Don’t Believe The Dharma
Don’t believe in emptiness
Don’t believe in reincarnation
And don’t be confused!
If we merely hear teachings and accept them, then we are no better than anyone else at being persuaded to believe without evidence. The Dharma teachings are about waking up out of the mental ‘dream’ state, and realising the true nature of mind – what we are – rather than believing anything because we are told it. That is just lazy and crazy, because our ideas are hazy.
We can only value the true teachings of the Dharma when we wake up and recognise that we were indeed addicted to dreaming, in a conventional world of addicts. When we wake up, we truly know how precious those teachings are, whereas before, as they were only hearsay, and an acquisition. We might appear knowledgable, but our head is still in the clouds. Just saying, “It is emptiness!” is pointless unless we have personally investigated the mind to see and realise what its true state is, and how contaminates cloud our view. And as for reincarnation, we have to come to some conclusion that works for us: there is no point in just saying there is or there isn’t. Our quality of life depends on this.
I do not know if there is life after death. I have heard teachers say there is, but how do they know? Were they told this by their teachers and they just accepted it? Too often, we go to teachings and empowerments and witness colourful Tibetan displays. We are expected to go along with it all – and it is truly mesmerising. Explanations are given only from a Tibetan’s mindset and culture, and we can easily forget that it’s all about the true nature of mind that we have to experience for ourselves. The displays are meaningful symbols, but it is all too easy to get caught up in them, watching monks and nuns ‘doing things’.
The idea of reincarnation is a stumbling block for many, so we have to use our own logic. If there is no reincarnation, then what is the point of life and the things that we do? If there is an after life, am I certain of what happens? Either way, we have to make the most out of life – the here and now.
Are we just 9 to 5 tax-paying social drones, who spend their life shopping and staring at screens? Are we student/disciples who just sit on cushions and pretend be compassionate? Or are we merely wanting to develop a good look?
We have to be honest about what we want.
About reincarnation … all I can say is that we have tendencies, which are not connected to our environment or family. A feeling of “Hmm … I seem to have done this before.” Some things seem so natural to us, and are incongruous to our upbringing, being very different from our siblings. Is that just chemicals in the brain? Did we pick up ideas subconsciously?
It is only we who can decide what makes sense to us. It’s not a matter of what others think. We have to use our inner genius, our intelligence, to get out of confusion and doubt. Never leave your brains outside the temple door. People say things – I’m saying things, you say things – it doesn’t mean they’re true until we test them for ourselves. And then we have to be honest and admit bias. It’s all part of the process of inner discovery to eliminate confusion … a confusion that never existed.
We only believe we are confused!