What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

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What is the process of gaining mental clarity

Question: What is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, in no resistance? What is Truth? How do we decide that it is listening without effort? If there is Truth in what you hear, there is change and transformation, and then Truth becomes the Master.

Acharya Prashant Ji: We will take it step by step.

What is the process of clarity?

So, there is a lot that the mind has acquired. There is a lot that the mind has acquired. Whatever has come to the mind, has come with a promise.

What is the promise? The promise is – ‘I will give you peace!’ It can have different names – Love, Joy. But the promise is always there. Nothing has been accepted by the mind without that promise.

The mind’s whole objective in accepting conditioning is that, conditioning is worthwhile. Otherwise the mind won’t accept anything.

Mind feels inadequate.

Mind feels incomplete.

Whosoever promises it completion, the mind latches on to it – it, him, her, whatever.

Wherever, from any direction, there is the faintest possibility of emancipation, of freedom from that incompleteness and inadequacy, the mind says, “Please give it to me. Whatever it is, give it to me.” That is the promise that the mind is holding on to.

So, what is the process of clarity?

The process of clarity is – ‘I accepted something based on a promise! Is the promise being met?’ That’s it.

Ask.

This ideology came to my life with the promise that – ‘It will give me peace!’ Organised religion came into my life with the promise that – ‘It will give me peace.’ A particular person came into my life with the promise that- ‘It will give me peace.’ Is it giving me ‘That’? This is the process. Ask this question. And if it’s not giving you that, clear it away. That is clarity.

Whatsoever comes to you, if it is not giving you ‘That’ which is your deepest longing, and your deepest longing is for peace.

Whatsoever comes into your life, if it is not giving you that, clear it away.

Get rid of it.

That is clarity.

“It is not that! It is not that. I was deceived. I made a mistake. And it is alright. I made a mistake. It can be cleared. It can be corrected.”

It could be a thought, it could be a vision, it could be a target, it could be an identity, it could be your self-image! Whatever it is, is it giving me ‘That’, or is it a source of strife? Is it a source of conflict? Ask – whatever is present in your mind, what is it doing to your life? What is it, that it is bringing to you?

How do you feel when you are with a particular idea? When you are with it, in awareness, how do you feel?

How do you feel when you are really with a particular person? Not just bodily, sitting side by side. When you are really with him in attention, how do you feel? Does it bring peace to you? Or, in fact, looking closely at that person, makes him all the more despicable! He can be tolerated, if you do not look at him closely. But the more attentively you look at that person, the more repugnant it is. So, that’s it!

Similarly with books! Ultimately, is this giving ‘that’  to me? Or when you are with a teacher! “Jaa guru se bhram naa mitey, bhranti naa jeev kaa jaaye, saa guru jhootha jaaniye, tyagat der naa laaye!”

Is it clearing away confusion? Is bhram/bhranti(illusion) dissolving? If it is giving you that, that the clouds are being cleared, the Sun is now shining in my inner sky, then it’s alright. What is that book doing to you? What is that video doing to you? That is the only way of knowing. And that is the process of clarity.

Ask yourself!

“Is it making the mind even more clouded? Is it loading me with more beliefs, more content, more stuff, more load, more baggage? Or is it making me lighter? Featherweight, flying around in the wind.”

And once you have seen it, then please be honest. Please be honest.

So, you are asking – what is the process of clarity? Is it just listening with immersion, and no resistance?

No, you see, it is not only a particular action, which you are calling as ‘listening’. Hearing something out, in a particular period of time, will not be sufficient. Is this what you are calling as ‘listening’, is this something that is a part of entire life, or is it something that is limited to a few hours? If by this, what you mean is, that I listen to ‘life’ with immersion and in a resistance-less way, it is beautiful. But if by this, what you mean is that – I hear a out particular person, or a particular book, then that won’t help much!

‘Listening’ is a quality of life itself.

It’s an all-pervasive thing.

Not limited to just a few hours.

If what you mean, extends to the whole spread of your life, then what you are saying is very nice! Good.

But, immersion cannot be time-bound.

Immersion cannot be time-bound.

Resistance-lessness cannot be time-bound.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is the process of gaining mental clarity?

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.

