Message from Henry: Doubt

The opposite of doubt is faith. Some markers of it would be: gratitude to the sangha, humility before the practice.

Try not to let the demon doubt come between you and your practice. For incalculable eons, according to the old scriptures, we have labored in darkness, unable to find the way and be liberated. Now that we have tasted the ancient road of humanity, we naturally wonder about it – can it be real, when it’s so counter to what we’ve previously experienced, and have been conditioned to experience for so long?

How do we know if doubt is attacking us? Certain thoughts may be indicators: “I need a break from practice… I’m not sure this is my way… The sangha is too this or too that… The teacher isn’t this or that enough (fill in the blank)…”

Yes yes, all the above may be so. But it doesn’t matter. The sangha is constantly changing, the teacher too. And nobody’s perfect. This is about us, and our existence, our mortality, our capacity to love and be kind and pay attention. That’s about it.

Sometimes I marvel at how fortunate some people are, finding their way to the Way relatively young, and easily. Not like me: I had a long, troubled path to it. But then they’re off, down the road, off the track. Turbulent, turning away onto some side path, and they don’t even know it. It’s a harder way for most of us than we might ever think.

The opposite of doubt is faith. Some markers of it would be: gratitude to the sangha, humility before the practice.

What to do about doubt? As with all the five hindrances, be aware of it, notice it, and name it. Then study it as a phenomenon in the body. Let the mill of our awareness practice simply chew it up like anything else arising in the moment.

Message from Henry is from our November 26, 2018 Newwsletter
Image:  Hot Air Balloon, by Bess-Hamiti, CC0 Public Domain, from Pixabay.com
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