Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Mantras, Relative and Ultimate Truth - 6

Hi, many thanks for your considered response. I certainly agree with you on the role of words in teachings as skilful means which are used like fingers pointing to the moon - in order to get us to directly perceive that which cannot be captured by words alone.

However, I would take issue with an analysis of someone's explanation of a teaching, which attempts to point to the contradictions or even wrong views contained in an explanation - with the comparison with a rather pointless process of analysis for analysis sake.

All Buddhist traditions including the Kagyu lineage have employed reason as a tool to support the practice of meditation. All Buddhist paths function in terms of the Three Wisdoms of Listening (Reading/Study), Refection (incl analysis) and Wisdom (direct

We all have views, and those views act as glasses which stand between 'us' and our 'seeing', as it were. We percieve through our views, in a manner of speaking. So to check up on those views, and see if they are views which are in accordance with those which the noble ones use to communicate their realisations would appear to be a most worthwhile endevour. Cutting short the second of the wisdoms (reflection and analysis) prematurely will surely only result in continuing to look in the wrong direction whilst meditating ..... will it not? Views can be refined from two directions, hand in hand - from the point of view of direct perception, from meditation experience, and from the point of view of reflection on the teachings and analysis of ones conceptual understanding. One without the other would be a real tough way to try to proceed!

So whilst concurring with your wonderful description of the various means which can induce awakening, I'd wish to caution against potentially undervaluing the role of reflection and analysis as an important tool for the Kagyu practitioner.

with very best wishes to you in the Dharma

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