Can I Trust This Blog?
There are two elements to this question: one is directed at the blogger, and the other at reader. Can we trust this blog? 😉
We may have questions, and the mind can bring up an answer spontaneously; we then have to review this answer, and put it into practice to see what we experience. It is the experience of dropping the experience that is the wisdom. This blog is just information that joins up the dots, leading to knowledge – something we know. Within that knowing is wisdom.
I fell into the trap of believing that everything in Tibetan Buddhism (and other spiritual setups) was holy. Whenever a teacher enters to the room, we prostrate. When we pass a throne or shrine, we bow and fold our hands. We are given blessing cords and strange powders. We wave vajras and ring bells, exchanging white scarves and bumping foreheads. Empowerments expose us to fascinating, complex rituals, many of which are not fully explained, which can have the effect of creating fear and superstition. Once, during an interview with a lama, he passed me a piece of paper: I actually asked, “Is this holy?” He replied, “No. It’s my phone number”. Someone else’s culture was doing my head in. Too much was remaining an unexplained mystery and I was merely expected to follow.
We have to understand why we are doing something. We must ask questions. Sometimes, the answers are very simple and reasonable. This traditional story serves as an example: there was a family who, when cooking a fish, always it carefully into three pieces. The daughter was curious about this ritual. Her mother replied that it was a family tradition that had been handing down through the generations. The daughter, not satisfied, went to ask the grandmother the same question and received the same reply. Fortunately, the great grandmother was still alive and so she went to ask her the significance of cutting the fish into three. The great grandmother replied, “We didn’t have a pot big enough to cook the whole thing in one piece.”
The Dharma has to be practical. We must be able to test it for ourselves, and then we know what to trust. As the Buddha said, “Don’t take my word for it.”
The Dharma should never ask us to surrender our intelligence.