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#1781 - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - Editor: joyce (know_mystery) 


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music: Yosemite.mid from 


An imperturbable faith in the stability of the universe
and it's intelligent ordering,
sleeps in everything that exists.
The flowers, the trees, the beasts of the field,
live in calm strength, in entire security.
There is confidence in the falling rain,
in dawning day,
in the brook running to the sea.
Everything that is seems to say:
"I am, therefore i should be;
there are good reasons for this, rest assured."

~  Charles Wagner  ~

"A Simple Life"
1904, McClure Phillips & Co

I love the word
And hear its long struggle with no
Even in the bird's throat
And the budging crocus.
Some winter's night
I see it flood the faces
Of my friends, ripen their laughter
And plant early flowers in
Their conversation.
You will understand when I say
It is for me a morning word
Though it is older than the sea
And hisses in a way
That may have given
An example
To the serpent itself.
It is this ageless incipience
Whose influence is found
In the first and last pages of books,
In the grim skin of the affirmative battler
And in the voices of women
That constitutes the morning quality
Of yes.
We have all
Thought what it must be like
Never to grow old,
The dreams of our elders have mythic endurance
Though their hearts are stilled
But the only agelessness
Is yes.
I am always beginning to appreciate
The agony from which it is born.
Clues from here and there
Suggest such agony is hard to bear
But is the shaping God
Of the word that we
Sometimes hear, and struggle to be.
~  Brendan Kennelly  ~


Koan practice means pulling the rug out from under your thinking. When you do this, it becomes starkly clear that thinking has nothing to do with your true nature. Your true nature is before thinking. Kong-ans can't be approached with your thinking, they must be approached with your confidence. This means asking, "Do I believe in myself? Can I trust life's experience this very moment?" We may think that confidence is an encyclopedia salesperson ringing a doorbell, confident in what she's selling. This isn't confidence, this is selling yourself something, selling yourself an idea and making it so strong, you can't be open to the universe. True confidence is completely accepting your not-knowing. It's accepting that no one knows and understanding that this is okay. When you do this, your universe becomes bigger. But when you take one idea, formulate something, and become attached to it, your universe shrinks. So let your universe become large. Let your sitting be without boundaries, and a good answer will appear all by itself.

~  Zen Master Bon Haeng  ~  

  Confidence is half the victory.   ~  Yiddish Proverb  ~  






What is the difference between self-confidence, self-esteem and ego?

Self-confidence is having belief in yourself, having trust in your abilities, having the conviction that you can achieve, attain. Self-esteem is seeing oneself in a positive light, seeing the positive and creative dimensions of one's life and living according to them. Self-esteem is knowing what your abilities and strengths are, what your limitations are, knowing how to manage them, and knowing that you are there to help all those who need your help.

Ego is knowing that 'I exist'. The negative side of ego is arrogance, hard-headedness. The positive side of ego is appreciation of the self, being thankful for existence, for being alive. Maintaining that identity that 'I live, I exist' is awareness of your existence.

How can one be confident without becoming egotistical?

Confidence has nothing to do with ego. Confidence is knowledge, understanding and awareness of one's strengths and ability to deal with a situation. When you know you are the master of the circumstance or event and can control it, and you have the wisdom to know what is right and wrong and act according to dharma, that is confidence. There is bound to be ego, whether you do anything or not. Ego is your personality, life without ego is no life.

Ego is subject to the three gunas. Sattwa guna leads to a deeper awareness and understanding of how one can link with the cosmic consciousness. At this point the sattwic ego becomes the motivating factor to unite with the transcendental. When this sattwic ego becomes subject to the influences of the senses and mind, it becomes rajasic. When it becomes rajasic, it begins to manipulate the expressions of the personality. It manipulates thoughts, it manipulates ambitions, it manipulates desires. You are affected by it and other people are affected by your actions. When this ego identifies with the basic instincts in your life, then it becomes tamasic. These are the three expressions of ego. The pure ego is known as sattwa; it is the enlightened ego which unites the individual being with the cosmic being. In association with the senses and mind the ego becomes rajasic and in association with the instincts it becomes tamasic.

All experiences, whether of compassion and love, or of jealousy and hatred, are connected. All the positive and negative emotions and all the positive and negative expressions of intellect, of manas, buddhi and chitta, are connected with ego. Thousands of strands from the dimensions of manas, buddhi and chitta emanate and come to the ego, ahamkara. Whenever there is movement in one of the strands, the vibration will be felt by the ego. Stimulation and activity will be felt by the ego. If you love somebody, the ego is being touched. If you feel compassion towards somebody, the ego is being stimulated. If you hate somebody, the ego is being activated. Ego is the final state of individual experience.

Confidence can affect the ego, but if the ego is tamasic, there will be one reaction and if the ego is sattwic, the reaction will be different. Love can influence the ego, but the same experience of love in the sattwic ego will be different to the experience in the tamasic ego.

