Well let’s start by me stating that if I were to give you the answer here, I would not be a humble Buddhist at all. I would be portraying myself as some sort of expert, or one with superior knowledge or wisdom.
As I write my posts here every day, I always try to remain mindful of this. And as much as I try to clearly state that I am only writing about my experiences and journey, I am afraid it may sometimes appear that I am a teacher. And I can assure you that I am not. I am simply a grain of sand. A student of the dhamma.
All this being said, I often question my humility. And sometimes, in an effort to be more humble, I attempt to view myself in a more lowly light.
But I have found that this can lead to a lack of self-confidence.
So it would seem that it can become a balancing act between humility and lack of self-confidence.
As I did some research and reading on this subject, I found a couple of wonderful quotes.
“Self-confidence is not a feeling of superiority, but of independence.”
“Self-confidence is knowing that we have the capacity to do something good and firmly decide not to give up.”
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Self-confidence should be applied to wholesome actions,
Overcoming of delusions and my ability to overcome them.
Thinking, ‘I alone shall do it’
Is the self-confidence of action.”
I think all three of these quotes really help me understand self-confidence much better. It’s about wholesome actions and intentions, and letting go of delusions and the ego.
And as for humility, for me I feel it is having the intention to benefit all living beings.
As Bhante Sujatha recently said “Accept, Be mindful, and Cultivate”. I call this the ABC’s of Buddhist practice. Perhaps you can remember it in this way also.
I would like to close with two inspiring quotes from the Dalai Lama:
“Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought- so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.”
“With the realization of ones own potential and self-confidence in ones ability, one can build a better world. According to my own experience, self-confidence is very important. That sort of confidence is not a blind one; it is an awareness of ones own potential. On that basis, human beings can transform themselves by increasing the good qualities and reducing the negative qualities.”
May you and I be well, happy and humble. ;-)