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Listener: “Fear can be answered only with Faith” (A quote by Acharya prashant) What does this mean? And what is ‘Faith’
Faith is to be certain without reason.
Usually, when you are sure of something, confident of something, it is because of a reason. You have some previous experience, or you have somebody to trust; now you feel safe and secure and sure. Walking into a new room, into a totally new place; if you are not afraid it would be because you have had previous experiences of the kind or because you trust something or somebody. May be you trust your strength; may be your trust the builder or the owner of the room. There is always a reason when we feel safe, secure or good.
Now there is a danger in that. What is the danger? If we feel safe, secure, good, all right, for a reason, then we will not feel safe, secure, good, alright if..? If that reason is withdrawn or taken away. And reasons are supports. Reasons are events, and happening or people. They come and go.
If for your well-being, you are dependent on a reason, then your well-being is very precariously placed. It would always be unsure about its longevity. You are dependent on something and that something is not you, it is outside of you, it is outside of your control, it can vanish any day; just disappear. Now if your support, if your reason behind your well-being disappears, then you find yourself with no support. Hence, you are afraid. Do you see the reason of fear?
Whatever is good in our life, whatever is precious in our lives, is always dependent on something; always dependent. Even my self-esteem is dependent on something else and that something else is external to me, not me.
Whenever I will be dependent on something for my well-being, I will live in fear. I will live in fear because that something gives me both security and insecurity. Security because it is supporting me right now. Insecurity because it may not support me in the future.
Does that not happen?
The same things that you are proud of, the same things that you base your being upon, are the things that give you the maximum fear. If you are let’s say, proud of or dependent upon your prestige or your money, you very well know that money can disappear. The same money will also make you shiver. The same prestige will also make you a slave of others because prestige exists in the eyes of others.
Now, then what is faith?
Faith, is to be all right without a reason. Faith, is to feel secure without being dependent. Faith, is to feel healthy without checking whether you are really healthy. Faith, is to have a certain inner certainty without the need to be proven or validated by anybody, including yourself. So, faith is to be just okay. You are just okay and you have nothing – ostensibly, externally.
It may appear that you have nothing, and still you are feeling okay. And the world would wonder. The world would ask, “Neither do you have riches, nor do you have a following, nor do you seem to have a future, why do you feel okay then? Why you are smiling? And you will say, “I am just okay!” They will say, “Why?” You will say, “No why! No reason! Just okay!”
Do you realize the power in this? Do you realize the immensity in this? Do you realize the sheer security in this?
L1: Sir, one doesn’t have riches, one doesn’t have accomplishments and one doesn’t have following, but still has faith and he is happy…
Faith is not about being happy. Faith is not happiness because happiness is not something that can be independent of a reason. If you are always happy, then you will not call yourself happy. Happiness is by definition, must come and go. And hence it is reason dependent. For a reason it comes, for another reason it goes away.
L1: So, what is that emotion?
AP: It is not an emotion. It is just an empty space; a clarity in which no waves of disturbances are there. All emotions are disturbances.
L1: So, is that what you want to call a state of bliss?
AP: No! Not even bliss, because when you say ‘bliss’, you have equated it with some kind of happiness. It is just not being disturbed. I will rather described it in negative terms-not being disturbed, not being emotional, not being afraid, not being insecure, not being sad, and not even being happy.
L1: So, are you essentially saying that, that would come by being detached?
AP: That doesn’t ever come. That ‘is’ there, when you see that all that which comes and goes is not to be relied upon. Happiness comes and goes; thoughts come and go, states come and go. This inner emptiness or fullness if you may like, is not something that comes or goes away because if it comes or goes away, it becomes another object; unreliable, totally unreliable.
L1: So, you stay in that state?
AP: You are already there. It is just that you are more concerned with other things. See, it’s like this, we are in this hall. Are we not? And this hall is so spacious and we all walked in, and we have different things to appreciate. Somebody would appreciate one particular poster, somebody would appreciate the way this falls (a curtain falls nearby) and somebody would appreciate the way this (pointing towards the light)light up the whole thing. Did anybody appreciate the space?
