Sharon Salzberg joins Ethan Nichtern for an exploration of the ways we can develop our confidence through the practices of mindfulness and meditation.
Recorded at the Garrison Institute, Sharon and Ethan share insight into the eight vicissitudes from the Buddhist tradition. Looking at how the vicissitudes can help us move away from the traps our ego and walk through life with confidence that comes from clear perspective and skillful action.
Cultivating Confidence, Not Ego
When we are talking about confidence, how does that differ from the ego? Ethan looks at the often misunderstood relationship between the ego and healthy self-confidence. He shares the Buddhist teachings around the eight vicissitudes which offer ways to work with the ego and be awake in the world.
“The sense of having a self is not the problem. The sense of having a solid self – that always needs to be defended – is actually the problem that Buddhist teachings talk about.” – Ethan Nichtern
Seeing Double (15:00)
We look at what the four pairs of opposing vicissitudes: happiness and suffering; fame and insignificance; praise and blame; gain and loss. How can understanding these fundamental aspects of life help us understand the traps of the ego and live more freely?
“Part of the exercise in confidence and working with the eight vicissitudes is developing a friendship with how fickle reality is.” – Ethan Nichtern
Cultivating a Clear Perspective (27:50)
Sharon speaks to the perspective and equanimity required to cultivate the right kind of confidence. How can we shift our perspective to see our reactivity and our place in a situation more clearly?
“Equanimity is strange for us. It can easily imply indifference or coldness or not caring. But it really means balance. A balance that comes from spaciousness and perspective.” – Sharon Salzberg