Doubts Are the Basis For Learning

Doubts don’t necessarily imply that there is something fundamentally flawed about what we are doubting. Having doubts about the Buddhist teachings is not a problem. Quite the contrary, it is a very important part of getting to know the teachings and vigorously questioning our own minds. Doubts arise for many reasons. Perhaps the wisdom we are hearing is beyond our experience; perhaps we misheard it or misunderstood it. Perhaps we heard it out of context. Perhaps our preconceptions, conditioning and rigidity have blocked us from hearing the true meaning of what was being said. Perhaps we have no connection at all with what is being said, and this tidbit or even the entire path may not be for us. Or perhaps that idea is wrong!? The only way to find out is to turn our doubts into genuine questions. Turning doubt into questions is a way of developing our intelligence, which is imperative to train in Vajrayana. Vajrayana offers a way of living without fixed formulas, wherein we must be experienced in relying on awareness and intelligence on the spot. This depends on having the trust necessary to communicate with our world and honestly investigate our own beliefs and assumptions.

~ Pema Khandro

Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at:
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