2023-01-013 Hindrances and Assistances (5 of 5) Doubt vs. Confidence
6:56AM Feb 4, 2023
So hello everyone then coming to the fifth of these five talks, for those of you who looked for them and the recordings that they're this week that talks are called hindrances and assistances. The things that hinder us the things that assist us in this life. And I'm looking at these things that categories of ways of being, which can either go in a hindering way or assisting way a positive way. So desires can hinder and desires can help free us and move us in good directions. of averting can take the form of hostility and aversion. But averting can also be turning away in a healthy way and appropriate way stepping away. That being freezing and sloth, torpor and going numb is a version of being still. But the enduring one is also the the stillness which is clarified and creates clarity and presence. There is at being animated the energies of our life that can lead to restlessness than preoccupation and thoughts and regrets. And there's also the way of being animated that comes from a deeper place, that's a fuses us with a sense of wonderful vitality. And today, the hindrances, well, maybe the kind of category is not knowing and not knowing can take the form of confusion, doubt, indecisive decisiveness and uncertainty. And people get caught up in these and make all kinds of bad decisions because of their doubt. Or they make no decision at all, because of the end decisiveness and they're kind of caught. But the positive side of this is, is a certain confidence decisiveness that doesn't have to know anything, it can be a, I like to, sometimes we don't know. And then not knowing leads through doubt. Or the not knowing can be held in confidence. When can know clearly I don't know. But we say that not collapsing and not getting agitated, not feeling ashamed. But rather, we take a posture of confidence if you're standing to stand with both feet firmly on the ground, standing tall. And, and just kind of as if it's completely fine not to know, and just announced even to the whole world, I don't know. And almost as if people will be inspired, that is possible to be alive and confident and breathing. And not to know. So the person is as no doubts that they're, that they don't know. They know what they don't know, not confused about it. They're not uncertain about it. And they're not. There's no lack of confidence and not knowing there's a confidence in not knowing deaf definitively, I don't know. And there's some real value in that kind of clarity. Because then we don't give up our confidence we can stay in our place of strength. And in a sense, we stand tall. And then we can look around from that place and see much better. We can understand start to understanding what is happening and small degrees. But if we succumb to doubt and confusion and decisiveness and, and, and kind of adapt some kind of doubt is cynicism and skepticism that keeps us swirling and thoughts keeps us from showing up in a confident way. And I'd like to suggest that confidence doesn't require us to understand or to make a decision. We can stand and confident and relaxed in whatever way we are in life. There's no reason not to. And so there's a kind of healthy not knowing. And not knowing that maybe opens up possibilities where we're more available to the world to see clearly. And there's a kind of not knowing that leads to doubt and uncertainty and confusion and kind of spiraling out and feeling we have to know. And certainly there are times we have to make decisions in life. And so this big cotton and decisiveness is not so healthy. But to confidently assert confidently recognize, that I don't know what to do. Now I'm being indecisive, I'm not making a decision. Just that confidence in making that statement, standing tall and confident, might just might give you access to something, some other way of knowing some other way of, of deciding, then if we get caught in the trap of hindering doubt, the doubt that we kind of just agitatedly uncertain agitatedly feeling lost and confused and, and uncertain what to do. The body being confident the heart being confident, even if the mind doesn't know what to do, can be a guide, no support for finding someplace inside that knows wisely what to do. so and so. Look for opportunities when you don't know what you're not sure. And the study yourself and see you in you're not sure in this you're not knowing Do you somehow are getting influenced that in a certain way by that, that is depleting? lowers your energy lowers your confidence? It's a little bit of a downer? Or can you step into not knowing as if it's almost like, I don't know, like a room that you're stepping into. And yes, I'm in this room of not knowing. But to stand there confident. And this has a lot to do with where we identify ourselves. If we identify ourselves as the one who's confused, who doesn't know who was uncertain, then we might not be able to find a way out easily. But if we don't know and if we're not certain, but we think of a just a room we're in or a situation we're in. And we identify if we're gonna identify with anything, and to identify the one that you can do can do this postural confidence, who could stand clearly, definitively I am here, I am present, no doubt about it, and do that with strength and confidence. Then the then the not knowing that maybe even the confusion of what to do is not going to debilitate us the same way as if we identify with it. If we see it as a personal kind of fault or failure that we're that way. So what are the great possibilities of meditation is that to sit with some modicum of relaxed confidence in the midst of whatever storm is going on. And whatever confusion is going on. So I offered this week, as the kind of the background for this week or assumption is that when we feel challenges in our life, it's very easy to be swept up in the drama and their concerns and they're trying to figure out and and the difficulty of it. And sometimes whether it's conscious or semi conscious or unconscious or semi conscious or schema conscious, we can have strategies of trying to cope with it which are not helpful. And those are the five hindrances. And sometimes the five hindrances are used to try to seek escape. So we'd like to face the challenge. Even restlessness and agitation and doubt sometimes is running away. And sometimes it's safer to be caught in those than to feel like you're addressing it directly what's going on. But to take the time to pause to step back and ask the question, what is my strategy with this challenge? How am I responding to it? What's my relationship? Do it. What am I trying to do?
