The resulting situation can be discouraging and even destructive. Even the meaning behind the words of the most basic teachings is not properly understood, making the Dharma seem remote from life experience.
Missing the taste of this inner meaning, individuals do not engage the teachings or make a commitment to study and practice. And without preparation and commitment, not much can be accomplished.
At first there may be clarity and direct efforts, but soon the lack of commitment leads to a loss of focus, and this clarity vanishes. Then time is spent discussing, complaining, and wondering rather than identifying, penetrating, and removing the obstacles to progress.
This ineffective approach to problem-solving adds more layers to the problem, like clouds of smoke that keep piling up on the horizon.
What is needed in this time of trouble is to cultivate a direct connection to the Dharma. Awakening to the reality of our situation – pervasive impermanence and suffering, increasing confusion, and decreasing spiritual light – we can recognize our present responsibility.
The teachings of the Buddha are universal:
They belong to all individuals who wish to awaken. If we care to participate in this golden lineage of light, our task is to keep the teachings alive in the heart and mind of a committed human being.
A true commitment to embodying compassion and wisdom gives life a threefold meaning that holds up under all adversity: benefit for ourself, benefit for others, and benefit for the Dharma.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings from the Heart