Understanding Beyond Doctrine

beyond doctrine

source: wisdomuniversity.org

“Doctrines, scriptures, sutras, essays, are not to be regarded as systems to be followed.
They merely contribute to understanding. They should be for us a source of stimulation, and nothing more…
Adopted, rather than used as a stimulus, they are a hindrance.”

~ Wei Wu Wei
I like this approach to doctrines and beliefs. Surely the world needs more people to find their own way to understanding, rather than following one particular belief system.
It seems all too easy for “followers” to become fearful and closed to the unknown or other’s beliefs. Disciples bring division in the world by creating “us” and “them”.
Adopting a particular belief or point of view, may keep us on a particular path, but is limiting to our potential as human beings.
This is a time for openness and growth. Let us be curious about all doctrines. Let them stimulate and enrich our lives, rather than hinder them.

Mind is Like …

welcoming living room


The mind is not a storeroom
with mirrors where we retreat
to convince ourselves
that we exist.

The mind is a livingroom with
windows and more than one chair,
so friends can come and look out
and discuss what they see.

Not a fortress where we frisk and
strip others of what they believe
in order to share our secrets.

More a porch with birdfeeders
and coffee or tea where before
hello, you have to share a story.

Pull the curtains! Open the
windows! Brew the coffee!
Put out a sign: Other Views

~ Mark Nepo


I love this analogy.

Let our minds be places for sharing and enjoying with each other.

Let us explore together and welcome each other into our  homes.

Put your sign out and see who appears 💛


* Nepo, Mark. The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting (Kindle Locations 996-1006). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.

* Empty Your Cup

This is a story told in martial arts circles. When I first heard it I felt like this student!

When we believe we already know a lot, are we truly open to learn new things or see things from a different perspective?

zen cup of tea

“A master was trying to explain something to a senior student, who had already learned much in life.  However, each time the master tried to explain something new to the student, the student held the information up against what he already knew. He was therefore unable to see the lessons in what the master was trying to teach him.
Finally, the master poured a full serving of tea into his own cup, and into the cup of the student. Then he began pouring tea from his cup into the student’s cup, but of course, all the tea from the master’s cup spilled out over the cup onto the surface below.
The student said, “Master, you can’t pour anything into my cup until I empty it to make room for what you are trying to give me.”

The master replied “Yes I know, and I can’t give you any new thoughts or ideas, until you clear out your mind to make room for what I have to teach you…. If you truly seek understanding, then first, empty your cup!”
The student was confused at first and then it dawned on him. He smiled and was ready to receive the lesson.”

This is a lesson in humility for us all 🙏