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May 18, 2012

The Buddha once said: Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. This statement redirects the focus of spiritual practice from the devotion to a supreme being, a teacher, or religious dogma toward individual responsibility. However, the work does not end by simply rejecting our current beliefs because what must be renounced is not only the external, but rather our misplaced belief in the ego and its ignorance. It is extraordinary to believe nothing because all human beings seek refuge in some phenomena and ideas – we need something to sustain our sense of well-being and identity. Most of us have not transcended the world of form, not yet able to stand alone, complete and whole. So in the meantime we do put our trust in something and strive to elevate ourselves. We believe in the preciousness of spiritual teaching, the wisdom of teachers, and the love and kindness of other human begins. But can we approach the state of “believe nothing” from where we are? We must begin by freeing ourselves from habitual thinking. Only a clear mind can see reality as it is and love all people unconditionally. If you see reality as it is, there is nothing to believe or reject because reality is self-explanatory and never threatening.  There is nothing to defend or attack because threat and danger come only from our interpretations and their absence is inner peace. Finally when you meet reality face to face, your inner wisdom –  “reason” and “common sense” – will naturally arise to guide your life.