Silent Mind Meditation Program: Confidence
The chapters on the Emotional and Psychological characteristics essential for establishing a successful practice are geared to developing both, your understanding and your spirit. These attributes, unlike the physical work and meditations, are aspects that you can work on throughout the day and not just during the time set aside for formal practice. In other words, during each phase concentrate on developing the emotional and psychological traits outlined for that phase. The 3 emotional traits that SM emphasizes are Confidence, Passion and Sensitivity. Of these 3 the place to begin is Confidence.
When it comes to the pursuit of the Truth, outside entities can only guide, inspire and/or stimulate us, the actual work is completely individual. Thus, it is of paramount importance to have confidence in yourself, so you can walk the necessary path. You have to believe that you will be able to find your way out of the world of abstraction and encounter what lies beyond. Right understanding, right effort and right attitude will go a long way in building this self-belief.
Recognize your direct, one to one relationship with the Universe. Society has interjected itself so completely into our minds and heart that we have lost our sovereignty over our lives. In reality there is a fundamental connection between just you and life and there is nothing whatsoever in between. Get rid of all you have borrowed from outside sources and try to see life with your own eyes. The impact of this understanding gives one a sense of aloneness, not loneliness, and brings with it a sense of power and freedom essential to sustaining your spirit. One technique for bringing forth this insight is described below. As unusual as it may seem, one of the most effective way to bring about this revelation is contemplating your impending death. The finality and individual nature of this event can make one acutely aware of the direct relationship one has with life. You have been born into this universe, that is the only license you need in order to live your life according to your terms. Reflecting on death brings home this point. Being able to stand alone gives you immense strength.
Another important factor in contributing to your overall confidence is going to be the physical work that you participate in. Often during SM meditation sessions we will be entering unknown areas of life or encountering new phenomenon. Such experiences can be a little unnerving mentally as well as physically. In either case, the more physically capable we feel of handling whatever life may throw at us, the more we will be willing to explore, experiment and go further. The physical work will also improve our level of energy and vitality, both of which will give us more confidence.
Having a good sense of humor and a happy frame of mind is also going to play an important role in keeping your confidence up. One thing to make clear on the onset, is that although the rewards of SM are profound, they are not easily attained. In particular SM meditations are hard work and there are no guarantees, and because we want quick rewards and are greedy for results, we are often disappointed and can get easily discouraged. So it helps to be a happy person, one with a playful nature and a sense of humor, who can withstand the difficulties encountered on this journey without losing their spirit. The importance of having a sense of humor cannot be overstated, as you will soon realize that it is better to laugh at the antics of your mind than to take it to task or become demoralized.
One final attitude worth cultivating which will be helpful in preventing you from getting down on yourself is to realize that results are not in your hands, the effort you put in is. This will become deeply clear as we journey into the SM meditations and start to realize the limitations of will. So remind yourself, if you start to get frustrated or feel incapable, that it is an emphasis on achievements that is lending itself to this frustration and that rewards are not under your control. One final note with regard to confidence, is that not only do you need self-confidence you will also need to have confidence in the Universe. Finally, to let go and jump out the ordinary egocentric mind, will require faith that the Universe is there to catch you. So have courage that the powers that made you will not let you down when you need them most.