Working with doubt
Working with doubt
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.
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.