Acharya Prashant, with students: How to have confidence in oneself?

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Question: I don’t have confidence in myself. How to gain it?

Acharya Prashant: The question comes from an extreme – “I do not have confidence in myself.” But surely, this question addresses a pain that all experience in varying degrees, on various occasions.

There is nobody who does not feel short of confidence at one point or another. There are many, who keep feeling perpetually short. There are others, who feel confident most of the time, but find that their confidence is deserting them often when they need it.

You say you want ‘confidence’ in yourself. You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, is there need for confidence? When there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine.

Confidence is not your natural state.

Just as, medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all.

If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up what has gone wrong? Or do you want to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. Do you notice that? When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

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Acharya Prashant on Khalil Gibran: You know your real face, and your real home?

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“Your life, my friend,

is a residence far away from any other

residence and neighbours.

Your inner soul is a home far away from

other homes named after you.

If this residence is dark,

you cannot light it with your neighbour’s lamp;

If it is empty you cannot fill it

with the riches of your neighbour;

Were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a

garden planted by someone else…

Your inner soul, my friend,

is surrounded with solitude and seclusion.

Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion

you would not be you and I would not be I.

If it were not for that solitude and seclusion,

I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking;

Yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.”

~ Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: Poets have a way, of presenting the Truth. The way helps. The way is beautiful. But as happens with all ways to the Truth, the way itself is a bit of a hindrance to the destination.

What Khalil Gibran is saying here, is essentially very straightforward. The inner seclusion and solitude that he is talking of, is nothing, but your calm, peaceful, silent, immovable, center.

Seated at that center, with the calmness, the immovability, of the center, vested in the mind as well; the mind gains intelligence, the mind gains discretion.

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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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The destination of all the words is Silence.

Words will always belong to the mental realm, to the path. What is beyond the path? The destination. Whatever is being said is being said so that you can be close to the destination. Words are for the sake of Silence if they are arising from silence. Words arising from the Silence are for the sake of Silence. Be directly established in the Silence.

You take a shortcut. You take a direct path. When you cannot comprehend the words, just know that the destination of all the words is Silence. So you directly go there. Why take the circuitous route? Words are like that mischievous tourist guide who wants to inflate his billing, so he will take you by the longest route possible. And in taking you through the longest route, he’s assuring you of his own importance, “You see, it was such a torturous route. You would’ve lost your way. Good that you hired me. See now I am navigating you through all this maze.” This is what words do.

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One must be prepared to modify his conclusions all the time.

Just as all things come and go, conclusions also come and go. One looks at a room from a keyhole, and one gets a little, finite, contained glimpse. And one has a tendency to conclude because conclusion has an assurance of security, conclusion helps one believe that he knows. So, one wants to conclude quickly because one does not want to remain in uncertainty. But, the moment the keyhole widens, the moment you get another opportunity to have a relook at the room, you find that what you had been concluding, needs to be modified, or even totally changed.

So, like everything that rises and falls in the mind, conclusions also rise and fall. Now, how can one take his conclusions seriously?

Conclusions have a way of popping up and one must not suppress the mind’s tendency to conclude. At the same time, one must not be identified with the conclusions. Let the conclusions be there as some sort of a temporary phenomenon. Waves keep on rising and falling. Conclusions too must keep on coming and going. One must not have a permanent association with any particular conclusion. One must be prepared to modify his conclusions all the time. And that can happen only when you know the flimsiness of all the conclusions and all mental knowledge.

Just see that and when the conclusions come to you, then use them as a temporary method, as a temporary utility.



Read the complete article: Honest Observation is detachment itself

Honest Observation is detachment itself

BFB1Question: Acharya Ji, how does one look at this life, observe himself and yet not get involved with that which he is observing?

Acharya Prashant: If one is really observing, then the distance is natural. When you will observe your life, what will you see? You will see that everything that appears so important today is no more important tomorrow. You will see that nothing stays. Coming and going is the nature of all things. If you are honest in your observation, you will also see that there is nothing called a permanent self.

The one who was looking at things five years back, or two years back, or even two weeks or two hours back, is no more the one who is looking at things right now. And when you will see all this, when there will be honesty in observation, then obviously it will become very difficult for you to forcibly maintain a stickiness with the objects of observation. Continue reading