Now all that you appreciated will not be here forever. Space will be here but nobody pays any attention to it. That is faith. Something that never comes and goes and something that we never ever noticed. It is always going to be there, yet we never say thanks to it. Would this hall make any sense without space? Could any of these be here without space? But we came here, we felt nice about many things and none of those things included space. Faith is like that space that we never care to be one with, never care to feel grateful towards and the things that attract us so much are gone.
There was a time when these pillars (referring to the pillars inside the session hall) were not there, there was a time when these posters (posters hanging on the wall of the session hall) were not there and there would be a time when these pillars and posters will again not be there. But space…
L2: Will remain.
AP: Faith is like that. It is there. It need not come but we never notice it. But this, that I just mentioned is just an example. The trouble with examples is, they become fodder for imagination. Now, let’s not start equating God with space. Faith is not space. I use the metaphor of space to point towards faith.
L1: Are we essentially saying that movement towards that metamorphical space, has an attitude of gratefulness as its root?
AP: No. It cannot be an attitude because if you are grateful, you will be grateful for something. An attitude is always object centric. You always say ‘thank you’ for a reason. You always express ‘gratitude’ for something that you received. Faith is reason-less gratitude.
L1: But what I understand till now is that, now we are talking about that gratefulness or gratitude for that space?
AP: No. That’s why I said that the trouble with example is that they become fodder for imagination.
The emphasis is not even on gratitude. The emphasis is on reasonlessness. Laughing without a reason, crying without a reason, safe without a reason, secure without a reason, loving without a reason, joyous without a reason. We live in reasons and we think that reasons give us support; we think that reasons support us. “I am happy because I have so many accomplishments behind me. I am satisfied because I just achieved so much.” There is always a ‘because’ attached to our perceived sense of well-being. We do not feel well unless there is a reason.
Faith is to trust most deeply without a reason, without a reason. Trust what? Don’t know. Trusting nobody for no reason and trusting more deeply than you can trust anything or anybody, is faith. Hence, faith is not something that can be captured in thought. Hence, faith is not something that you can express towards a person, an idea, or an object. It’s like this. Another example. Just use it as a pointer.
When we sleep, and when we are deeply sleeping; do we feel happy? We don’t. Do we feel sad? We don’t. But have you ever complained on waking up that sleeping was something distasteful? In fact sleeping is so precious that we go to sleep every day. Is it not? Faith is like that. You are alright in sleep for no reason. Are you not alright when you are sleeping? For no reason. And that relaxation that sleep gives you, is extremely precious. The same relaxation faith gives you; and that is why the quote says; “Faith is freedom from fear.” Or, “When fear knocks, then answer with Faith.” That’s what Jesus have said.
L1: So till the time, our life becomes an ocean of faith, we have to take baby step by taking dips of faith. Like the way we alternate sleep with wakefulness and wakefulness may not be very pattern, but we still must wake up.
AP: No! No baby steps at all. All steps will become some kind of an inner conspiracy towards not reaching. You see, I sit here on this chair. I have forgotten that this (chair) is what is supporting me, that this is my very foundation. My mistake is just that, I have…?
AP: Forgotten. I have not gone away anywhere, I have just forgotten and even this forgetting is not really forgetting. It is just that I am so lost in other things that it doesn’t occur to me that so much support is being given to me by this chair. This is my foundation. This is what I base myself upon. I am so occupied with other things that this has ceased mattering to me.
Now do I take baby steps to reach this chair. Tell me, do I need to take any step to reach this chair? This is (indicating the chair) where I already am. It is just that I hallucinate so much that other things have filled up my mind and I have totally forgotten this. So I need not take any step. In fact, I just need to take a clear and honest look at all that which I am occupied with. The moment I am less occupied with what is going on, I will be more present to this. So I need not do anything. Rather, I need to probably be clear about what I am already doing. We all are busy, already doing so much. Are we not?
