False concepts regarding mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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False concepts regarding mindfulness

Question: Acharya Ji, some teachers say that one should never forget that one is a watcher, and teach oneself to be mindful while watching, eating, sleeping, etc. Is it doable? What is its significance?

Acharya Prashant Ji: I just do not subscribe to this. It is quite harmful, in fact.

The mind is already too eager to gather news from here and there, like a very suspicious old man – what is happening, where? It needs rest, not more news. Because any bit of news, any bit of information, that comes to it, would only be mis-utilised. And it already has millions, and trillions, of Terra-bytes of information.

Could that do any good?

Isn’t it far better, to just forget everything? Why add to your existing and overflowing repository of information? Just forget everything, and be engrossed in rest. Ignore these things, they belong to the body. The body will take care of them: eating, walking, sleeping. If you start being observant about every step that the body takes, you will go mad.

Such advice have managed to sustain, only because such advice have never been fully implemented. If somebody could actually fully implement these advice about watchfulness, and mindfulness, then the dangerous nature of these advice would be exposed.

The mindfulness industry has managed to survive, only because nobody can practically do, what they are advising. If even one person can practically do, what they are advising, he will prove the very debilitating nature of that advice, through his madness. He did it fully, and he went crazy. And that would be the end of these teachings.

But, fortunately for these teachings, they are so impractical, so crazy, that they can never really be implemented. Nobody can be watchful about every morsel of food, or every blink of the eye, or every round of respiration. So people just survive, going mad.

And when they cannot implement these teachings fully, they feel that they are guilty, and have therefore not benefited from the teachings. “I could not benefit from them, because I could not implement them fully.” The bugger does not know that if he could implement them fully, he would go crazy.

A saint has never, never been known to be the one, who is observant about these minor microscopic things in life.

The saint’s heart is elsewhere.

He in fact, ignores these tit-bits, called ‘daily life’.

You look at his clothing, and it is possible that you may find that something is torn somewhere, and he is oblivious of it. He totally ignores these things. He is carrying some utensil, and utensil has a hole. You become conscious of that hole, the fakir(saint), keeps ignoring that hole. Forget about ignoring the hole, if you tell him that there is a hole in your vessel, he will say, “Is there? Where? Where?” He is lost, he is somewhere else.

That’s hardcore spirituality. Not this.

There is the famous tale of Sohni and Mahiwal in Punjab. Sohni used to cross the river using pots. They don’t sink. So, she used to use them, to help her cross the river Chenab. One day some jealous woman, kept a raw pot for her, not a properly baked one, an unbaked one. Sohni just picked it up and went into the river, and drowned and died. That’s the heart. That’s ‘real love’.

You are so lost in your beloved, that you do not even bother to cross-check about these things – what am I eating, what am I using for my physical defence? The mindfulness industry would have said, “Oh! She was not mindful enough. That’s why she died.” Obviously she was not mindful enough. And that is why she was a lover.

Who said that lovers are mindful?

Questioner: Acharya Ji, but then why do saints put high emphasis on observation?

Acharya Ji: That observation is inner. Not the observation of the food you take, and the steps you put, and this and that. The observation there is, just this – “Am I with the beloved or not?” There is just one thing, that you have to watch out for. It doesn’t matter where else I am. It’s either  a zero, or a one. One, if I am with ‘him’. Zero, if I am anywhere else. It doesn’t matter where I am.

You are born with a purpose.

The purpose is your primary concern. Otherwise, why are you alive?

You are born to get rest.

You are born to get freedom from your restlessness.

And therefore, that is what you must be fully occupied with.

That is your central mission.

Everything else is incidental. Everything else, is stuff, worth ignoring. Not something you can afford to get entangled in.

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

Watch the session:  False concepts regarding mindfulness || Acharya Prashant (2019)


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Quotes, May’19

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1.

Life is sacred,

the living are sacred,

the conscious are sacred,

the unconscious are sacred,

the subject is sacred,

the object is sacred.

All sacred

just because they are false.

Falseness is false.

They are not what they appear.

They are where they come from.

The Truth. The One.

2.

The storm kept raging.

The Sky didn’t utter a word.

3.

You’ve one life

and you must

spend it rightly.

