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The End of Self-Improvement

The task is not to make what is imperfect perfect. The task is to discover what is already perfect, to realize that as the truth of yourself, and to realize that now.



How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:


  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.


* All quotes by Gangaji



1. Your Only Task


"It is with great honor and joy that I extend to you this invitation, this moment in your life, to stop; to retreat from everything you have ever learned, ever - worldly or spiritually, everything you have ever attained, worldly or spiritually.


To take one second and retreat from it all. And, in that, to tell the truth of who you are. At least there will happen one moment where you could directly experience that the truth of who you are is whole and complete as it is.


Your body is not whole and complete as it is. It is an imperfect thing. Your concepts of reality are not whole and complete. They are imperfect and limited. Your emotions are also imperfect and limited. Your circumstances are imperfect and limited. Your understanding is imperfect and limited. And all of it always will be imperfect and limited. That’s reality right there.


Nothing wrong with imperfection, nothing wrong with limits. The task is not to make what is imperfect perfect.


The task is to discover what is already perfect and to realize that as the truth of yourself and to realize that now. Not tomorrow, not next year, not next lifetime, not yesterday, not when you wake up…


Now, only now."


~Gangaji, from the video: How to Become Enlightened


COACHING NOTES:

Your only task is to discover what is already perfect.


  1. Your body, your thoughts, your emotions, your circumstances and your understanding will never be perfect (according to our concept of perfection). Understand and accept this and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

  2. In the personal development world, there's a lot of talk about breaking through limitations and constantly trying to improve yourself, but where does that leave you, honestly? In a world of never good enough, striving and forcing your way to a conceptual ideal. At whose expense and to whose benefit?

  3. Here, right now, Gangaji invites us to stop and put everything we think we know aside. Why? So that you can "directly experience that the truth of who you are is whole and complete as it is." Don't be surprised by any doubtful thoughts that arise. The coming days will shine a light on the truth of these words. Stay open and curious.



2. Be Willing to Question Everything

"The world is not as you think it is. You are not who you think you are. I am not who you think me to be.


Your thoughts about the world, yourself, and me are based on perceptions. Whether they are inner or outer perceptions, they are limited. Recognize that, and you hear the invitation into the truth of yourself, which cannot be perceived or imagined, and yet permeates everything.


When all mental activity around who you think you are or what you need for happiness is stopped, there is a crack in the authority of perception, in the structure of the mind.


I invite you to enter through that crack. Come in through that opening.


When you do, the mind is no longer filled with its latest self-definition. In that moment, there is only silence. And in that silence, it is possible to recognize absolute fulfillment: the truth of who you are."

~Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket


COACHING NOTES:

For the mind to be truly open, there must be a crack in the authority of perception. In other words, you must be ready to question everything you have ever believed to be true.


  1. "The world is not as you think it is. You are not who you think you are. I am not who you think me to be." Consider these words. They threaten to bring down your entire known world, along with your self-image, and sense of identity. It's a big ask, but beyond it lies unimaginable freedom.

  2. "When all mental activity around who you think you are or what you need for happiness is stopped..." This doesn't mean stopping your thinking. It means opening to the "don't-know" mind and getting still enough to question your perceived reality. Most of us go through our entire life without questioning our reality, believing every thought to be true, and living our life accordingly.

  3. "The mind is no longer filled with its latest self-definition. In that moment, there is only silence." For those of us who have spent years trying to better ourselves, there is no silence. The mind is too busy evaluating where we are and where we desire to be on our self-improvement journey. Become aware of this and let there be a softening of this desire.


NOTE: There's nothing wrong with trying to make improvements in your life e.g. with time management, dealing with finances, spending more time in nature etc. This week we are talking about the self-improvement that comes from always feeling that you're not good enough.




3. Thoughts Are Simply Thoughts


"Who you think you are does not have the capacity to realize the truth of who you are. Truth is too big. Who you think you are appears and disappears in the truth of who you are. Who you truly are can recognize this. You have the right to recognize this.


Are you willing to recognize that thoughts are simply thoughts, beautiful and horrible in their scope and power, yet inadequate in their description of who you are? Are you willing to investigate this?


I am not against thought. What would be the point of that? Thought is here. Thoughts can be a glorious expression of creativity and understanding - to recognize thought for what it is, is to be neither for nor against it.


But when you are free of the bondage of believing that thoughts are reality, you are free to enter into the direct experience of who you are.


Who you are cannot be captured through thought."


~Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket


COACHING NOTES:

In the realm of self-improvement, we are always striving to be better in some way. This means we begin with a concept about ourselves, a thought that we're not enough, that we are lacking something.


  1. What have you been drawn to in self-improvement circles? More success? More money? A fitter body? More time freedom perhaps? An ideal romantic relationship? Or some kind of achievement that you can be recognized and appreciated for? Consider for a moment all the things you have been drawn to pursue.

  2. All these things that you have been desiring and pursuing are a reflection of what you think you lack. What is it that you believe about yourself? What is it about you that isn't good enough? Be still and honest with yourself.

  3. "Are you willing to recognize that thoughts are simply thoughts," and "inadequate in their description of who you are?" Would you like to keep believing your thoughts, or would you like to discover the truth of who you really are?




4. The Truth of Who You Are


“You have taken on the conditioning of parents, cultures, and religions as the reality of yourself rather than what has always been with you - closer than your heartbeat, closer than any thought, closer than any experience.


The truth of who you are is untouched by any concept of who you are, whether ignorant or enlightened, worthless or grand. The truth of who you are is free of it all.


You are already free, and all that blocks your realization of that freedom is your attachment to some thought of who you are. This thought doesn’t keep you from being the truth of who you are. You already are that. It separates you from the realization of who you are."


~Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket



COACHING NOTES:


What if all your thoughts are a product of your conditioning and culture? What if there's nothing actually wrong with you or your life?


  1. "The truth of who you are is untouched by any concept of who you are." Actually, the truth of who you are is too wonderful to even imagine.

  2. "You are already free, and all that blocks your realization of that freedom is your attachment to some thought of who you are." Consider these words for a moment.

  3. If who you really are is free of all concepts, who are you trying to improve?




5. Where Are You Trying to Get to?


"This stillness has nothing to do with information or even betterment or even enlightenment. Has nothing to do with any of it, and yet, all of it is trying to get to that.


All of the desire for attainment, the desire for enlightenment, the desire for success, happiness, or even health, is about trying to get to that space of simple being, being silent.


The problem with all of the activity around that is, that the activity covers the space that is here, the space of silence, the depth of silence, the space of simple being-ness, and the boundless depth of that.


What this appearance in your consciousness is about, is really, first of all, and finally, to invite you to the space of stillness that is your heart, now. And to state to you that you don't need to be any different from how you are to enter that space."


~Gangaji, from the video: The Space of Stillness


COACHING NOTES:


Gangaji says that all our desires are "about trying to get to that space of simple being, being silent."


  1. Here we have two complete contrasts: the familiar world of our society, with all that's considered desirable, attractive, and successful, and the mysterious realm of our deepest being, with its stillness and silence.

  2. All the worldly activity of trying to attain various things is actually the result of a deeper search for our true being. "All of it is trying to get to that."

  3. "The problem with all of the activity around that is, that the activity covers the space that is here." Our search for some kind of improvement of ourselves and our lives is actually hindering the realization of what is already here - "the space of stillness that is your heart." Could it be that this space and stillness hold the fulfillment our heart longs for?




6. From Self-Improvement to Self-Realization

"I invite you to let your attention dive into what has always been here, waiting openly for its own self-realization.


Who are you really?


Are you some image that appears in your mind?


Are you some sensation that appears in your body?


Are you some emotion that passes through your mind and body?


Are you something that someone else has said you are?


Or are you the rebellion against something that someone else has said you are?


These are some of the many avenues of misidentification.


All these definitions come and go, are born and then die. The truth of who you are does not come and go. It is present before birth, throughout a lifetime, and after death.


Allow your mind to stop gathering information, to stop imagining the future, and to stop strategizing for survival. Let your mind simply be held by its source. Recognize that the capacity to open to the truth of your being is always here."


~Gangaji, The Diamond in Your Pocket

COACHING NOTES:


Who are you really? It's okay not to know. In fact, if you think you know, you're probably mistaken.


  1. "Let your mind simply be held by its source." There's no need to try and understand this statement intellectually. It's better to breathe into it and rest in it. Always trust the wisdom within to provide the light you need.

  2. Read the image quote again and consider how much your self-improvement quest is based on someone else's opinion of who you might be.

  3. "Recognize that the capacity to open to the truth of your being is always here." Remember, "the task is not to make what is imperfectly perfect. The task is to discover what is already perfect and to realize that as the truth of yourself and to realize that now."



























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