Why Practice Buddhism?
Blog Post 13: Why Practice Buddhism?
"We are all here to grow together and to help one another. In the human realm, what we need is to cultivate EQ, not just IQ, because it is EQ that makes things work."
When we start practicing Buddhism, we encounter a lot of spiritual materialism. There is a collection of things, of prayers, of holy objects, and books. Later, when things start to settle down, we wonder why we are into all the practices. At times it feels that being spiritual is not helping us spiritually at all. And we question the purpose of it all.
In truth, it is the blessings of Guru and the Triple Gem that bring us to this question. No amount of holy objects or books, amulets or good luck charms, or Feng Shui fixes can make anybody happy or make life meaningful. This feeling is a sign of the ripening of one's own past merits.
The purpose of our human life is to recognize that we are not just humans. You are not going to be a human being forever. And neither will you be your fixed self. You are here now and having this human experience as yourself. You are playing a role that is neither permanent nor fixed. The experiences you are having here are due to the kindness of others. And you are here to positively impact those who need your expertise, support, wisdom, words, thoughts, and generosity.
Our focus should be on whether our lives positively impact others and not live our lives to fulfill ourselves. We are not here to give anyone permanent happiness, so we must stop trying to do that, but we should do our best to bring some momentary happiness, joy, and serenity to others.
Lama Tsongkhapa said that the easiest way for ordinary beings to accumulate great merit is by rejoicing. Rejoice in the merits of both holy and ordinary beings. Rejoice in the benefits and the impact that they are bringing to other people's lives. When we help someone, we are injecting a meaningful positivity into their life. Most of the things that we are enjoying now are because someone else shouldered the work for us, so always be grateful and appreciate it.
Most ordinary people want attention. They sometimes get it by behaving in negative ways, like creating drama or by overreacting to things. We don't need to fault them. Instead, let us all be embracing and not judge anybody.
When we were growing up, our parents and grandparents might have told us that we were not good enough. Sometimes they could even have highlighted our inadequacies. The Guru is here to highlight all of the things we are good at to have a more balanced perception of ourselves. So the primary purpose of our practicing Buddhism is to realign ourselves repeatedly and with the right motivation and intention.
Dharma Teaching by Singha Rinpoche and edited by Sandeep Nath
6 Dec 2020