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Most of us live a life of poor man

If today you find that your energy gets expressed in all kinds of stupid ways, it’s only because it’s not flowing in the right channels. When it doesn’t flow in the right channels then it gets invested into all idiocies. So, what do you do? You gossip. Have you ever tried to estimate the kind of time that you spend in gossip? Or, day dreaming. Just sitting or lying down. Just randomly thinking. And mind is wandering here and there, going to different planets, different galaxies. Doing unthinkable things. And what we we doing? Lying down and sleeping.

Why does that happen? That happens because there is energy but it’s being squandered. You’ve not given it the right channel. Then there is no intensity on your face. Then there is only stupid idiocy. The face itself tells that life is being wasted. And it is so pathetic. One life, one youth, and slipping away.

When your energy and attention is flowing in the right channels, then you have no time left for gossiping and complaining, for random squabbles, for picking up stupid fights, or feeling hurt. Who has the time to feel hurt? Life is so precious. And there are a thousand things to do. Who has the inclination to complain? There is so much coming my way. Why complain? Instead, take what is coming. Then life is rich. Not the life of a poor man.

Most of us live a life of poor man. Life can be very very very rich. But not when you say “Either this, or that”. Life is rich when you say, “And. And. And”. And, “And” does not mean that I’m greedy for more. It only means that I’m available to everything. I’m not closed. When the opportunity comes knocking, I’m available. When the sun rises, I’m available to look at it. When the stars shine, I’m available to dance under them. When the birds are singing, I’m available to listen to them. I’m not closed. When I’m besides a river, I’m available to enter the river, I don’t say “Oh my God what will happen. River? Good boys don’t go to river.”
Remain available. You won’t lose out.



Read the complete article: How to set priorities in life?

How to set priorities in life?

21762214_1227353527370622_921021697824714700_nQuestion: Sir, how to balance between different things? Like there are studies, and extra-curricular activities. Then there is family and friends. Different priorities.

Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?

L: Animesh.

AP: Sit, Animesh. You are asking how do we balance between our different priorities. The word ‘balance’ is a very violent word. It denotes competition. That the different priorities are competing amongst each other, and I want to decide who deserves my time. You’re speaking the language of ‘or’.

‘Or’ denotes either this or that. Can’t be both. Now, this is conflict. Somebody has to lose.  If you give you time to this then that has to lose, if you give time to that then this has to lose. Life does not proceed like this. Have you heard of a term ‘polymath’? A polymath is a person who is very versed in a thousand things, whose excellence pervades many different domains.

Read more

The relationships of a healthy mind

This is what love is – a composed, relaxed mind. To put it simply, to love the other is to have a healthy relationship with the other and for the mind to have a healthy relationship with the other, first of all the mind must be healthy in itself. Are you getting it?

How can I have a healthy relationship with you, if I am not healthy?

How can the relationship be healthy, when the mind in the relationship is not healthy?

Is it possible?

Is it possible that the mind is diseased but, the relationship is healthy? Is it possible?

Do you get now, what love is? A healthy mind, the relationships of a healthy mind are called Love.

The relationship of a healthy mind are called loving relationships.



Read the Article: What is a relationship of love?

What is a relationship of love?

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Listener: In the previous activity we have learned what Love is not, then what Love is?

Acharya Prashant: That same activity sheet also contained a paragraph on that. Didn’t it?

L: Sir, but they were just the reciprocate; the opposite of what love is not. It didn’t actually explained what love is.

AP: (nodding his head in dismissal) It did. It very clearly did that. Is anybody carrying that sheet?

Even looking at that sheet will be a good experience. Read the last paragraph – what is love? Now, give it to me. Let me read it aloud.

Pay attention. Last paragraph, last heading and that’s why it has been highlighted in another color. Do you see that?

Read more

Spirituality is not an isolated activity

The distinction between spiritual life and worldly life is a false distinction. That which is called as Truth is not to be attained in isolation or abstraction. It is found in the middle of life, not in the middle of some special spiritual life, but in the middle of our everyday life.

Spirituality is not an isolated activity. You do not say that these are the things that I do and then the next thing that I am engaged in is, spirituality. If you do not do what you are doing, then how will you ever come to the facts of what you believe yourself to be.

Spirituality is not morality, it is not a set of commandments, it is never instructive. It does not tell you, do this or do that. And if you are ever told that in the name of self-inquiry or spiritual progress, then just be very cautious, it must be somebody who doesn’t understand.

