Buddhist Philosophy

~ January 15, 2018 ~

Life Goes On

Buddhist Philosophy • audio

Life Goes On

Regardless of who we are or what our plans and goals are, life goes on. In this audio clip, Phakchok Rinpoche suggests that we remind ourselves of this fact. We may have big goals or we may be very laid back and have no plans, but neither makes a difference. Life goes on!

life goes on

Some of us may try to do some meditation, yet we don’t really know what we are doing or why. Still we do a little meditation from time to time, and still, life goes on. Think about this. Then think about what is important to you. Some of us will experience happiness and others will find suffering. We may think this is unfair, but we also know this to be true. Life goes on. There is no one to complain to. No one will fix things so that it doesn’t happen.

Looking for Dignity

Rinpoche shares that he personally looks for the root cause of dignity. What does he mean by dignity? He defines dignity as having firm confidence, certainty, or self-trust. Dignity brings many benefits and solves a lot of problems. When we have dignity, we know what we need to do. Also, we know how to improve ourselves and how to help others improve themselves. But when we don’t have dignity or confidence, then we waste a lot of time searching for answers. And we often have no idea what we’re searching for.

Life goes on

We may keep searching until we die. So then what? We may die, but for others – life goes on.

Life Goes On — Dignity matters

Rinpoche advises us to search for dignity. We need to know how to experience this confidence. When we have a strong sense of dignity, then we don’t look for others to complain to about our situation. We don’t experience fear that shakes us to our core. When we have dignity, our meditation comes naturally. We won’t need to push ourselves to meditate. Because we have dignity, we can remain calm and clear. And we can benefit both ourselves and others. Right now, we have a lot of doubts. But those doubts come about because we don’t have dignity.

How do we deal with this situation? We find a balance: not holding on too strongly or being attached, but aiming for dignity. It is very complicated. And we don’t gain dignity from lots of study. Rinpoche says we can read 1,000 books and still not develop dignity. Similarly, we can spend a lot of time doing mind training, psychotherapy, or strange meditation and still have no dignity.

Life Goes On – So Gain Certainty

So what do we do? Rinpoche teaches that we need to gain certainty about our nature. We need to understand that our nature and the nature of every single sentient being is completely pure. Whether we believe this or not, it is simply a fact. So, just think that it is true! Even if we don’t see this, we need to think that it is the case. And making that clear decision is very empowering. With this knowledge, we can begin to meditate. Then, we understand that meditation is like a dose of medicine: it helps us to see more clearly. If instead we look for meditation to solve our problems, then we make mistakes. Actually, our minds don’t have the big problems we think we have. We do have a small problem, which is that we forgot our dignity.

Instead of searching for answers to the meaning of life in spirituality, we should wonder why we have so many questions. And the answer to that is: we don’t have much dignity. Look at all the questions we ask. They all start with “I,” right? We get very easily shaken and steered off course. Dignity helps create peace of mind. And peace of mind works like a bubble of land floating on an ocean or lake. Small questions and doubts are good; they are healthy. Most of us allow our questions and doubts to become huge, however, and then our peace of mind vanishes.

When you have dignity, you can do whatever you want, but your mind remains steady. Mind is movement. And movement creates the clouds and thunderstorms of our emotions. But when our core is very steady because of dignity, then we retain our peace of mind. Then, we don’t have so many questions.

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