4.

Restless are those who do not have answers.

Dead are those who do not have even questions.

Better to be restless than dead.

Most people appear lifeless.

Not because they do not have answers, but because they do not have questions.

Doubt, Wonder, Ask, Question, Find.

Come alive!

5.

Gratitude is not about uttering thanks when you receive a pleasant gift.

Gratitude is about remaining thankful when you are being destroyed.

6.

Live on with the patterns of your life.

Know the patterns as patterns. Don’t attempt to change them.

The pattern is tied to you by your own resistance and attachment.

Resistance is attachment.

Leave it, it will go to where it came from.

So what to do with patterns?

Nothing.

7.

When you feel incomplete,

Kindly don’t fill yourself with rubbish.

8.

Fear is useful.

One must have the right fear.

Right fear

is when one is afraid

of losing the one thing

that cannot be lost,

and yet man loses it

again and again.

Afraid of this one thing,

now one can be fearless

about all else.

This is the key to

fearlessness.

9.

Here is the method:Every small action will tell you of your centre.

You fondly said: Come.

Whom did you call?

You dryly said: Busy.

What are you busy with?

You sorely missed something.

What is it?

You dreamily thought of someone.

Who is he?

The real one has just One in mind.

10.

Acharya ji, who is a friend?

Whose friend?

Mine.

Who are you?

(Mute)

A squirming consciousness are you, desperate for its Destination.

Who is a friend?

Who rids you of all else, and points you to the Destination alone.

Who is a foe?

Who stands between you and the Destination.

~Acharya Prashant@Prashant_Advait


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Acharya Prashant, with students: How to be contented in life?

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Acharya Prashant: Ishita asks, “What is contentment and why do we run behind it?”

Ishita we never run behind contentment. We run behind another thing called ‘satisfaction.’ Contentment is not a goal to be achieved. Contentment is right now. Contentment is our intrinsic fullness which opens up in the absence of any desire. When there is no desire, then you know everything is alright! That is contentment. That is intrinsic fullness, you don’t run after it to get it.

But yes there is another word. You know the dictionary would say these two are synonymous contentment and satisfaction. But in lives, these two are poles apart. Very-very different. We run after satisfaction. What do we say? We say that if we get that then we will be satisfied. That which you are after is always ahead. Always in future. Am I right?

Listener: Yes, sir.

AP: Do you ever say that in this moment if I get something I will be satisfied? Because if you say this moment, then by the time you say this moment this has already become a time. Become past. So, defacto you are always aspiring about the future. A hope into the future. If I get that then.

Read more

The function of Brahm is to give stability

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One should identify Brahman neither with the head nor with the middle part nor with the bottom but with (what remains in the shape of) the tail, since it is said that Brahman is ‘the Tail’ and substratum. Thus those who contemplate this fourfold division attain the supreme Goal.

Verse 5

~Avadhut Upanishad

Acharya Prashant: Brahman is to be identified with no part of the body but with the tail. What is meant by that? The idea is that the tail has only one function-to give stability. Brahman is the stabilizing tail of the universe. All other parts of the body have various utilities and functions. But the tail gives stability. Read more

Man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all.

When we say consciousness, what we mean is the perception that there is the universe and there is the me. If you cannot perceive things, if you cannot perceive the universe, then you will not say that you are conscious. And because we are what we are, we have taken consciousness as the consciousness that we experience; that is what is ego centered behavior.

What is our consciousness? Consciousness is the content of mind. Consciousness is our thoughts, ideals, emotions, feelings, relationships. What is our consciousness? Our consciousness is doubt, fear, convictions, beliefs, attachments, imaginations, effort, attainment, beginning, end. That is what we call as consciousness.

In the language of spirituality, all of that is not consciousness at all. What we call as consciousness is the interference of “I” in the facts of life. That is what we referred to as consciousness. And if we take that to be consciousness, then we would be mislead into believing that Vasugupt is saying that ego is the self because he is saying, “Consciousness is the Self.”

And if consciousness means our consciousness, then our consciousness is an ago centered consciousness, an “I” centered consciousness. We look at the world as we are. We are greatly attracted to that which has a meaning to us. We are repelled by that which we have been taught to dislike.

