Why I became a Buddhist.
I was looking for something that could answer all my questions – something complete, and something I could prove from every angle. Buddhism is not a belief system. It is an analysis of truth. I’ve experienced other systems, but they did not make a real change in me, and I was not looking for a path where one just followed the crowd (ok, that can happen in Buddhism too!).
The problem with Buddhism is all that jargon: people can really get hung up on jargon.
However, in describing something that is indescribable, one has to search for words that may not exist in our language, or may be used in a different way. Even then, the meaning changes as perception changes.
Sanskrit and Tibetan are very subtle languages when dealing with spirituality, and one word can have many meanings. Context is therefore very important. That is why some teachings are closed to the public, because much inner work has to be undertaken before questions can be answered at a higher level. One can spend an afternoon discussing one sentence!
At one level, we use an antidote to combat emotions. At another level, the emotions are dealt with as wisdoms. At yet another, the emotions are clearly seen as not truly existing. If one hasn’t a clear view of these last two, they will not make sense.
I was a very angry person – angry at myself, and the world. This caused much suffering for me, and those around me. I had to find the real cause of that suffering, and what I could do about it. It is strange to feel everything to be pointless, be unable to understand or express why one feels that way.
The Buddha’s approach suits me, and specifically within that, the Nyingma tradition: the Dzogchen teachings were what I was looking for. The Dzogchen tradition clarifies the very nature of mind or Essence.
Quite often, people condemn Buddhism because they do not understand it. We cannot get to understand Buddhism from merely reading: it has to be practised, because the meaning is beyond the conceptual chattering mind. It is in the experience.
Now I have to deal with others’ anger!
“What is the truth? Tell me now!” someone might say.
“Well, there are two truths – relative and absolute truth. It is essential to see how they work together,” I might reply.
Then I notice their eyes glaze over…! Oh, they want a quick easy answer! To do no work themselves! It can’t be done!
All the best,