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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Buddhist Tall Tales

Five centuries elapsed between the assassination of the Buddha and the writing down of the teachings that would be attributed to him. With a margin of error that wide a bullshit detector could be a wonderful thing.

The Buddha was just a meditation teacher. And if a literal reading of the teachings (passing themselves off as his) smacks of the fantastic and feeds the flames of: rigidity, fear, superstition, controlling tendencies, elitism, or competition then it could be wise to treat them as, one would, day old fish.

The Buddha is said to have cautioned us not to blindly believe a teacher or a teaching merely because they are: old, famous, popular, beautiful, or wealthy. We are told not to be convinced even by convention’s: resumes, credentials, or letters of recommendation.

Just as the British used to insist that the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, likewise the test of any technique we read (or are taught) is simply the effects that they generate in your body and mind after we have practiced them every twelve hours, for seven consecutive days. If the techniques multiply our anxiety or anger then kick them to the curb, but if they increase our peace and love then we may have stumbled upon something upon which it could be worthy rely.

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