In relationship to it? What desires are part of it? What motivations are coming up? Simply to ask that question begins to create some space, the insecurity, some independence creates a little different ecology than if we're caught up in the challenge. And if we've learned something about being confident in some simple way, then that's stepping away to ask this question, what is going on here for me? What am I doing? How am I responding? To ask that question from that place of confidence makes also changes the ecology in which we're working with. It's not easy to remember to be confident because the habit of succumbing the habit of criticism or feeling kind of somehow identifying ourselves with all this is hard. But to switch this, where we get caught by just simply asking questions, pausing, stepping back, what's going on here. And then if they are the hindrances that are operating, remember that the if you don't, don't necessarily throw away the baby with the bathwater, maybe the hindrances are connected, have a relationship to the other side to a positive side. And see if you can swing the pendulum to either side, or evoke the other. So if there's a lot of sensual desire for addictive behavior for, for getting lost in comfort food or whatever, can you swing over and and evoke your capacity for aspiration, your capacity for inspired desire for the good? If you're caught up in hostility and aversion, can you swing the other side and say, you know, this is a difficult situation? Is there some way that I could step away now pause, either from the situation, or from my own aversion. Maybe that's what I should step away from a birth myself so I can see more clearly. So So and these positive aspiration, stepping away. Being still for the sake of clarity, finding a place to be animated that from within that has a pleasure to it, that feels pleasant, not harmful. And the way that agitation or restlessness can be harmful, and to find a conflict in place of not knowing if that's what's going on, all these positive ways, assist us, they work together, they support us. And to have these charities almost as checklists that we go through, can support this ability to step away from being mired in the challenge to do this, in the small challenges of life. So they become kind of easier and easier, more familiar practices to do, then at some point, you come to a big practice big challenge. And you might have some healthy beneficial capacity to go through this and add more clear away. So now I have some announcements. So two of them. One is that for the next few weeks, we have guests coming for the Monday, this YouTube teachings in the morning here, I'm going to be away, going to teach a retreat and have a vacation with my wife. And then I come when I come back from that I go immediately to do another retreat at our retreat center. So I think it's about a month before I come back to be here and with you all and I've invited the wonderful teachers to teach in my place. And and some of them you know, I think they've all they've all been here before. And and I'm delighted that they can come and if and in this way mutual wonderful way of mutual support. If you want to support them and their efforts, they get up in the morning, while they're here that would be kind of inspiring for everyone. And and so I'll continue when I come back with a series on challenges, I hope you find it useful and, and, and and then the last announcement is that The way that we post, you know, broadcast this these on YouTube, is that when I'm not here, it's, it's people usually do it from their homes. And to do that they have to, we have to create a Zoom Room. And then through zoom, there's a way of transferring the broadcast over to YouTube. So you can see it here. But we don't, not all the some teachers know how to do it for themselves, but some don't. And so we have some dedicated volunteers here who've been helping with this, setting up the room with a Zoom Room for the teachers and supporting them to so they can teach this way. But we need more. And so if any of you would be interested in volunteering, learning what it would take to, to do this task. I mean, it's a lot of these technology tasks are difficult, until you learn them, and then they're easy. So to get a hang of it, and if you're interested in helping with that, it could be from anywhere in the world. You can email contact at insight meditation center.org or used to go on the jet on the website can find the general kind of information, email, and that'll be forwarded to Kevin and Kevin will contact you and, and probably train you or something. So thank you very much. And I appreciate this time with you all this week and and I do look forward to unhappily to the chance to come back here in a month. And then we'll do our we'll make some words at some point. When I come back. It's close to the time of finishing our third year of doing this on YouTube and and for me, that's quite wonderful anniversary and as we started our fourth year thank you