Dharma teaching is information
Dharma practice is knowledge
Dharma experience is wisdom
This is a potential never-ending-exploding mind field 😉
We love to talk to one another, but something always seems to go wrong; this is our human side.
If compassion and respect are present, it will always turn out right; this is our divine side.
Of course, it’s fun mixing and matching, but this can cause a blockage to our final steps to liberation. Once we have some experience of liberation, then we can mix and match solely to clarify, with no wish to convert.
Discussing teachings and discussing experience are two different aspects of the same topic.
We could know the right words, but not have genuine experience.
We could know genuine experience and not have a clue how to express it – or even want to: in genuine experience, there is nothing to discuss.
And then, we need the right mechanism to express that experience – brain*.
Through empathy and compassion, we can learn to acknowledge others’ capacities skilfully. This is not so much a judgement as knowing when to shut up, thus creating positive space. It’s all down to trial and error, and adapting accordingly. This is definitely a lifetime’s work 😉
It is so important to understand that we are all different in experiences, have different skills and understand different meanings depending on context. All of this affects the brain – the tool for communication. Knowingness is ever present, but the brain needs training to be able to express clarity.
Mind training is seeing clearly.
Brain training is expressing clearly.
This allows essence to learn – recognise its own nature
and teach – manifest compassion.
In spiritual terms, study and practice are essential, but we also need experience the good and the bad, in order to recognise the essence of one taste. Of course we make mistakes (forget), become fixated or outgrow a view: when we notice any of these we can then do something about it, as we are experiencing suffering! It is very important to realise that when ‘it’ no longer feels satisfying, it may be time to change yanas (levels). That’s how we learn. Being dissatisfied doesn’t mean we are wrong!
Going to teachings and getting the right answers isn’t the real dharma. Real dharma is feeling the irritation and looking into it; then we recognise what is real and what is not.
We receive information (teaching). This is picked up by the ear consciousness, and processed via the brain* (which has, though experiences, evolved in a unique way) which relies on the mind for perception, memories and judgements (my guess – this could be the activator for electrochemical processes in the brain). Essence merely notes and recognises.
It’s difficult enough talking face to face, and even more so on the internet, as we don’t know whether the other is smiling or sneering. Arguing about the dharma causes more problems and emotions than it solves. The confusion is caused by one mindset* trying communicate with another mindset*.
The funny thing is,
we love to communicate.
What we are trying to communicate is love.
*Neurons, synapses, axons and cognitive reservoirs
The brain is estimated to contain 15–33 billion neurons, each connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibres called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body, targeting specific recipient cells.
Complex mental activity can help protect the brain by building cognitive and brain reserves. These reserves represent the increase in neurons and synaptic connections. New neurons can be generated at any age. This reserve represents an active process of neural plasticity, allowing a person to call upon other brain regions or adopt new cognitive strategies. Thus strengthened, we increase our neural network’s capacity to face the effects of ageing or neurodegenerative diseases.
Over the last 25 years, scientists and physicians all over the world have tested large groups of people to try to understand why some stay sharp and with-it and other don’t, over the span of their lives. As a result, there is now a significant body of scientific research in an area called “cognitive reserve”.
My head in nodding in agreement and understanding as I read along…I am smiling on the inside and outside this morning….