Your condition at this moment is the sum total and complete representation of all your life, not only this life of the past 30 or 50 years, but your entire evolutionary life as well. What you are, this moment is a total expression of the collective flow of the whole stream, the whole evolutionary process, for each of us. Now, why do we need to go elsewhere and read a book? Here is the book, our life is the book, so close and so unavoidable.


Read the Complete Article: Spirituality is basic honesty

Spirituality is basic honesty

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Question: I want to seek the Truth, for me service to the humanity is my means to serve the Truth. This is what excites me and am drawn towards. I have been attending Satsangs, and they say it is about dropping your identity and exploring who you are as the greatest. So, I am confused if I am avoiding the Truth by attachment to my passion.

Acharya Prashant: Let me put something very emphatically.

The distinction between spiritual life and worldly life is a false distinction. That which is called as Truth is not to be attained in isolation or abstraction. It is found in the middle of life, not in the middle of some special spiritual life, but in the middle of our everyday life.

Read more

Immortality is not a stretch in time; immortality is a depth in the moment

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Question: Is it real that human beings can live forever?

Acharya Prashant: It depends on what you think of human beings. If you think that they are born, then they will die.

L1: I mean the human body.

AP: The body never dies!

L1: The body never dies?

AP: Never dies. What do you mean by the death of something? What do you think? This(pointing towards his hand) was ever not there?  This is stardust. This was always there and will continue to be, long after you and me are gone. Read more

Real Immersion

You don’t need to pretend that you are very busy with your work.

If your Heart is at the right place, right work will naturally flow from it.

You won’t then do it to display it to somebody. It would not then be a means of earning something. Now work is an expression of your Heart. And you do not bother about how it appears to others. You know what you are doing. You are not doing it for anybody else. You are doing it for yourself. It is your own personal thing. And personal in the right sense of the word. Not in the divided sense.Now you are not doing it to please your boss. Now it is your own work, you have ownership.

You don’t even have to really report. Because you are your own authority now. You cannot sleep properly if you know that you haven’t done the due. Why do you even need to go and tell somebody else? Somebody else might be easily deceived. And that’s what you do when you report to somebody else. It is very easy to deceive him because you are the one who is reporting, you can misrepresent.

But when you are doing it from your Heart, then your Heart is the authority.

And it cannot be deceived.

That is real work.

That is real immersion.


To read the complete article: Work and Immersion

Live with your loneliness, live with your disgust

13Questioner: Can one be lonely even while being immersed?

Acharya Prashant: Yes, of course. See, it is not a question of ‘Can one be or not?’, Whatever is there, is there. It is there, now, live with it; acknowledge it. Live with it without hoping for a change and then, let change happen if it has to.

Neither ask for it nor block it. Live with it without resentment, without resistance.

Q: But there is a disgust associated with that.

AP: Live with that disgust.

Disgust may be there but it is not mandatory upon you to be disgusted by the disgust.

Read more

Work and Immersion

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Listener 1: Last time we had talked about freedom. I had said that I find it easy to say, “No”, but I don’t know what to say, “Yes” to. It is difficult. You had advised me to do Neti-Neti and proceed. This need to immerse fully was coming from my present job, where the feedback I get is that I am not immersing myself fully. And I relate it to my conditioning, in the past, the bitterness that I hold, due to which I am saying no to a lot of things now. But you had said something later on, “The need to immerse fully is just a commandment of this industrial age, please remain doubtful.” Now when you say this, what emerges is that this in itself comes in the way of immersion, perhaps. That means I have not understood it fully.

Acharya Prashant: You see, immersion is not a cultivated thing. Of course, we all know immersion. It is something so simple, so ordinary; like holding a baby in your arms without any tension, there need not be any separation between you and the kid. That is immersion. The child may even be naked, even physically there is no separation, you too might be a mother, not wearing anything, and you are holding the baby to your chest; it is so simple, extremely obvious. Read more

What is the value of questions in the spiritual process?

