Daily Life Dharma by the Lazy Buddhist
You gotta love Dharma teachings! The other day I was reading through notes I’d taken in which Drupon Rinpoche explained the two ways of NOT understanding. Drupon Rinpoche’s style of teaching is fabulous, I mean, seriously what a topic to receive teachings on!
The two types are this. Firstly, something is simply not understood. You don’t have a cooking clue and that’s that. The second type of not understanding is more intriguing. According to Drupon Rinpoche, it’s when something is understood, but this understanding is based in recognizing that one has not really understood at all. With this kind of ‘not understanding’, an avenue, or a path, to true understanding is opening up.
I have to admit to feeling quite relieved to hear this. So much of Dharma involves me scratching my head, wondering what on earth… followed by pretty much misunderstanding everything I thought was said. And isn’t this the essential nature of a Dharma path?
The certainty that comes with knowing something in our habitual, and far more comfortable samsaric way of learning, tends to collapses in a rather untidy heap when it comes to a Dharma way of knowing. Instead, there’s an awful lot of groping around in the dark, trying to free ourselves from everything we know, without knowing quite how to do it, or even what exactly we are trying to do.
The Way of Samsara
The way of samsara and the way of Dharma are so very different. Knowing this clearly, while recognizing that you don’t actually know what that means, is this teaching in a nutshell. It’s not enough to know that samara and Dharma are different. There needs to be more than a superficial, yes, kind of engagement with such a massively profound statement. We need to be curious about what we think we’ve understood, or not, as the case may be.
When we really start to delve into the mysteries of the mind, it’s a fascinating exploration and as Drupon Rinpoche warned, the mind does not easily reveal it’s secrets. This is the world that ‘knowing that you HAVEN’T understood something’, opens up. As confusing as it may seem, it’s reassuring to remember that this is the path to true understanding.
Good grief, no wonder we need a trusted guide to help us! How blessed we are to have these extraordinary teachers to walk this mystifying road alongside us.
Till next time,