I live in the U.S. and my main interest is in Buddhism.
- Main contributions
- Work in progress
- Reference material
- Quick guide to the Pali Canon
- Notes on language
- Notes on sources
- In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. - Suzuki Roshi
- Unfortunately, when faced with the world's ambiguity, instead of asking questions, we tend to withdraw into our familiar habit of objectification. We assume we already know how things are, and we can bypass uncertainty and ambiguity altogether. But think of how this false sense of security just denies us a fuller more intelligent understanding of things...
- Sometimes, when we struggle with understanding the religious and ideological extremism we hear about in the news, we wonder, "How do people get this way? Why don't they listen to each other?" But if we really want to understand it, all we have to do is look at ourselves. We all struggle with ambiguity, and we all have tendencies towards fundamentalism. How often do we objectify people and situations by putting them into a box: "He is like this; she is like that"? We have fundamental attitudes towards others when we simply refuse to let them be bigger than our subjective, objectified view of them. - Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha's Path to Freedom (pp. 59-60)
Clinging to beliefs:
- It is equally important to be clear about our beliefs. How do they influence our life, and do they really fulfill our intention for peace and happiness? Having strong beliefs—political, social, religious, or even altruistic beliefs—is not necessarily a problem. But when they’re mixed with self-importance, we become emotionally invested in our beliefs. This leads to emotional reactions. When self-importance gets the better of us, we become self-righteous and lose the dignity of our intelligence.
- At this point, we must step back and get a better perspective. How important are these views of ours? Does it help us to hold them so tightly, as if they had some intrinsic existence? Are we being disloyal to our beliefs when we have an open mind? When you bring these subtle beliefs and emotions into awareness through self-reflection, it will be clear what you have to work on. - Dzigar Kongtrul, It's Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path (pp. 50-51)