When the Why is clear, all answers appear
Blog Post 35: When the Why is clear, all answers appear
“Before answering the question of how to practice dharma we should be able to answer the question of why we are practicing.”
Will practicing Buddhism automatically make you a Buddha? No, it will not. For us to reach Buddhahood we must find a way to overcome our own mindset and this is why we take refuge. We each have our own karmic dispositions and we each have our own workable methods to keep our sanity. But we must see that we also need to suffer in order for us to find out our own "why".
We are taught that things happen. We look at all of the happenings all around us but what is happening is really based upon each individual's view and experience. Things don't just happen to us; things manifest for us. The seeds come to us from our own karma. The choice of our reaction or our response to situations is also based upon our own karma. How one chooses to view things is really due to one’s karmic level. That is why it is so important for us to do daily purification practices, which are the foundation of all Buddhist practices. If we don't purify our own karma then we will always be reacting in certain ways or in patterns that don't necessarily allow us to create the shift that changes the gears that we need to change.
Why you feel you want to make this change, and why you want to study the dharma and why you want to make an internal shift, are all questions only you can answer because nobody else can answer your "whys".
We need to have discipline to subdue our minds from our own thoughts. We take vows for the purpose of maintaining this discipline, we aspire to concentration and then we cultivate towards the awakening of wisdom. From discipline we cultivate steadfastness or concentration. From concentration we generate the result of wisdom. The purpose of these three; discipline, concentration and wisdom, is for us to overcome our own self-propelled idea of view. With self and identity and ego there is always going to be wrong views because we think that everything must suit the way that we think in order for it to be right. The vows that we take to maintain discipline also help us to create merit. Without vows, without merit, without purification, and without discipline we cannot have concentration and so then we cannot have the result of wisdom.
Whether you think you have good karma or bad karma, it only means that you are looking at it according to your own ideal. Shift your gears beyond what's good or bad. Those who fall victim to only your own ideology or only to other people's ideology of what is good or what is bad will fail to produce any results. So, don't think so much about what's good or bad. Instead, think about what is the most beneficial. And all other things will fall in place.