Our lives from morning till night are just sequence of season-less doing. So we are doing so much and because of doing so much, we forget that which we are founded upon. So, no movement is needed. No baby steps or steps of any kind.
Man is activity. Man is constant movement. He does really not require any more movement. He requires rather, to know that all movement, even if it is random, chaotic, is around a particular centre. Just knowing that centre makes all the difference.
But knowing that centre is very difficult if you are obsessed with running around on the periphery; running around, trying to achieve, trying to reach.
L3: Sir, as you said that examples becomes fodder for imagination. So, in some sense, all language is an example.
AP: Yes! It’s a pointer. That is why ultimately, you will have to go beyond what I am saying. This speaking is so incapable and ultimately so unnecessary. I always say to my audiences, don’t latch on to my words. Connect to the point from where I am speaking. The centre from where I come, is also your own centre. Connect to that. These words are not greatly important. But it’s just that, as bodies, as instruments, that deal, in sensation, we have to use something. So we are using words.
L1: Some of my questions may sound very stupid, but I will last till…
AP: Please… My answers are equally stupid. In fact, I tried that my answers are more stupid than your question.
L1: What I like the most, the most exciting about the poster was, ‘for advanced seeker or absolute beginners’ (a caption written beneath the poster). So we are absolute beginners and I see the essence of what you mean when you say that; you know; as they say that humility is one thing and the moment you think that you have it, it’s gone. So from my very basic, mortal understanding, I would think that does it still come from a loci of awareness that we have to thrive–now this is in contradiction to what you are teach us–moving towards a sense of detachment and to my mind, that may come and may become a little more clearer, if we can understand that there is no clarity. It is all an illusion and if we understand that this is an illusion, then the need to hold on to it will go away.
When the need to hold on to it eases, that is when I will be able to have real faith in you. In Hindi, or Sanskrit, when we say ‘Vasudhaiv Kuthumbakam’ means you are an extended part of my family; and if you are an extended part of my family there is nothing you can take away from me. What is my fear? I will stop fighting because if Atman is immortal, then this body has limited self life and I have the reason by which to take the material gains that I may try to take from here and that’s what I am trying to do in the name of wanting to give it to my progeny or pass it on. So would you shed some light on this?
AP: I may very easily say that all this is about detachment and technically, that will be correct. But that would not be useful. Detachment is not a concept. Detachment is not something that can happen out of somebody’s advice. Detachment is consequential, meaningful only in an atmosphere of attachment. What comes first, attachment or detachment?
AP: Attachments. Do I know my attachments? Do I know what it is that I am holding on to and how does that happen? And may be when I know that, detachment wouldn’t be needed; may be knowing that, is called detachment. We must start from where we are. Are we detached? No! We are attached beings. We are identified beings. We must start from there. That is the demand of honesty.
If we talk of detachment or joy or enlightenment, are they not mere concept for somebody who is neither detached, nor joyful, nor enlightened, whatever that means I am not enlightened. Would that not be a mere concept? What are we? Where do we stand? We know attachment. Right? We experience that every day. We experience that; even physically we experience that. The heartbeat, the body, the Goosebumps, the blushing, the thoughts and the whole mechanism trembles in an environment of attachment. Does it not?
And attachments have several names. We know emotions, we know thoughts. Of them we know. Why not start from there? And that means that I must know what is happening right now because only, right now, is the experience. Even if you are experiencing memories, you are experiencing memories right now. So, right now is the experience. Only of that, can I be conscious and I live only in consciousness. I live only in a dualistic consciousness. So, what is the only option then left to me? The only option? I don’t have other options. Other options of this, that, are all just imaginary.
