Not Getting It – Getting It
Sometimes we might find that we are not ‘getting’ the teachings, that they don’t make complete sense to us. Those around us seem to be happy enough, and we might be feeling left out.
Perseverance and tenacity are important, but we feel that we are not getting anywhere. This might not be a fault; it may merely be time to move on. We have every right to change teachers, systems and even traditions. Actually, it is all the same teaching but delivered in a different way.
Our spiritual welfare is in our own hands….minds!
I was in a Mahamudra system for many years, when all along I had a Dzogchen view, without knowing it. The outcome of Mahamudra and Dzogchen is the same, but the methods are different – and they don’t always tell you this!
I spent twenty five years wondering and waiting, asking questions that others laughed at. They only laughed because they couldn’t explain anything. I asked a Tibetan lama what is it was in meditation we were looking for. I didn’t get an answer…just more laughter (of course, it could just mean that I’m thick!), I had many conversations with other students, and everyone suggested that perhaps the teacher meant this or that…but no one knew for sure.
There is a problem with different language and culture, and sometimes a spiritual centre gets a little cultish; guru worship as opposed to guru devotion.
If we don’t take responsibility for what suits our temperament on our spiritual journey, we may find that we are getting grumpy in silence, and alienating others…and some of us are not so silent! I actually had to walk out of a meeting saying, “This is so boring!” It just came out 😉 Time to get out before I’m kicking out!
If you find that you are sitting in a non-thought state, being mindful and vacant but without a vipassana knowing quality, this is what the ancients call ‘indifference’ or ‘ignorance’. There is an uncertainty about this state: it is resting in the all-ground of experience and is a relative state – we remain self conscious.
From a Mahamudra point of view, it is through constant practice that we gradually recognise the view of pure awareness. There are times when a teacher may do or say something, and we find our mind totally empty: this may, or may not last.
Dzogchen works in the opposite way. We are introduced to the view directly: looking at the mind in vacancy, seeing the vacancy and dropping any conclusions about the vacancy. There is merely pure awareness, that has a knowing quality. This is for those who do not want to study or practise; it is the path of the householder, the town yogi.
There may be a niggling question at the back of our mind; something we don’t quite get. If you’d like to share that with others on this blog, please feel free to do so, or write privately to firstname.lastname@example.org