The only other way of managing the rajasic ego and the tamasic ego is through the path of bhakti. Very few people can mange it through the path of jnana, knowledge. Only a person of special calibre, like Ramana Maharishi or Swami Vivekananda, with an enlightened buddhi can possibly manage their egos (sattwic, tamasic and rajasic) through jnana yoga. But the majority of people can learn to manage their ego through bhakti yoga.

In this context, bhakti is not the path of devotion but the path of becoming acutely aware of the need to channel one's feelings and emotions towards transcendence rather than towards the mundane. If you channel your feelings, emotions and actions toward transcendence by dedicating, surrendering and transforming them and by feeling that you are only a medium, a tool, then these egos can be managed. Therefore, bhakti has become a tool for channelling the expressions of human life towards transcendence. We need to understand bhakti in this context and not as a yoga of devotion.

~  Niranjanananda Saraswati  ~



Excerpted from the Kurukulla List:  

' A few words from His Holiness [The Dalai Lama]:  

"I want to mention that very often people mistakenly believe that
egoistic feelings are negative, that one should have no ego at all. I
think there are two types of ego, just as there are two types of
desire. Of the two types of feeling of "I", the feeling of "strong I"
that forgets about others' rights and in which one considers oneself
more important than others, is wrong. The other type of ego that
makes one feel "I can do this, I can help, I can serve" is positive.
The bodhisattvas, I think, have extraordinarily strong egos in that

"This kind of ego develops tremendous determination in the people who
possess it. For them days, months, years are nothing. They count
aeons. Not one or two aeons, but millions, countless aeons. Such an
inconceivably long time does not discourage them, nor are they
discouraged by the countless sentient beings whose numbers are
limitless. Their determination is to do something for an infinite
number of sentient beings for an infinite period of time. Such
unshakeable determination is impossible without a strong solid ego.
That ego is positive. It is necessary, useful and constructive. We
must develop it" '

~  His Holiness the Dalai Lama  ~  

from The Transformed Mind: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness, compiled and edited by Renuka Singh



So Long as Confidence in Causation is Not Destroyed,
The World is Eternally Present.
But when that Confidence is Extinguished,
The World is not Anywhere to be Found.

~  Shankara  ~




The first lesson that the pupil learns on the path of discipleship is what is called yaqin in Sufi terms, which means confidence. This confidence he first gives to the one whom he considers to be his teacher, his spiritual guide. In the giving of confidence, three kinds of people can be distinguished. One gives a part of his confidence and cannot give another part. He is wobbling and thinking, 'Yes, I believe that I have confidence; perhaps I have, perhaps I have not.' And this sort of confidence puts him in a very difficult position. It would be better not to have it at all. It is like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold. In all things, this person will do the same, in business, in his profession. He trusts and doubts, he trusts and fears. He is not walking in the sky, he is not walking on the earth, he is in between the two. Then there is another kind, the one who gives his confidence to the teacher, but he is not sure about himself, he is not inwardly sure if he has given it. This person has no confidence in himself, he is not sure of himself; therefore, his confidence is of no value. And the third kind of person is the one who gives confidence because he feels confident. This confidence, alone, can rightfully be called yaqin.  

"The Path of Initiation & Discipleship"   

(From "The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan - Volume X - Sufi Mysticism")

 The Heart of the Buddha III

The heart of the buddha is a very open heart. That heart would like to
explore the phenomenal world; it is open to relating with others. That
heart contains tremendous strength and confidence in itself, which is
called fearlessness. That heart is also extremely inquisitive, which at
this point is synonymous with prajna. It is expansive and sees in all
directions. And that heart contains certain basic qualities, which we could
call our true basic genes -- our buddha-genes. We all possess those
particular buddha-genes. Isn't it strange to say that the mind has genes?
But it turns out to be true.

~  Chogyam Trungpa  ~

"THE HEART OF THE BUDDHA"; Shambhala Publications, Inc.
(c) Diana J. Mukpo






Be a lamp to yourself.
Be your own confidence.
Hold to the truth
within yourself, as to
the only truth.

The Buddha


So, having made life into a technical process, conforming to a particular pattern of action, which is merely technique, naturally we have lost confidence in ourselves, and therefore we are increasing our inward struggle, our inward pain and confusion. Confusion can be dissolved only through self-confidence, and this confidence cannot be gained through another. You have to undertake, for yourself and by yourself, the journey of discovery into the process of yourself, in order to understand it. This does not mean you are withdrawn, aloof. On the contrary, Sirs, confidence comes the moment you understand, not what others say, but your own thoughts and feelings, what is happening in yourself and around you. Without that confidence which comes from knowing your own thoughts, feelings and experiences – their truth, their falseness, their significance, their absurdity - , without knowing that, how can you clear up the whole field of confusion which is yourself?

Having lost self confidence, our problem is how to get it back – if we ever had it at all. Because, obviously, without the element of confidence we shall be led astray by every person we come across – and that is exactly what is happening.

