"You don't have to believe everything you think."   (view our quote database)

Study and practice

Today I had trouble grasping a concept and for some reason it really set me off. I was encreasingly frustrated while reading the same pages over and over and all my doubts just engulfed me.
It was interesting to observe the chain reaction. First, I was concerned about my level of comprehension (am I misinterpreting the teachings?), then came self-consciousness (maybe I jumped into this too quickly and I'm making a fool of myself).
With each repeat reading the paranoia grew until my atheist background took hold of me and my mind was just screaming 'stop trying to understand religious arguments, you can't make sense of it because it's irrational jibberish!'. At this point I was in total panick, asking myself what have I been doing for the past year and wondering why I gave up my 'critical thinking'.
Fortunately I remembered to check in with myself and noticed that I was so agitated I was literally out of breath. So I just connected with my breath and I was reminded of the value of the practice. Not that everything is all better, I'm still longing for when my identity was so fixed that it was a comfort to me. But at least I have the space to see the trap of holding on to my idea of myself.
I looked back at my notebook and realized there are some concepts that seemed obscure until I experienced them in my life and others that have taken on different meaning from what I thought they meant. A feeling of gratefulness washed over me thinking about the richness of the dharma, the new layers of understanding I can look forward to, as long as I keep on practicing.  

Posted: 5 years ago


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