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Lions Roar : January 2014
HE PRACTICE of the dharma is learning how to live, and it is both a joyful and challenging path. It asks that you open your mind to take a fresh look at your views and opinions, and to accept nothing on faith alone. As you practice, you will be encouraged to investigate your most cherished convictions, even those you may have about the dharma itself. Happily, this can be a never-ending journey of self-discovery into every aspect of your life. Of all the teachings of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta is one of my favorites precisely because it encourages this profound interest in the dharma. The Kalamas were a group of people liv- ing in India at the time of the Buddha, and they questioned him about how to recognize wise and authentic teachings. Indeed, if Buddhism were not infused with the spirit of this sutta—a spirit of questioning and testing— I’m quite sure I would not have this meditative practice today. Be a Lamp Unto Yourself The freedom that Buddhism offers can’t be found if you don’t ask questions— about the teachings, the teachers, and yourself. LARRY ROSENBERG on how to cultivate a spirit of inquiry, even skepticism, to illuminate your path. PHOTOS BY BEN HOBBS PHOTOBYBENNHOBBS/MILLENNIUMIMAGES,UK 31 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2014