How Do We Build Confidence?
We build confidence through accepting the process of change on a conventional level, while at the same time, acknowledging the absolute presence which is unchanging.
This will depend on the needs of the individual: it’s a tricky subject that requires consideration. Conventionally, we gain confidence by “Monkey see, monkey do”, and that works to a certain level. This is a left brain application, or vertical thinking: “You do this and then this and you get that!” But what if we have a more right brained approach? What if we are lateral thinkers, asking “What is this?”
It’s possible to become either too literal and ‘religious’, or too flaky and careless. When we’re trying to find confidence in the way we work, there comes a moment of conflict, with either the way we are working or the way others are working. We’re trying to hold it all together, but find we’re getting upset, experiencing a sense of dissatisfaction. Platitudes no longer work because we are recognising and realising something we hadn’t seen before. That could be uncomfortable, and that means something is shifting!
Perhaps we first need to conform, with a straightforward point of view that ‘stands to reason’ (ie the four mind changes) and then expand into emptiness, where there is no reason. Gaining confidence in emptiness isn’t something we are brought up with, is it?
I’m coming to the end of a fourth year on this blog: all that needs to be said has been said many times. However, convincing the mind does take time. We have to become gradually familiar with a different approach to life, and gain confidence in the reality of our spiritual being beyond doing, beyond coming and going, and beyond being clever, which will allow us to live in a clear, lucid, well-balanced way.
This doesn’t mean we get it right all the time 🙂 . It’s a matter of hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, seeing, perceiving, recognising, experiencing and realising. For us, the outcome may be different to the outcome of others.
We look for satisfaction. Having been satisfied, suddenly this does not satisfy any more. We out grow conventional conformity; we out grow our toys and confidence is knocked. But we note that, throughout all this processing and reprocessing, awareness is always present. Through meditation, that which needs to grow grows, and that which needs to drop away, drops away; we ascend levels. Different people will hear the same thing differently, and also, through experience, the actual meaning of the words changes. There is a saying: “Same words, exalted meaning”. As we out grow an understanding, we may even think we are in hell – “One man’s meat is another’s poison”.
I lack confidence in writing; I just follow the words from teachings that the mind is scanning. It is all a learning process. There is a sort of knowingness within not knowing. On the ‘table’ (the mind) in front of me are all possibilities, which are neither accepted nor rejected. They are bits of knowledge. Now depending on the situation, the question asked will dictate how these bits of knowledge are put together to find an answer. The funny thing is that, if asked the same question a moment later, the answer might turn out differently! You just have to know when to stop.
We can talk more on this … !
*the precious nature of human life, suffering, impermanence/death, and karma