“We need to know that our failure to achieve our purpose is due to the lack of proper perception, a special term called “ignorance.” In other words, our perception and our attachment are the result of our ignorance [all about self] - me, me, me! This is the root cause of all misconceptions and sufferings. Only through the guidance of someone who has the proper perception to help us to see our faults can we generate the mentality to reject them. [01′06″]” - Master Jih-Chang
Global Lamrim 2, Lecture 0014
BW Monastery 吉祥宝聚寺 — Lecture No. 0014
Do we really need a teacher to tell us how to change our faults?
We always thought that the cause of suffering is caused by our external environment so we blame others and things that happen to us for our suffering. Whether it is someone who misunderstood us or we don’t get enough pay or we are forced to do things that we don’t want to do, all these are suffering to us and we deemed it is caused by someone else.
As this thought is so deeply ingrained in our minds, when someone tells us that we ourselves are the cause of our own suffering, and if we are really serious about finding this solution, we will have a lot of questions that will crop up in our minds. But our views will not be turned around just by reading or by someone telling us the answers.
So there is actually quite a distance between recognizing the fault and rejecting it, as in, there is a big difference between what we think is the root cause of suffering and the real root cause of suffering, and then be able to reject it. It takes a great effort to recognize our own fault, not to mention that many people don’t even know what went wrong and have been seeking explanations from the external environment. So just knowing that “ignorance” is the root cause of suffering, we may just take it as just another answer and we may not truly admit it or recognize it from within us which is one of the difficulties we face.
The second difficulty in turning our views around is that we need to pause and reflect ,but because of our busy life we don’t even have time to actually look up into the sky to appreciate the beauty around us, we don’t even have the time for sipping a cup of tea in peace, to calm our minds down; we even rush through our meals. Our lives are so hectic we just don’t even have a moment of peace in our mind to actually sit down and reflect.
So we leave all such questions to people like the philosophers, while we just continue to chase after our happiness and try to eliminate that suffering from the wrong cause. So we become busier and busier, and the time to actually look within ourselves and reflect upon the real root cause of suffering is close to zero.
So we need the learned, teachers who already know the correct answer, who have rectified it themselves and have this compassion to share their experience with us, otherwise we would just continue the way we are. Even when we hear of the word “ignorance”, it will not make a big difference in our lives, if it was not for these wise and compassionate teachers.
Thank you Venerable @Bensi for your sharing!
This phrase made it think:
I must admit that I take many of the teachings at face value and I often don’t do deeper thinking on it. Without the guidance of Teachers and the Venerables, I will not be able to recognise this flaw and I will probably continue sinking into my habits of busying myself with my life over immaterial stuff.