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Question: Why human beings have the capacity to question each and everything?
Acharya Prashant: You question only when you do not find something fitting in your patterns. Right? If everything is alright, you don’t question it. You don’t question why I am able to hear what you’re saying. But if I am not able to hear what you’re saying, you question it. Is that not so?
You believe the pattern to be real and when the pattern is falsified you question it. I believe if I throw a ball then it must reach there. And why it must reach there? Because I have always found it reaching there whenever I have thrown it. So this is a pattern. Throw it, find it falling there. This is a pattern.
Now, if I throw a ball and the ball hangs in the mid air then I’ll say what’s this! What’s going on? Now there is a question. So we question because we believe in the pattern. Hence, questioning can come to a mind that has first known the pattern. But this mind has known the pattern but has not seen the pattern to be false. So it starts feeling little uneasy when it finds the pattern broken. It questions.
There can be a mind lower than this—that has not even seen the pattern. This mind will not question. It is such a dumb mind. A mind that is not even  conscious of the pattern will never raise any questions. And you would have met minds like those. They don’t question anything, whatever may keep happening they don’t find any need to question it.
Then there are those who question, those who questions believe in the pattern.
And then there are those who say, “Aah! pattern!” it may continue or it may break, how does it matter; just as a dream may continue or break.
Continuation of a dream makes it no more real than a broken dream.
Then they just sit in silent; they too don’t question. We have all these three categories of people here also. Some are not questioning because they don’t even see what I am talking of is so disruptive. So they don’t question. “Oh, there is no need to question. It’s all okay much the same. Why should I question?” There are some who are questioning, they are questioning because they are seeing that what I am saying is growing against the grain of what they have been believing. So they are questioning, they are asking repeatedly.
And then there might be another category who is so absorbed, so immersed that it finds no need to question. A question is like a dissent, a question says a pattern must be continued why did it break. And if you have no affixation with the pattern then you don’t question, then you’re just silent and immersed.
May there be more people like those here.
But if you can’t be like the one who is not attached to the pattern and hence doesn’t question, then at least question!
Are you getting it?
If you can’t let it directly come to your heart, if you find that the mind is standing in the way then do express the resentment, the dissent of mind; then, question.
By questioning you may probably come to a place where you have no need to question.

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

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: What is the value of questions in the spiritual process?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: The one answer to every question

Article 2: On Jesus: Faith does not answer questions, it laughs at them

Article 3: Attend to the facts and your imaginations will fall in place


Editor’s Note: 

Books by Acharya Prashant 

Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/Acharya-Prashant
Flipkart:  https://goo.gl/fS0zHf

Finish the meal, and clean the plate

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Sanjay Sahay, first day at 24th Advait Learning Camp, Mukteshwar

 

For the first time in life, I came to know what is ‘Spiritual Masti’ (referring to the Anhad session that was held yesternight). I danced with and without music. And danced continuously till I dropped. Then after two minutes, I again got up, and danced more, the cycles continued.

What is it to be in flow, loosen up, lighten up? – I have been receiving these kinds of messages from everywhere.

What is loosening up? What is lightning up? I didn’t know.But it happened automatically in the Anhad session.

Magical!

(Starts crying) Also, I realized that holding up of pain as memories and reflecting on them is useless. I learned it from yesterday’s reading – “Finish the meal and just clean the plate.”

(Sobs) Thank you.

(Silence)

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Sanjay Sahay, third day at 24th Advait Learning Camp, Mukteshwar.

 


Editor’s Note:

Sanjay Sahay, a fellow seeker, shared his reflection in one of the reflection sessions conducted at 24th Advait Learning Camp, Mukteshwar. 

He got the formula to live a simple life – “Finish the meal and just clean the plate.”

Get yours at 25th Advait Learning Camp. 🙂 

Entries are open for 25th Advait Learning Camp, to be held in Mukteshwar.

Apply at: requests@prashantadvait.com

Apply now! Limited seats!

How to cope with the loss of a loved one?

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Question: Sir, when we lose a loved one in the form of a body, what happens actually is that the love remains intact but we lose that loved one in that physical form – the body. Please guide.

Acharya Prashant: There would anyway be so many thoughts, live in them. There would be a lot of sadness, live in that. What else can you do? What we call as ‘love’, is something directed towards a body, a human being. Now, that human being is no more, you obviously miss the person. It is a part of what you call as being human; so you will cry, cry a lot; you will miss, miss a lot! And all that is so beautiful, from that suffering, you come to Joy. Read more

Man is the only one who has condemned himself to labor

Suppose, I go jogging in the morning and I don’t really enjoy it. It is lot of hard work for me. There is a colleague who goes along with me and has to keep pushing me all the time. When I play, be it Table Tennis, Cricket, or sometimes Soccer, I run around. I do not mind running around. I run around like a hare.

