Sunday, June 6, 2010

Doubt

Harry has asked if someone with Dojin Roku posting rights can post a question on his behalf. As he's just agreed to give the dharma talk in our winter sesshin - if you're in England on December 19th, feel free to join us! - I do owe him one, so here's his question:

What is the place of DOUBT in Buddhist practice?

9 comments:

  1. Well, from my own understanding, doubt has its right place in the practice. Doubt leads us to quetsion what we believe to be true, to investigate, to practice. Doubt is what getsthe practice moving.

    But, as happens with everything else, doubt can be "bad". If we doubt too much, about the possibility of becoming enlighetened, or whatever, then we will become dissilusioned with the practice and stop doing it. So the solution lies, as usual, in the Middle Way: not too much, not too little (just like your tea, not too much sugar, not too little).

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  2. Without doubt buddhists would be more insufferable than a "witness"

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  3. Hi Talon,

    There's only one game in town.

    Regards,

    Harry.

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  4. "Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon."

    Truth is subjective and personal. What resonates within you is the Truth that matters most. I would say in this scenario doubt is a GREAT tool for practice! :)

    Gassho,
    Ishu Kinshu

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  5. Hi Ishu Kinshu,

    Lots of things resonate within me (including doubt)... some of which are important and, if I don't want to be a complete self-indulgent idiot (what can I say? I'll try harder!), some not so important.

    All things can be rendered to resonate the truth, but all things can be taken to resonate a very fundamental lie: There's an essential pivot-point there, a choice, that, although often obscured, underlies all the relative details and diversity.

    What is the truth of doubt?

    It can be a pain-in-the ass but, as has been suggested, it may be an important source of direction.

    There's doubt about ideas, about teachings, tradition, and teachers... and then, I think, there is a more fundamental, existential doubt (if it can even be called that) that it seems some people feel...

    Regards,

    Harry.

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  6. I would argue that if something truly resonates within you, doubt doesn't accompany that. But doubt can be an attachment as well. It could be said that all these things you mention are ultimately illusion.

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  7. Is doubt the same as knowing that nothing's to be believed?

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  8. Hi Ishu Kinshu,

    It could be argued that everything I mention is a banana, but I don't see any more value in that than considering things an illusion. Such consideration seem always prone to a cycle of doubt.

    Michael, that's an interesting question, and I think that doubt can be a more direct type of knowing that's not just the negation of some consideration or other.

    Regards,

    Harry.

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