Our minds are filled with confused thoughts and beliefs; often, even when we recognize logically that our beliefs are wrong, they are so embedded that they are virtually impossible to shed. By employing vigorous analytical methods and reasoning, we can deconstruct these beliefs, actively examining the concepts we cling to and questioning whether they really exist. With practice, logic becomes more sustainable, and understanding gains force, leading to wisdom.
Our belief in ourselves as a single, integrated being is very powerful. We think: This is my body. This is my mind. I am one. Buddha taught that this view, while deeply inborn, is mistaken, and the source of much suffering. As we begin to deconstruct it, questioning whether “I” would still exist without this toe, that sense of hearing, those memories, we understand that “I” is just a concept. In the process, we are able to become more selfless—and far more free.
Nothing actually exists as an independent object. A car, when examined closely, is four wheels, a chassis, an engine; seen even more closely it is simply a collection of metal and rubber, glass and plastic, leather and paint. A book is not a unified whole; it is a combination of individual pages, themselves made of paper fiber and ink. And so on, down to a molecular view. It is a mistake to believe that there is a oneness to something that is in fact made up of infinite interdependent parts. By examining things meticulously, delving into greater and greater detail, we can understand this, first logically, then subconsciously.
Life is complex, puzzling and often painful.
Sometimes it seems there must be a better way
to manage—and there is. It is as simple as looking
at a problem through a different lens.
ASK A QUESTION
Whether we are troubled or merely curious,
it can be helpful to turn to someone noted
for wisdom. Rinpoche is pleased to answer questions
about life, the Dharma or Buddhism in general.