The only realistic option is to know what is happening right now. If I am attached, can I just pause and look at the whole process of attachment? And we all are attached. Can I just know what is happening? Just know. I am not talking of giving you the moralistic hue of suppressing it, or opposing it or participate in it in some way. Can we just know what is happening? ‘Fear’ is something that we know. ‘Faith’ is a word. Fear is a known experience. Now can we start with the known experience? Now starting with the known experience would require faith.
Talking of faith would require a lot of fear. I repeat this ‘Going close to fear, which is the reality in which we live in, would require a lot of faith. And talking of faith as a concept necessarily means that there is a lot of fear.’ Now what do we do? Instead of going close to fear, we usually use setting like these, and scriptures and spirituality, to talk of faith. Now when you are talking of faith, it only means that you are prolonging the fear. But when you cease talking about faith, and instead honestly put yourself to work, looking at the fear, then you are not talking of faith but are indeed acting in faith because without faith, you cannot go close to fear.
We invest so much of ourselves talking of grand things. And talking of grand things is to escape from the reality of ‘what is’. It is a kind of day dreaming. And to honestly accept and acknowledge, see what is, is actually something very grand. Very few people muster the courage. That courage is never your own, that courage is never will power, that courage is never a product of thought, that courage always comes from somewhere beyond, and hence it is faith.
Do you know what it means to stand firm even when every nerve, every sinew, every impulse, is militating against that firmness? When everything in you, every thought is saying, “Rush, go away, leave, escape”, you still hold on. You still don’t give up for no reason. That reason-less courage is faith.
Somebody would ask you-”Who is backing you up? How come you are prepared to join the battle with no resources” and you say, “Well! Nobody is backing me, yet I am ready.” And that is faith. You cannot practice it, you cannot cultivate it, you cannot bring yourself to do this; it happens. It happens when you see the impotency of all that we are usually occupied in.
Faith cannot really be a choice. Faith is when you see the uselessness and impotency of all your choices.
You do not choose faith, you just see that whatever you choose is so useless, essentially rubbish. And then by default, and then choicelessly you fall upon faith. It’s like this: I am sitting upon this chair and I am busy in (something), and then I see (chair) suddenly; it happens.
I am busy marvelling that particular poster, and just as this particular one (A curtain) dropped; do you know what it means? Do you know what great signal it is?
It looked so beautiful. The four of these (posters), these three together and then one drops; death. Now you now that whatever you are busy with, is this; something that will drop, without notice, without warning, suddenly and will bring down all your dream stuff along with it. This is how it happens. This is not how it must or necessarily happen. But this is how it often happens. You are busy with something and that something just reveals its impermanence, its uncertainty, basic dream like nature to you.
L1: So, essentially, we are trying to understand the baselessness of the cognitive origin of what we are trying to do. So the problem is not the choices that we make, we are not talking about our Karma, we are not taking about our action, what we are talking about is the prognitive, the thought…
AP: The actor himself.
L1: The actor himself. So, if the actor goes away. I mean if somebody doesn’t work, this building wouldn’t be here. If I do not do my job, people will not (pay me). But that actor needs to.
AP: That actor, the chooser, not the choice. That’s quite well capture.
When you see that, as the actor whatever you do, just brings more misery upon yourself, then you stop trusting that actor. The moment you have stop trusting that actor, you have fallen into the lap of the One, you can trust. You can call him God. You may not call Him god. You may not call Him by any name.
L4: I understand this. I do very much meditation, I went to gurus, I feel sage. But, I have some experience that comes and go and I see them and I have this feeling,but it never happens.
AP: It wouldn’t happen. That which you are talking of, all of that is just a mental burden. Experience, knowledge, bliss, all that which you have known in your past, all your visits to the gurus, all your spiritual journey and seeking. All of that is what exists in the memory, all of that becomes mind stuff.
L4: Yes! It always come. Now, I try to forget all this. Now I try to forget all this (mind).
AP: And here there is no need of memory.
L4: (Continues) No. But then to come to a stage like of you (yours), enlightened, sage; it should be a blessing.