Therefore, never accept any authority. Sir, after all, acceptance of authority indicates that the mind wants comfort, security. A mind that seeks security either with a guru or in a party, political or any other, a mind that is seeking safety, comfort, can never find truth, even in the smallest things of our existence. So, a man who wants this creative self-confidence must obviously be burning with the desire to know the truth of everything, not about empires or the atomic bomb, which is merely a technical matter, but in our human relationships, our relationship with others, and our relationship to property and to ideas. If I want to know the truth, I begin to enquire; and before I can know the truth of anything, I must have confidence. To have confidence,- I must enquire into myself and remove those causes that prevent each experience from giving its full significance.

We are not self-confident, there is no confidence in us, that creative thing which gives sustenance, life, vitality, understanding. We have lost it, or we have never had it; and, because we do not know how to judge anything, we have been led here and pushed there, beaten up, driven, politically, religiously and socially. We don’t know – but it is difficult to say we don’t know.

So, that is the first requirement, is it not? To know the truth of anything psychologically, you cannot seek comfort; because, the moment you want comfort, security, a haven in which you are protected, you will have what you want, but what you have will not be the truth. Therefore, you will be persuaded by another who offers a greater comfort, a greater security, a better refuge; and so you are driven from port to port, and that is why you have lost confidence. You have no confidence because you have been driven from one refuge to another by your own desire to be comfortable, to be secure. So, a man who would seek the truth in relationship must be free of the destructive and limiting desire to be comfortable, to be secure. This fear of losing oneself psychologically must go. Only then can you find the truth of reincarnation or of anything else, because you are seeking truth and not security. Then truth will reveal to you what is right, and therefore you will have confidence. Sir, is it not more important to find out the truth than to believe that there is or is not continuity?

~  Jiddu Krishnamurti  ~  

1948 3rd Public Talk, Bangalore, India
‘The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol. V’


The meeting of guru and disciple is not the meeting of two personalities.
Is the meeting of a teaching with a confidence, a trust.
From the union of both realisation is born.

~  Nisargardatta  ~





The Thirty-seven Aspects Of The Path To Enlightenment

Even though the Eightfold Path is the ultimate method of achieving enlightenment, it is very difficult for a normal being to practice without proper guideline. It is believed that the general structure of the Buddhist path addressed in the first turning of the wheel of Dharma is the thirty-seven aspects of the path to enlightenment. They are further divided into seven categories:


4. Five Faculties (the practitioner's facilities to achieve focus):

    Joyous effort;

5 Five powers (share the same names as Five Faculties, at a sufficiently advanced stage of fluency, the Faculties become powers):
   Joyous effort;

 You gain strength, courage and confidence
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face ....
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

~  Eleanor Roosevelt  ~



The years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels,
but cannot express; the intense desire and the alternations
of confidence and misgiving, until one breaks through to clarity
and understanding, are only known to him who has himself experienced them. 

~  Albert Einstein  ~


A Parable

Bharadvaja, a wealthy Brahman farmer, was celebrating his harvest-thanksgiving when the Blessed One came with his
alms-bowl, begging for food. Some of the people paid him reverence, but the Brahman was angry and said: "O samana, it would be more fitting for thee to go to work than to beg. I plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat. If thou didst likewise, thou, too, wouldst have something to eat."

The Tathagata answered him and said: "O Brahman, I too, plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat."

"Dost thou profess to be a farmer?" replied the Brahman. "Where, then, are thy bullocks? Where is the seed and the plough?"

The Blessed One said: "Confidence is the seed I sow: good works are the rain that fertilizes it; wisdom and modesty are the plough; my mind is the guiding-rein; I lay hold of the handle of the law; earnestness is the goad I use, and exertion is my draught-ox. This ploughing is ploughed to destroy the weeds of illusion. The harvest it yields is the immortal fruit of Nirvana, and thus all sorrow ends."

So, too, mankind lives by confidence. From the simple fact that he is, man has within him the sufficient reason for his being - a pledge of assurance. He reposes to the power which has willed that he should be. To safeguard this confidence, to see that nothing disconcerts it, to cultivate it, render it more personal, more evident - towards this should tend the first effort of our thought. All that augments confidence within us is good, for from confidence is born the life without haste, tranquil energy, calm action, the love of life and it's fruitful labor. Deep seated confidence is the mysterious spring that sets in motion the energy within us. It is our nutriment. By it man lives, much more than by the bread he eats...

Charles Wagner,
A Simple Life,

1904 McClure Phillips & Co

Panhala ~ Joe Riley

Above Everything

I wished for death often
but now that I am at its door
I have changed my mind about the world.
It should go on; it is beautiful,
even as a dream, filled with water and seed,
plants and animals, others like myself,
ships and buildings and messages
filling the air -- a beauty,
if ever I have seen one.
In the next world, should I remember
this one, I will praise it
above everything.

~David Ignatow~

(Whisper to the Earth: New Poems;
contributed by Zorika Petic)

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Have confidence in the Truth
although you may not be able to comprehend it,
although you may suppose its sweetness to be bitter,
although you may shrink from it at first.
Trust in the Truth.

~  Buddha  ~

In the blue night
frost haze, the sky glows
with the moon
pine tree tops
bend snow-blue, fade
into sky, frost, starlight.
the creak of boots.
Rabbit tracks, deer tracks,
what do we know.

~  Gary Snyder  ~

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