Dharma is trying to help us understand the nature of our minds. This is what Dharma is trying to tell us.  It is trying to help us understand our potential.  It is trying to help us adapt to circumstances positively. Like this, we can, also, create the cause and the circumstances for others to be able to adapt positively. That is what Dharma is. Ok?  It is not a concept.  It is a philosophy. It is a lifestyle.

Dharma, by itself, the teachings, the statues, the water bowls, you know, all these things, by themselves, are like a bulb without electricity. We are electricity.  We are the ones who give them energy.  We are the ones who give them purpose.

So, it is not about just doing water bowls or prostrations. It is about doing those practices as a complementary factor to having a warm heart. It is about doing them as a complementary factor to being compassionate and kind.  It is about doing them as a complementary factor to having loving-kindness.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about it, all the time. This is important. You must be aware of that without spiritually bypassing. Do you understand? So, you use the philosophy, you use the Dharma to confront yourself. You use it as a tool to improve. 

You do not use it to avoid confrontation so you can be haha hehe hoho for 20-years. Then, after 20 years, you are like, “Uh-oh! I still have the same issues as I had 20 years ago.” That is not why Dharma was offered. I mean, Dharma has always been there. It is just that they gave it a name. It is a technique. The strategy is universal. The practice is universal.

A warm heart…. wherever you go, everybody can relate to a hug. Everybody can relate to the word, “Mama.”  Everybody can relate to a smile, right?

Everybody, even the animals, can relate to subtle energies like fear or intention. So, in that same kind of way, Dharma is universal. Everybody can relate to it because it works the same for everybody.

If I try to be kind, I am going to be a happier person.  That applies to everybody. So, the circumstances are not so important. The important part is how we choose to adapt to the circumstances. The important part is how we choose to perceive the circumstances. It is not about the circumstances. It is all about perception. Really. If you choose to perceive something in such a way, that is how you are going to react to it. Your attitude is going to be based on how you choose to perceive things.  Right? Your state of mind is going to be based on your attitude. Or your attitude is going to be based on your state of mind which is affected by your choice. It is a choice.

You know, it is quite easy to blame.

“Oh, no! This happened.”

“That happened!”

“This person said this… “

In the end, what you are doing is just trying to avoid taking responsibility. So, it is good to be aware of all these things.  It is good to start, now. Try to improve.

If you want to compare yourself to somebody, compare yourself to yourself, yesterday. If you want to compete with someone, compete with yourself, yesterday. If you want to improve, improve yourself from the day earlier.

You know, you cannot change anybody else. You cannot even change yourself. You do not even know yourself. Since you do not even know yourself, how can you judge others?  You do not know how you are going to react when certain things happen in your life until they happen. Then, when you react, you do not even know why you reacted. So, that just shows how little we know.

I mean, first, we do not even know what is going on in our body. We have no control over what is going on in our bodies. Why are we so obsessed with controlling life in this sense of putting everything in a box? It is kind of like we do that just because that is a way of feeling secure. We kind of live like we are immortals.

We live like we are immortal. Our attitude is like, “I am immortal. All of you are immortal”. That is it, you know.  That is our attitude in life.

So, I mean, we cannot change ourselves.  What we can do is give ourselves space. We can create the intention for that change to occur. Then, through the example of that change, we can help others to change.  We can help others to correct their wrong attitude.   Let me know if you agree with that.

So, anyway, that is a little bit of my point of view on modern 21 century Dharma.

2 Comments

  1. Andy Wistreich

    No need to be a Buddhist. No need to think or say I am a Buddhist. Just practise Dharma the way it is defined in these two articles. Because as Osel says, Dharma is universal. I think that’s enough. Thank you.

  2. Joe Locke

    These blogs really speak to me – as you say, it IS easy to be spiritually bypassing and then – paf! – twenty years have passed and the same issues remain, unresolved. I wonder whether western psychotherapy has a useful role to play here as well?

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