AP: Tell me, do you remember at least something from your past? Of course you do. You just said that you have read a lot, met many people and had many experiences. You remember a fair bit of that. Don’t you?
AP: You remember. Do you remember all that which has happened since this morning till now? All that?
AP: You have conveniently forgotten a lot. Then why do you remember things that have happened five years back?
L4: May be my attention goes there…
AP: May be you have a stake there; may be you are identified with something. You see, if it is not important, if the ego doesn’t give something importance, the memory apparatus quickly forgets it. If I ask you what happened at 1:57pm this afternoon, would you be able to tell me? Because it was inconsequential to the ego, the memory choose to delete it. It is sent to the trap bin. It’s gone.
But you met a guru and meeting the guru was a profound experience, because the guru was a big name and when you sat in front of him, something happened that convinced you that something blissful is happening. Now that stays with the memory because now you are identified with that meeting. Unless you see that all that which has been happening has only served to reinforce the ego, you will not be able to get rid of those memories. They will stay as knowledge and they will keep the making the mind heavy.
One does not just remembers something. One remembers it only if the ego finds nutrition in it. You see, what do we remember? Either the pleasurable events from the past or very painful moments from the past. In both these cases, the ego finds identification. So you are finding pleasure in those memories.
L4: Not pleasure, but some kind of identification.
AP: Yes, some kind of identification. (But) It is impossible to keep remembering something without having a stake in it. Now when you are having a stake in the past, that means you are not having a stake in the Truth; which is some kind of a disloyalty to the Truth. You are saying, I am dependent on the past and the past experiences. I am not dependent on God only.
Now it is because of this disloyalty that we suffer. You have to have God as your only partner. The only one you can be dependent on. If you are dependent even to a slight extent on something else, the result will be suffering. So forget all that. I close my sessions usually by saying, “Please forget all that I have said.”
Whatever is essential is anyway already there in your heart. We just met. So many things happen, just like that, we also just met. Do not hold it to be of any importance. Whatever is important is already there in your core, in your heart. Your own godliness is there. Forget all that. Forget the scriptures.
L4: But this (to forget) is easy in your presence. But I don’t know whether it will be easy when I go away
AP: I am very fond of saying, if it is easy in this presence, then you don’t need to quit the presence. But remember that presence is not that of a person.
L4: But this is also a kind of attachment. I ‘want’ to sit here.
AP: Yes! You want to sit here, remember, not with this (speaker) person. This person was walking down that road a while back. Did he matter to you?
L4: It’s not this person.
AP: Then, would you care to find out what this presence is all about? It is a very important question.
L4: Presence, in the kind, that ‘That’ which is in me is also the same in you.
AP: Yes! You must know that it is not an object, not a sensory perception which is bringing calmness to you. I repeat that this body was walking down that road a while back, before that this body was sleeping, before that it was in another city and it just happened to that I reached here this morning Did this body then provide you with any kind of presence or solace, or calmness? It didn’t. Right? So if it depends on the body, then the result will be disappointment. The presence is obviously important. But what is this presence about? What is this presence?
L4: Presence of Truth.
AP: No! It’s for both of us. Now is the presence of Truth is something conditional?
AP: So it is always. And hence always…
AP: Always. The keyword is…
L4: Just in.
AP: No! How can you move out of this? Stop this that you need to stay in this. How will you move out of this? No. You have this notion that sometimes you move out of this. I am asking you that how will you ever move out of that space? Wherever you go..
L4: Just like you said in the example that it drops…
AP: It drops in space. It existed in space. Does it have anyway to ever escape space?
AP: Similarly, even when you forget, you are in God. It is not as if you are in God, only when you remember. Even when you forget, you are in God. You have no way to escape Him. So that presence is always there. You need not take any special step.
L4: Then why do I forget?
You don’t forget. You never forget. You remember too much. Remembering too much is called forgetting. When you remember too much of this and that, then obviously you will forget the essential.
Why do you remember this and that? Why this burden in knowing is there on the mind?
