This is the issue – I have this really devotional side to me that I simply cannot ignore. I have been indulging that side for the last couple of years and sometimes it has been joyous. I love flowers, incense and statues. However, the brain is now starting to kick in – the analytical side.
I have no idea why my mind works this way. It runs in cycles. This is not the happy part of the cycle. Its kind of disturbing.
All the ceremonies and the guru devotion and all that stuff mentioned above at the Dharma Center fed that part of me that loves that particular thing (well not so much the guru devotion deal). Even now, I have no objections to most of the philosophy behind what is going on there. I lost Christianity because the philosophy behind what is going on behind the beautiful ceremony (Eucharist) is not so beautiful.
I am thinking I have to drop some of these Buddhist practices, or there is no way I will be there two years from now. This is a period of reassessment, but I would love to preserve the kick I get from some of it. Probably not possible, but I know it doesn’t “work” if you don’t enter into the spirit of it.
The lama is a human being same as everyone there. I have a problem with the idea that he is some kind of extraordinary being or something not entirely human. There is this idea that there is some kind of mind to mind transmission so you can “have the mind of the guru”. This seems to be a bogus idea to me, because I know no one who has MY mind, and very few who seem to even have the same interests as I do, so how is this thing possible? I have to see this demonstrated. Otherwise, what the guru has to say, you can find in his books and you don’t need any ceremonies or other practices.
I got to thinking how this level of devotion arose in Tibet and India and how it probably made good sense a thousand years ago when there wasn’t anything in writing, no printing presses, and hardly anyone could read. I suspect that the only teaching most people had was from a lama going from town to town or you would come to the monastery to hear what he had to say. Needless to say, this isn’t the case anymore.
You see, I think that what the Buddha said was basically sound. The only thing I question is karma in the way it is used in Tibetan Buddhism. This is an idea that leads to a kind of bookkeeping system that nature somehow keeps of rights and wrongs, merit and demerit. I mean that say you have the intention to kill someone and you carry it out. This is bad karma and/or karmic debt. This means that this will eventually be redressed by something bad happening to you, but it could be after a thousand years in some totally unrelated incident!
There is also this bizarre idea that during certain months of the year, if you practice, your merit increases during that particular time period. March is one of these “miracle months”. Brain kicks in – How does this exactly work?
I doubt nature works that way.