the license to disobey. There need not be one ready-made response. I am repeating that again and again.

Someday you wake up and you’re feeling delightful, you can just go and embrace Mumma, “What a brilliant morning this is.” And on another day you wake up and you’re feeling absolutely down, you may not say anything. You may walk past your sister, mother, father, and may not say anything. It’s alright. Why should there be a routine. Why should there be a pattern?

But this requires freedom. This requires love. This requires real closeness. It’s a man to man thing, an individual to individual contact, in which great space are available to both parties. Your views and there, my views are there, and everything can be accommodated. I look at everything in the light of intelligence. It’s not martial law. There is no law at all.

Read the complete article: In love you are free to obey and disobey


In love you are free to obey and disobey

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Question: What should be the place of our parent’s views in our decision making?

Acharya Prashant: Who will decide the importance given to anybody’s views? Parents views or anybody’s views? Who will decide that? You will decide that. Even if I give you some answer right now, who will decide how much importance to give to my answer?

I am giving you lot of answers. Who will decide how important these answers are? You will decide, right?

Already, so much has been told to you by families, society, your normal education, moral science, convention and tradition. You already know that parent’s views are important. And this knowledge is coming to you from outside. When you were small, since you were small, you are being fed this knowledge. Now you want me to give you some knowledge, and this knowledge you’ll integrate with your previous beliefs and come to some kind of conclusion.

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Look at your actions, they will tell you of your real intentions.

If you just look at how we behave, react, respond – these little things, then you will know what is lurking within, what is trying to hide.

That is why facts are important. See where you spend your time that will tell your time. See where you spend your money that will tell of your intention. Money is a very important indicator. See where you spend your money and where you do not spend your money. See where you want to cut corners and see where you want to be lavish.

See where somebody spending his time. These are the two things that you very greatly valued. Don’t you? Money, time and if you come with little more observant, see what is going on in your mind. See, what circulates your mind that will tell you of your intention.

Actions! Actions! Actions! Look at your actions. Don’t look at the intentions, you avow.  Don’t look at the intention you claim and profess. Look at your actions, they will tell you of your real intentions. Otherwise we all carry professed intentions. They are hollow claims. Your actions, your thoughts, they tell you of where you are really headed to, what you really want to do.

Read the Complete article: To know your intentions, watch your actions

To know your intentions, watch your actions


Listener: Also we did this play on –‘What is the intention?’  What is the intention? So we live in more of conscious. Right! So we can figure out some conscious things.

Acharya Prashant: From the conscious you will know the sub-conscious, the unconscious, everything. What else is the function of the root, it shows up as the fruit. So go and look at the fruit and you will know the root. Fruit is nothing but an extension of the root. So, if you can look at the conscious, you will find that it is just an extension of the unconscious.

The conscious mind is only an expression of the unconscious mind. It is not different. If you are not careful enough, you will start saying the fruit is different from the root. They are not different. They are organically linked. Continue reading

How to respond to life’s problems?


Question: Given that we all are conditioned beings, given that we all have blocked energy and stuff that is lying suppressed in the mind, what is the way to respond? Life continuously presents us with situations that appear as challenges. How to respond?

AP: Let’s say, I indeed do suggest ostensibly a better way to respond. What would the way immediately become? Immediately, that way will become conditioned.

That which we are now calling as conditioning of the mind, when it came to the mind, did it say, ‘Hello, I am conditioning and I am now going to dominate the mind’?

There is so much that comes to the mind. There is an infinity of stimuli that the mind is perceiving. The mind really does not store all of that; it selectively stores only that which it considers important for some reason or can assimilate. When conditioning too comes, it has to be taken by the mind only if the mind finds it important to preserve. Otherwise, the mind also has a way of forgetting.

When conditioning comes, it does not honestly say that I am coming as ‘conditioning’ to possess and dominate you. We also have some say in allowance of the conditioning. As the mind conveniently forgets so much else. You would be remembering many of your experiences that happened 10 years back, 40 years back, but you may not remember all the events that happened today in the morning. Why is it that you choose to remember a few things and forget the rest?

L2: Because the mind decided that it is important than the rest.

AP: Yes, because the mind considered it worth remembering and forgot the rest. Conditioning never comes as conditioning; it comes in as safety, security, pleasure (avoidance of pain). When it comes, it appears nice, that is why we let it in. Had it clearly said that I am coming to ruin your mind and destroy your life, would we have allowed it?


It is allowed entry and given nutrition in the mind only because it is considered benign and even helpful. We say, ‘Let it in, it is a good thought; let it in, it’s a good method’. What appears like a friend at the time of gaining entry into your house, enters, and very soon possesses your house. And then you find no way to evict him. Your house is no more your house, it has now been taken over by stranger who masqueraded as a friend.

So, now when you are asking for a way or a method to be spontaneous and child-like, you are asking it in all good spirit and the moment I give an advice you will take it in as you think that the advice is helpful, as you yourself wanted it. You will be eager to take it in. It goes in the mind without any barriers or checks only because you considered it important. It remains in the memory, does not get deleted and whatever is in your memory, very soon becomes your load, your conditioning.

L4: I feel some constraint here. What do I do?

AP: Continue feeling the constraint.

Would the constraint be still there if you do not dislike or resist it?

L5: So, when the thought and resistance come do I have to accept it?

AP: No, you don’t have to. This cult of acceptance too is another big hoax. So, a thought comes and we do not like that thought. We have a resistance towards it. What is the thought? A movement. Ripples in the lake. Something has just happened. The thought is not liked by you because you feel that the thought is harmful, that the thought is not moral, that it limits you.  What do you do with it?

L6: I give it attention

AP: What is this attention that you give?

L4: Either a resistance.

AP: I resist it with another thought. Now initially there was one thought, now how many are there?


AP: Have you actually cleared the thought or proliferated it by not liking the thought? What have you done?

L: Multiplied the thoughts.

AP: Remember, all your likes and dislikes and methods and attitudes and whatever you do is all just mind stuff. If there is something blocked within you – is it the blockage that is the problem? Let’s say that this moment there is nothing which remains blocked. You say to it, ‘Be there, I am alright as I am. Let there be a monkey on the back. I can still play. You be where you want to but I too have an equal right to be where I want to be’.

And you don’t even say this much. Because even saying this much is like?

L8: Food for thought.

L5: So, if you give attention to this monkey…

AP: The monkey is the attention that you give to it.

The monkey does not exist without the attention that you give to it.

The monkey is the attention that you give to it.

The resistance that you give to any particular thought is exactly the energy that that thought carries.

You give no resistance to it and thought will fall down on its own.

Thought has no legs of its own; it moves on your legs. Just like the monkey on your back —moving on your legs.

You don’t move, the thought won’t move.

And thought cannot survive without moving because all thought is movement.

If you don’t move, thought cannot survive; it will fall down.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to respond to life’s problems?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: If you don’t rely on God then you’ll rely on thought

Article 2: To just know is to know without thought

Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant

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