L4: Why? You know why!
AP: You will tell me. You are the one to remember.
Only you can tell what is the perceived benefits you see in remembering all those things? What is it that you seek, or derive, or extract from those memories? What is it?
L4: It is my ego.
AP: Which is all right. It is a sweet thing. We need not condemn it. But tell me, when you are feeding that ego, supporting that ego, what are you losing out of?
L4: What I am losing? I can’t lose Real. It is just that this take me out. It can’t take me out; I know.
AP: But you don’t talk always say this. Right?
L4: Not always.
AP: Not always. That’s what you are losing out on; that you don’t always say this. When you remember miscellaneous things, then you also remember a lot of suffering. Then you don’t say, that I am alright and I can never go out of God.
L4: Okay! So I need to tell this to myself. It’s effort to me then. When I just as it is known, that, it is not me, who is just talking. So I keep quiet here (mind). I am not this who is talking..
AP: Is this a method that you remember?
AP: It wouldn’t work. Anything yo remember wouldn’t remember. What works is something very authentic, spontaneous and new. Always new. Old methods never work. This is not a mechanical world that we are talking of. We are talking of Truth. Old methods work in the world of machines; there you can have knowledge coming from Newton and Einstein and that would still be applicable. But in the world of spirituality, old methods are never applicable.
L4: But you also give up some method.
AP: Did I? I apologies if I did. My trouble is even if I didn’t want to, I inadvertently end up giving some method and people end up, you know, conjuring some method, which I never gave.
L4: When I came to this room, I read this (poster), and I said to me that, wow! This is for you. It touched me. But suddenly after that, it had fallen of.
(Listener continues with one of her experience)
AP: These are signals. You know Lao Tzu, how it happened for him? He was just standing or may be lying, close to a tree and he sees a yellow leaf fallen, and the leaf come spiralling down, gently. Not like a stone, gently. And it is said that Lao Tzu got it that very moment.
This happens! Existence is sending its reminders, its signals, it keeps sending them always. Every fallen leave is a scripture, a reminder.
L1: If we accept the inevitability of it, does it not make life more meaningful, more beautiful? Also (mentioning the quote from one of a poster) this quote that ‘It requires a highly logical mind to understand the limit of the logic’, it probably means to understand, logic was not required.
L1: So, essentially what we are saying is that all this so-called technique of mind-fullness will only happen when there is mind-emptiness. Unless, you remove the mind, because it is my mind, the doer, which is colouring the perception of the reality. You know, this afternoon, I took a flight from a Delhi and next to my seat was a young Israeli girl and the flight was very rocky and she was very worried, very fearful. She was like the plane was going to crash; and then we landed up and I could just manage up to smile. I think the smile was very spontaneous.
While I was talking to her, when we landed, I just got reminded of a psychologist, called Erikson, who in the last stage of life speaks about ‘Integrity v/s Despair’. He says: If you have lived a life, which is wholesome, then there will not be despair. When there is no despair, then the fear of death will not be there. And when fear of death is not there, then this falling leaf, is symbolic, as you beautifully said, it only reminds me to be aware that it is this moment, and to experience this moment, again I am repeating what you are trying to teach us, it was very beautiful, you know, what Truth is, what spontaneous is life. In the realm of spirituality, what work is, that mindfulness, right or wrong, you will commend, which will come from, mind emptiness.
AP: Two things we will take. One, the whole thing about mindfulness. Second, what is this falling down? It actually means nothing. But it means a lot when it defies our expectations. Now somebody has set these up (The decoration in the session hall). When somebody sets these up, he does not merely put these here, when you are looking at them, you are looking at them with the expectation of permanence. And hence, the falling down becomes significant.
You were thinking that it will stay and suddenly it doesn’t. That is what reminds of something. That is what reminds you of the contradiction between existence and one’s imagination. I was thinking it would put stay this way by falling down, it has shown to me that I was hallucinating. I was looking at it. Would it mean anything had I not been expecting it to be there?
