Where does one begin on the Buddhist path?
In our Introduction to Buddhism class this week, we are reading the Life of the Buddha: A Spiritual Journey. Rinpoche tells the story of Prince Siddhartha and his awakening to become the Buddha. Where does the journey begin? It begins with asking questions and having an open, inquisitive mind. And, by asking questions, we get to those questions that are deep and true.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche says:
When our mind becomes curious, eager to find the deeper reality of phenomena outside and in our mind, that is the beginning of our true spiritual journey in Buddhism.
What is real wisdom here is when you find this true question. That is the question you should contemplate for a while. There is no need to rush to any answer. This question may stay with us for a while, which is fine. We should contemplate that question and it will lead us to deeper experiences, realizations, and answers. These in turn will lead us to further questions and so on. This is how the spiritual path progresses from the Buddhist point of view, but it should not lead to some state of lack of wisdom or clarity. Through that, you can find your own path to enlightenment.
Exploring the reality of mind and the reality of phenomena, the journey here begins with discovering this wisdom that is within us, that is, seeing how the true answer that we are looking for is nothing but within our own mind. The true answer, the happiness, the freedom that we’re looking for is nothing outside; it is simply within us. Therefore, this journey can begin with our inquisitive mind, asking the most fundamental and basic questions about our mind and about our world, how our mind is functioning and how it relates with external objects.
From the Nalandabodhi Study Path: The Life of the Buddha: A Spiritual Journey
Published by Nalandabodhi 3902 Woodland Park Ave. North Seattle, WA 98103 U.S.A
© 2007 by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche © 2007 by Nalandabodhi
All rights reserved. Published February 2007