Working with doubt

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Bronze statue of White Tara.

When kleshas come, just let them dance before you. (Photo by Mary Harrsch)

I want to share a good insight I have had on the White Tara retreat. Last week, suddenly, during a session I was just swamped with DOUBT—it felt like a huge wave. At least I could name it and recognize it, but it was filling my mind. I remembered a direction from Geshe Kalsang Damdul, "When kleshas come, just let them dance before you. Don’t get hooked, but just let them dance." So I decided to kind of relax and let DOUBT say what it wanted and it went on and on about tantra. About it being superstitious, only Tibetan culture, non-scientific, not true, made up, too difficult, not necessary, etc., etc. … it was quite a long lecture. And I listened, but didn’t believe it.

It was like listening to a closing argument by one side in a law case, and then waiting to hear the other side. So, when that "voice of doubt" quieted down, a very clear question arose: "Why am I doing this practice? I don’t have to … I can stop, I can do something else." And the answer came, "The finest humans I have met in 63 years, who live by the values I cherish, all recommend this path. They all practice this path: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, my own teachers, and all the wonderful lamas and geshes practice this path."

So that was it—the doubt just went away. And then, seemingly without a conscious thought about it, I found myself thinking about Lama Yeshe and began re-reading Introduction to Tantra. It is marvelous. It seems brand new. This doubt pushed me to seek out Lama.

How wonderful. I have been so happy hearing Lama through the book. Really happy. I’m thankful for this wonderful opportunity the retreat provides to look at the mind and experience transformation.

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