Tell me, there are so many of these clothes, posters and other decorative items put up here. Why do you comment or notice only when something falls? Why don’t you notice when something remains intact? Because you expected it to remain intact. Hence, you are all right. Your dream world is sustain. When something falls, then you suddenly woken up. Then you say, “No! Things are not the way I presume them to be. I thought it will continue like this. I thought my house, my business, my factory, would continue running. Oh! If this can fall, anything can fall. If this can fall, I will fall.”
The thing is we have a great stake in immortality because immortality is our essential nature. So we want to be immortal. The small mistake we make is that, we entrust, rather burden, the world with immortality. We know immortality is wonderful. We know that we cannot go away. It is an inner meditative knowledge that everybody has. We know that we belong. Now the burden of that continuous existence, the burden of that ‘deathlessness’, we put upon this (body). Now this will go. This will defy our expectations and then we are shocked. This shock is the suffering of mankind. Do we see this?
This demise is the suffering of mankind. It is not without reason that we want it to stay like this eternally. We want it to stay like eternally because eternity is our nature. It is just that we are expecting eternity in wrong places. We are expecting the body to be eternal; it wouldn’t be. We are expecting the relationships to be eternal; they wouldn’t be. We are expecting money, and family and house and everything else to be eternal and there it disappoints us.
We are seeking, just seeking at the wrong place. And what we are seeking is something tremendous, wonderful. Nobody is seeking ugliness. When you seek, of course you are seeking beauty. But seeking beauty at the wrong place only gives disappointment and suffering.
‘Mindfulness’ – this term really doesn’t exist in classical literature. It is something very recent. Mind is already full. What do we mean by ‘mindfulness’ then? Is it empty? So even if we want to take it in the best sense possible, mindfulness can at best mean an empty mind, as you hinted at. Mindfulness does not mean being more conscious of something. Consciousness is such a burden.
Man is already reeling under the weight of consciousness. Consciousness is knowledge. Consciousness is thoughts. But unfortunately what happens is, often in the name of mindfulness, one is taught things that make him even more heavier. The mind actually, literally become full. I was in, I don’t remember, whether in Thiruvannamalai or Pondicherry, one of these places on a tour like this and I saw a women in the lawn of the Hotel. She was keeping each step slowly. She would keep one step, one gentle step and then wait and watch and then keep another step.
I knew what it was. It was one of the standard exercises in mindfulness. It is said that you must be mindful of every breath you take, every step that you take. Now this is such a fallacy; such a burden. Walking, which should be spontaneous, and natural; you are burdening that walking with thought. One walks, as one floats on water. That is the real smooth way of walking. But instead of that, that women has been taught that she should be mindful, so now even walking has become a planned, an organized activity.
Spirituality is about getting rid of all that is planned, and organized about you. It is about having the courage to move into spontaneity. Instead of that, in the name of mindfulness, we become even more occupied and organized.
What was the second thing? We said one was mindfulness and second was..?
Okay! You have forgotten it…
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Faith is freedom from fear in the middle of fear
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Connect to Acharya Prashant:
1. Advait Learning Camps (ALC): Advait Learning Camps are monthly 4-day retreats under the guidance of Acharya prashant in the Himalayas. To participate in the camps, Contact: Sh. Anshu Sharma: +91-8376055661 or Sh. Kundan Singh: +91-9999102998
2. Course in Realization (CIR): Course in Realization is a seven-day scriptures based learning program led by Acharya Prashant. To join, either physically or online, contact: Sh. Apaar: +91-9818591240
3. Month of AwakeninG (MAG): Attend Satsangs from Home! MAG is an online series of discourses on handpicked topics by Acharya Prashant on practical and relevant topics like Love, Fear, Achievement etc. To join the online discourses, contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917
4. Meet the Master (MTM): Meet the Master is an opportunity to meet and seek detailed guidance from Acharya Prashant, either in person or online. Contact: Smt. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917