So man’s consciousness is not pure consciousness at all. If a sage would look at the expanse of our consciousness, He would say, “This is so mechanical. Why do you even call it consciousness? Why do you even label yourself as conscious? You are not conscious at all.”

To be conscious means to know and to really know you must be free of the blockage to knowing. You yourself, what you take yourself to be, are the biggest blockage to knowing. You don’t really know.



Read the complete Article: Common consciousness is a burden

Common consciousness is a burden

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Acharya Prashant: Shiv Sutras are the basic, canonical aphorisms of Advait. They come from a ninth century sage called Vasugupt from Kashmir. Very brief, very secant, they contain everything that there is to the understanding of non-duality. The first sutra says:

Chaitanyam aatma

Consciousness is the Self.

If we go carefully into this one, this Sutra alone, the first one alone would open up everything that deserves to be known about self enquiry. It will open up the beginning, the end and also the method of Self Enquiry. What does it say?

Consciousness is the Self.

You will have to keep coming along with me. If I am an active speaker, you will have to be an active listener. Yes? I like it when we all move together.    Read more

How to change one’s habits?

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Question: Most of us want to change our habits.

Acharya Prashant: The thing with change that one wants is – that one does not want “the one” wanting to change. I am the one who first chose red or accepted it for whatever reason. Now, I want a change, I want yellow. So, something outside of myself is being sought to change, and in that what is it that I am preserving and continuing?

Listeners: Myself

AP: This is the matter with any and all change that the Mind desires. The mind would itself never want to change, the desirous entity would itself never want to change. It would want to change everything else. In fact, in changing something peripheral, something external, what subliminally continues is the entity that is restless and is hence forever eager to change. Read more

Knowing Love

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The need of mind to get Peace, to settle into Understanding, to be clear of noise and be seated in Silence, to not to feel lonely but Total – that is Love. 

And because we all experience that need, we all are lovers. Had we not been experiencing that restlessness, that disquiet there would have been no question of love? So we, as we are, the mind as it is, is always attracted to something beyond itself. The mind is always attracted to something beyond itself.

The mind sees that it is chaotic, it wants an end to the chaos. The mind sees that it is restless, it wants an end to the restlessness. The mind sees that it is lonely, incomplete, it wants certain completion, it wants some suitable partner that would complete it.

Read more

Enlightenment is the most fundamental myth

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Question: What is the most fundamental step in the liberation of the Self? Is liberation of the Self a gradual process or is it instantaneous like switching on a light?

Acharya Prashant: It is neither. Liberation is just another name for the Self. The Self by nature is liberated. Hence there can be no liberation of the Self. One is already and always liberated.

Liberation is what you really are. Even in the moment of your deepest apparent bondage, you are liberated. Even if you believe yourself in all kinds of chains, you are still liberated. Bondage is just the thought of bondage.

And pay attention: bondage is equally the thought of liberation.

Slaves are those who believe they are slaves and slaves are those who believe they are free. The beliefs themselves are the bondage, it does not matter what you believe in.

Read more

On Anger, observation, middle path, and right action

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Question: It is said that the sage doesn’t get angry for long time. Can you talk about this?

Speaker: Do you bother about how other people love? If you have a real relationship with anybody; with a child, with a dog, with a woman, do you bother about how other people love? Why must you bother so much about how that particular sage was behaving or acting or performing miracles? You have your own heart, and your own God, your own lover. Why don’t you look directly at Him? And if you are really a lover, would you look directly at your beloved or would you look around?

There is a beloved and you are experiencing a distance between you and Him, and that distance is your only desire. You want to get rid of the distance. Your eyes are set on your beloved. Now would you talk about this and that? Would you talk about what is happening in the neighbour’s house? Would you talk about how they behave and perform and talk? Tell me. Would all of that be of any importance to you?

Read more

What is Moksha?

Acharya Prashant: What is Moksha? Moksha means liberation; liberation from root of all that which bothers you, freedom from all that which can ever trouble you. When the mind says it wants freedom- it only wants freedom from the objects that it considers troublesome. Now that will always be partial freedom because the mind lives in parts. The mind will say this is the entire universe and this part of the universe doesn’t bother me and this part of the universe bothers me.

