To celebrate Tricycle‘s 20th anniversary, in the current issue we’ve selected 20 stories from the last 20 years that illustrate “Tricycle’s evolution from a magazine-publishing initiative to a diverse and inclusive community of Buddhist practitioners around the globe.” The list contains articles from some of our most popular authors and teachers.
One of these teacher’s is Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. In “Necessary Doubt” she writes that doubt is an essential tool on the path to enlightenment.
Perhaps because of our Judeo-Christian background, we have a tendency to regard doubt as something shameful, almost as an enemy. We feel that if we have doubts, it means that we are denying the teachings and that we should really have unquestioning faith. Now in certain religions, unquestioning faith is considered a desirable quality. But in the Buddha-dharma, this is not necessarily so. Referring to the dharma, the Buddha said, “ehi passiko,” which means “come and see,” or “come and investigate,” not “come and believe.” An open, questioning mind is not regarded as a drawback to followers of the Buddha-dharma. However, a mind that says, “This is not part of my mental framework, therefore I don’t believe it,” is a closed mind, and such an attitude is a great disadvantage for those who aspire to follow any spiritual path. But an open mind, which questions and doesn’t accept things simply because they are said, is no problem at all.
Not sure that you believe Jetsunma? That’s not a problem! Doubt her all you want, but at least read the rest of her article before you do.
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