Why such a difference?

Because I am not into jogging. If you are not into it, then the mind gives a lot of resistance, that resistance is called ‘Hard Work’. Hard work is not any physical action. Hard work is the resistance that the mind puts up. My mind puts up lots of resistance even when I am jogging mildly. It says, ‘What stupidity? Why are you jogging? It is so humid, go back and sleep.’ That is hard work.

When your mind is playing all kinds of tricks and resisting what is happening, then it becomes hard work.

When your mind is not resisting, you do a lot of things, still it is not hard work. When your mind is supportive, when it is all in a smooth flow then a lot of work is happening and yet it is not hard work.

It is a deep, deep conditioning to say that hard work is necessary. Look at the entire existence around you. Do you think anything, anybody, any creature in existence is working hard? Everybody is simply partying, enjoying, celebrating, dancing. Man is the only one who has condemned himself to labor. Nothing else labors. Though they dance around with vigorous energy, but there is no labor involved in that.

Have you seen a river flowing, the way it flows?

There is great energy in that, but it is not working. It is not ‘working’. There is so much energy in a flowing river that it runs all your power plants. But is the river working? Man is the only one who has told himself that ‘hard’ work is the key to success. That is why you are asking this question that what will happen if you stop working hard.

It would be wonderful if you stop working hard. Play hard, that is important. Anything that is substantial, comes from playing hard, not from working hard. Play hard, celebrate like a mad-man.

Playing hard is purposeless. You do not want anything from it, except enjoyment. Working hard always has a target. Playing hard means that I am always happy, that I am dancing around. Working hard means that I am so sad that I must get something. They are opposites. Playing hard means that I am so contented that I can dance and play. Working hard means that I am feeling like a beggar. It means that I must work hard to attain something. They are opposites. Do you get the difference?


~ Excerpts from the article, ‘Play hard not work hard

Read more about ‘Success’: Success and Failure

Enlightenment is to feel free of the obligation to be enlightened

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Question: Is life not ultimately a hall of mirrors?

Acharya Prashant: No, what is meant by that? There is somebody outside the hall who can see that all this is happening. Yes, you project your world, it’s possible to see that you are doing that. So, life is outside that hall as well; and real life is only outside that hall. That hall is such an illusion. Read more

Find something overwhelmingly beautiful, and you won’t need to concentrate

Question: Why can’t I concentrate on anything?

Shri Prashant: Because those things are not worth concentrating. When you will meet something that deserves all your immersion, then you will not be left to ask this question. So, till the time you are not meeting that, it is good that you are not hitching up with the wrong kind of things. Is it not? It is good that you are unable to concentrate. Read more

The secret of joyful relationships

Speaker: The topic today reads: The secret of Joyful Relationships.

I am reminded that I recently saw a limping man using a branch of a tree as walking stick and that was not very distant from a place where kids were using similar branches as hockey sticks. And who knows, at the same hour, at some other place, people might be attacking each other using weapons made of strong branches. Teachers often give this assignment to their students – a simple object would be named, such as a paper weight, a slipper, an empty bag; and the students, the kids, would be asked to enlist twenty-five different kinds of uses for that thing. I suppose as kids, probably all of us would have done a similar exercise. It’s quite entertaining. Same object, the same thing, outside of me, is looked at by me so variously and so differently. For the old man, it’s a walking stick. For the fighter, it’s a weapon. Read more

Why do we suffer needlessly?

Question:  In this world for us to prioritize what is important for us and what is not. So this is what we had said and we had asked him that sometimes we are not able to prioritize that, so therefore, we get lost in whatever work we do. What is the solution?

Speaker: The whole thing begins by asking a bit clearer. What is the right thing to do? How does one know that what is the right action at any given moment? This is a very important question, very tremendous question because every moment we are in situations that demand decisions. How does one know what is the right thing to do? How does one know when to submerge himself more in his job and when to write his resignation? And as we and Babu Ji (referring to the listener) were talking, we said that both can be indications of Mukti (liberation). Read more

That Blissful Solitude is your nature

Questioner: The reading has this quote that,

‘Solitude is in the mind of a man, that it is an attitude of the mind.

A man attached to things of life cannot get solitude wherever he may be.

A detached man is always in solitude.”

So it doesn’t depend on the location, the place where he is at, but how he is in the mind. I would want to understand more of this, what does this solitude mean? Read more