So the mind will always seek only partial freedom from the world. Even as the mind will say that this, this and that need to go away (pointing in one direction). With equal intensity it will say that, that and that too as well need to stay (pointing in other direction). It will want freedom from pain and will continue to remain attached to pleasure. Such is the nature of mind. It sees only one side of the coin ever.

It cannot do anything else, mind knows only duality. Duality is the very substance of mind. Comes then a different dimension of mind- a wise man. He has been able to see through the entire thing. He is not obsessed with only one side of the coin. He says “yes, yes, of course I too want freedom from suffering but I see that if I remove one part then I have actually removed nothing because nobody can remove just one side of the coin. If I want to get rid of pain and want the furtherance of pleasure then I have continued to live in pain”.

Read more

Man is a restlessness

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Acharya Prashant (AP): A small particle of snow starts falling from a hillside. As it keeps rolling down the slope what does it gather?

Listener 1 (L1): More snow

AP: More snow. And ultimately it becomes quite big. So, if you ask, “Who is it that has become big?” Read more

What is meant by ‘Advait in Everyday Life’?

 

Question: What is meant by Advait in Everyday Life?

Acharya Prashant:  Advait in everyday life, what is it that we call as our everyday life? This sleeping, this waking, this trying, this reaching, this hope, this despair, getting ready, achieving, not achieving, this is what we call as our everyday life. Right? Finding, losing, meeting, leaving, holding, dropping…what do you see in this?

Listener 1: We see “I”.

AP: Yes, it is there, but what do you see about the nature of this “I”.

Alright, let me look at this present day itself, when we are talking of everyday life. We all are wearing clothes which we hopefully put on this morning itself, right? Have there been any clothes ever that you put on but never take off? We all are sitting here, wearing something, is there ever something that you wear but never unwear, never take off? Has it ever happened? Has there ever been a place that you go to but never return from? You have come here, what would happen to this coming? The coming will change into departure. It’s a matter of time. Right? This session began for you. Right? Has there ever been a session that begins but never ends? Please, has there been? What do you see about the nature of our everyday life?

Read more

When the person changes, his relationships too must change

Listener: How to deal with society and the conditioning it brings along with it?

Acharya Prashant: You talk a lot about society, but ultimately our visa expires and we have to return to the same society. What do we do?  Do we go to some forest? Do we go to Mars? What do we do?  What do you mean by society? If you look at the contact list of your phone, is that list the same as the list in her phone (signaling towards another lady). How many numbers are there in your phone directory? How many? How many?

(Silence)

 How many?

This is not a mystical question please. (Everyone laughs)

How many contacts? Read more

You are free, now why do you act helpless

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Question: Consciously, let’s say, I come to Dharamkot.  Five days ago, let’s say, I decide to come to Manali, in Manali, I would have had a different life style. And I come to this Dharamkot because I travelled by different things. That’s why based on this limited information I have, I made this decision. In reality, all my decisions might be wrong. I probably was wrong for these five days.

Acharya Prashant: You see, if you decide as the restless one, do you know where the restlessness is? The restlessness is in your mind. Right? You do not hold it in your hands, restlessness is in your mind. It is the very foundation of all your decisions, thoughts, experiences, perceptions; it is quite deep. It is that assumption from which all other experiences and observations emerge.

You go to Manali, what do you carry along with you?  The restlessness.

You come to Dharmkot, what do you carry along with you? The restlessness. Read more

The secret of the disciple and the master

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Acharya Prashant (AP): The master and the disciple, they exist at two levels that are related, yet different.

Let us understand them.

At the most fundamental level which you could call as the real level, there is only the disciple, just as in the world, there is only the mind. And this disciple, this mind is characterised by its restlessness. Its defining property is that it moves. It’s not still; it wants, desires, strives, achieves, desires again. That mind alone is the disciple. And that which the mind so desperately wants, yet consciously knows nothing of, is the destination. That which mind wants is the destination.  Read more

Why is there so much pain in love?

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(To receive regular updates on WhatsApp regarding wisdom articles by Acharya Ji and to get an opportunity to connect to him directly, click here)

Question: Why is there so much pain in love?

