Ending Doubt

Many people who have studied on a university level and attained graduate degrees and worldly success find that their lives are still lacking. Though they think high thoughts and are intellectually sophisticated, their hearts are still filled with pettiness and doubt. The vulture flies high, but what does it feed on?Dharma is understanding that goes beyond the conditioned, compounded, limited understanding of worldly science. Of course, worldly wisdom can be used to good purpose, but progress in worldly wisdom can cause deterioration in religion and moral values.

The important thing is to develop super mundane wisdom that can use such technology while remaining detached from it. It is necessary to teach the basics first-basic morality, seeing the transitoriness of life, the facts of aging and death. Here is where we must begin. Before you drive a car or ride a bicycle, you must learn to walk. Later, you may ride in an airplane or travel around the world in the blink of an eye. Outward, scriptural study is not important. Of course, the Dharma books are correct, but they are not right. They cannot give you right understanding. To see the word hatred in print is not the same as experiencing anger, just as hearing a person’s name is different from meeting him. Only experiencing for yourself can give you true faith.

There are two kinds of faith. One is a kind of blind trust in the Buddha, the teachings, the master, which often leads one to begin practice or to ordain. The second is true faith-certain, unshakable-which arises from knowing within oneself. Though one still has other defilements to overcome, seeing clearly all things within oneself makes it possible to put an end to doubt, to attain this certainty in one’s practice.

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