Don’t turn observation into an activity; observation happens on its own

Acharya Prashant
4 min readDec 7, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Sir, whenever life appears to be miserable, I have this habit of observing the mind.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Actually, observation and relaxation are one.

L1: Sir, relaxation?

AP: When you are relaxed, then there is no need to observe. Observation is not a need. It cannot happen because you are telling yourself to observe. It cannot happen out of some purpose. When you are internally relaxed, then a subtle observation is automatically happening.

L1: How to relax?

AP: See, essentially there is no technique for this, but if you are asking then I will say: maintain certain confidence; sureness. I call it Faith, and it is a certain solidness of the Heart. It’s a way of standing up to life. Maintain that.

Never let any loss become too important for you; never let any gain become too meaningful for you.

Maintain your dignity and poise.

Even when everything is taken away, do not start crumbling.

Even when a lot is coming to you, do not become exuberant.

Maintain your own inner core.

And then you will not be afraid to observe. Observation is not something that one does, it is anyway happening. It is not a duty, not an obligation; it is not a planned action. It is anyway always happening. But it will not happen if you are afraid to observe. And you are afraid only when you think yourself to be small, incomplete. I am not saying that you must ‘think’ yourself to be complete. What I am saying is that whatever be the thought, you remain in a ‘firmness’, irrespective of the thought. It doesn’t matter what the thought is, you maintain a certain firmness without bothering for what the thought is. And it’s not a violent firmness. It’s a gentle firmness; almost an invisible firmness. It’s like, ‘I am so powerful that I don’t even need to display my power.’

So powerful that I don’t even need to display my power.

In life, good things, bad things, pleasant things, unpleasant things will keep happening…