Acharya Prashant: Is there any less pain in not loving?

And if pain is what you will have, then why resists pain?

A mass of resistance we are; a mass of prejudices, likes and dislikes — that’s what we are. That is what is called as the personality. If this grows, then obviously pain grows because if this grows, then you are dividing more, then you are rejecting more, then you are discriminating more, choosing more, then you are more in expectations. Read more

Am I really missing that T.V. show?

When one is lonely, then one may get so intimidated by one’s loneliness that one may not dare to come close to it. That one may not dare to probe deeply into it, and go to the roots of it. And if one doesn’t go to the roots of feeling of his loneliness, he will feel that loneliness is a shallow phenomenon which can be treated with superficial ointments.

So one will say, “I am feeling lonely, let me call up someone.” And one will think that a little bit of electronic socialization will do the trick. Or one may say, “I keep feeling lonely, let me get married.” Or one will say, “Let me change cities, and move to another place where my community, or my friends live.” Or one may just say, “Let me switch on the television, or visit the shopping mall.”

This happens when one is afraid. This happens when one is not courageous enough to understand his own thoughts and feelings. And that requires no wizardry. That requires plain, old-fashioned courage.

“Yes, there is something that I am missing, but what is it? Am I really missing that T.V. show? Seriously!” But one behaves as if the T.V. show was the reason why you were feeling uneasy. So, he switches on the television. One behaves as if a walk around the park, or a new dress, or a bout of physical intimacy will help relieve the situation permanently. “I am feeling a little queasy. Alright, let’s have some sex.” That will put you to sleep, but then the same cycle will be repeated the next day. This is when loneliness is not understood. This is when mind is taken as something to be afraid of.

Then one tries short-cuts. Then one tries being a doctor unto himself, and that is quackery. Ever seen those guys at some pharmacy who go there and try to prescribe themselves out of their ailments? They would stand there and ask the retailer, “Which drugs are in circulation these days?”  And he would say, “This and this…” He would say, “Okay, fine. Alright, give me that one.” As if they are ordering food from the menu. And often, patients are less scared of the disease and more scared of knowing about the disease.

If you can go to the roots of your own loneliness, then you will not be duped into running after objects, then you will not be tempted to give yourself superficial treatments.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page

The world can redeem itself only by placing the highest value on the Guru

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Questioner: The question is: Who is a Guru? Is a Guru different from a Teacher right? Can a Guru bring together — Knowledge and spirituality in one domain? And what is this contradiction between Osho and J. Krishnamurti?

Acharya Prashant: See, there has to be something which makes you feel that there is a difference between a Teacher and a Guru. What is that thing? Because language and dictionary will tell you that these two words are almost synonymous: ‘Teacher and Guru’. Yet something within you tells you that they are not. Indeed there may be a huge difference; a dimensional difference between these two.

Teaching, in the way we know it, in the way it is used in contemporary society, is analogous to filling up the brain, guiding the intellect in a predetermined direction. Now it’s a very important function: to bring a child or a young student up to date, to the point where evolution has brought mankind is important. If a child has born today, he must know the languages that are prevalent today. He must know the sciences, he must know the traffic rules, he must know the political environment, he must know computers and electronics, he must know the way the various societies are built and are operated. Read more

We do not know peace; we know agitation

When you are at peace with yourself then you become a cause of peace for the entire universe.
First of all, be at peace with yourself.
We do not know peace. We know agitation; disturbance; turbulence. When it is there, then admit it, acknowledge it. Don’t pretend that it is not there. Don’t escape away to a fancy destination. Don’t run away to a shopping mall or to a temple or to an ashram.


Further Reading:

The Flying Kiss to the Sky

cover_fksA Flying Kiss to The Sky, is a collection of excerpts from various discourses of Acharya Prashant, arranged in a special order which makes it the ideal first book, for all who want to come close to the facts of their own lives.

The book is divided into three parts, each part helping the reader to appreciate the working of his own mind and hence, the world in more clear and precise terms. Its unique one-page-one-chapter format makes it even more simple. It won’t be wrong to say that it is a book for all: Reader, or non-reader; Professional, or Spiritual.

Paperback: Advait Publications Page