Inner confidence

Spiritual confidence is more difficult to attain than worldly confidence.

We can easily learn to drive a car, fix a lawnmower, or talk informatively on a variety of subjects.

But how can we learn to attain inner confidence?

There are no specific steps to follow.

Yet, by utilizing the insight and confidence gained from meditation we naturally discover the truth that is always within us.

And in becoming more confident of our experience, we come to see that the devotional or sentimental beliefs are not so important. We learn to believe and trust ourselves. 

Tibetan Meditation 

Degrees of happiness

Our problem is that we set up rules for ourselves that determine what’s allowed.

We say, “You’re only entitled to a certain degree of happiness.

You shouldn’t expect to be happy all the time.”

But those rules are not binding.

We can just set them aside. 

Dimensions of Mind 

Refines, extracts, purifies and alchemizes

Breath is a manifestation of the state of mind and body:

It shows how we are feeling.

Being preoccupied or anxious can make it hard to breathe, as if the space for the breath is already full, and then creates further anxiety.

Breathing practice can teach us how to use the breath to turn this situation around and direct experience to openness.

As breath moves through the body, it refines, extracts, purifies, and alchemizes. 

Kum Nye Dancing 

Engaging directly

If we can exercise a kind of inquiry that is playful and friendly, more about questions and dialog than answers and pronouncements, we can show ourselves and others the possibility of engaging directly with everything that arises.

It’s that possibility of engaging directly that matters.

If that’s there, nothing else needs to change.

Without any specific effort, we can live our lives with increasing confidence and inner joy. 

Dimensions of Mind 

The field of beauty

Our relationship with nature offers us two precious opportunities: to receive beauty and to foster it.

Both are equally important, for by protecting and preserving the field of beauty that offers nourishment for the heart, we serve the highest human values.

Mandala Gardens 

Awareness

Awareness generally means to be “aware of some thing”— to look at objects, to recognize, identify, and try to understand them.

This is commonsense awareness.

But as a living experience, natural awareness is simple and direct, open and responsive, without concepts, words, images and interpretations.

Awareness takes place within the first moment, not before, and not after.

It is immediate, spontaneous. There is no other “thing” to obscure the moment—there is no subject or object, no time or space.

All that remains is within this openness, which neither words nor concept can describe.

There is complete freedom from our restless attempts to hold on to something, to be secure in some distraction or some trance-like fixation.

There is no fear and no guilt—no desire to escape or be any other way.

There becomes complete self-acceptance and generates a fresh new outlook all its own.

Tibetan Meditation 

Exercise: Who’s Thinking

Exercise: Who’s thinking?

Experiment with challenging the automatic assumption, “I am the one who is thinking”.

As thoughts come and go, can you let go of your ownership claim?

Can thoughts arise and pass away in somewhat the way an itch arises and passes away, or a fly lands on the back of your hand?

What obstacles to this way of seeing arise?

Are you making commitments to your thoughts that make it difficult to approach them in a neutral way? 

Dimensions of Mind 

Positive intentions

During the day, you can bring positive intentions into every interaction: a casual conversation, a telephone call, a meeting, a simple encounter with a stranger.

Make it your intention to benefit everyone you come into contact with.

You can do a lot with a smile, a few kind words, a thoughtful gesture, or a helpful way of seeing some situation in a more positive light.

The next day, you can make more efforts in the same direction, vowing to improve. 

Dimensions of Mind