The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Entering the Path”
What I would like to talk a little bit about is how it is when one first comes to the path. Many of you new students, as well as those of you who are not new students, find that eventually things come full cycle. And when you meet with certain problems on coming to the path, it’s likely that you don’t completely solve them. When we first come to the path we’re generally not equipped to make the great gains that we need to in order to solve most problems, and we come to another cycle of meeting with a certain kind of problem. So let’s talk about that just briefly.
As a Dharma practitioner, or as a beginning Dharma practitioner, or perhaps as a practitioner who is simply testing the waters and hasn’t committed yet to practicing Dharma, it is no longer suitable, now that you have begun to study, to think of things in a superficial way. The way that we used to think of our lives, the way that we used to try to understand the events in our lives, was on a very superficial level. We did not look for depth. We did not understand. Our minds were filled with ignorance, and we simply tried to determine the events of our lives with a value system that could not possibly understand what was happening because we were looking only at the surface.
For instance, if something happened to us in our lives and it was uncomfortable or caused us suffering, we would simply look at that as being an external phenomenon that was happening to us. We did not try to understand the deeper ramifications of what was actually occurring. Now we’re way past that, or at least we should be past that, and it is no longer suitable to take phenomena and events within our lives at face value. It is time now to plumb the depths of our practice in order to understand more deeply what is actually occurring.
According to the Buddha’s teaching, all things are a display of the primordial nature. It is the lack of understanding of the primordial nature that makes the display unclear and deluded. It is the lack of the awareness of the primordial wisdom nature and the belief in duality instead that absolutely ensures that we are going to see events happening to us as though projected from the external, and it’s going to be very difficult for us to understand. Now, as practitioners we begin to understand in a different way.
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