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The Buddha

One perhaps unexpected side effect of awakening is a profound sense of self confidence.

The Buddha was a pretty confident guy. His father hoped he would be a king and raised him with that in mind. The Buddha gave all that up when he set out on his life as a mendicant, which then led to his awakening.

For those of us who start meditating with the Buddha as our example, we will likely find various realizations about ourselves and our worlds along the way. These realizations have the very interesting quality of offering knowledge that is more certain than any other knowledge.

Perhaps because there is no medium, even thought, between the realization and your realization of it, they have a peculiar epistemological force about them. What you know from meditative realization you know more certainly than you know anything else.

The Buddha’s awakening must have consisted in a huge, all encompassing realization about effectively everything there is to know. Again, the Dalai Lama says quantum physics confirms the Buddhist worldview. His account of human cognition anticipated what brain researchers have found recently.

And, by awakening, you take on all of the qualities of the Buddha. You become the Buddha in the operative sense.

This is a quiet sort of self confidence, like David Carradine in Kung Fu.

Not aggressive or arrogant.

It requires no cultivation, beyond the cultivation of meditation. The Buddha used his word for “cultivation” to describe the practice of meditation. To cultivate is to create the conditions that will help the natural processes of growth. Humans can help these processes, but they are ultimately beyond our control. We just get to enjoy their fruits.

So meditate and enjoy the confidence that comes with practice.

You got this.

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Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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