What is Real? The Path to Truth & Lasting Happiness

A Student writes:

What is real? If I base everything on a faulty premise of ‘all this’ being real then I will continue to suffer.  I know I am experiencing distress because of ignorance of the Truth.

Lama Shenpen:

That’s right, and ignorance of the truth is what causes us all to experience distress, at different levels, isn’t it?

That is why we need to discover what is real – not all at once as a kind of belief system or an ideal that we somehow can grasp onto – but there is a path that leads to discovery of what’s real. And if you want someone to talk to you about what you are discovering – then talk to a mentor in the Awakened Heart Sangha.

Student:

I just want to find a lasting happiness and not feel that I am shooting the rapids without a paddle. I feel as though I need a place to rest if only for a while.

Lama Shenpen:  

That makes complete sense, it sounds like that is exactly what you need. Is it a rest from a sense of panic and pain?  That would be nice to have right here and now?

Sometimes pain has to be borne for a long time before it starts to get tangibly better, but definitely there are ways to bear it more bravely and with a sense of purpose about it.

Samsara is hard! But if you are on the path there is a sense that even the suffering is somehow a sign of deepening understanding.

Without the suffering we might think it was all going to be easy.  The suffering tells us that it’s not easy and that we need patience and determination.

We need to slow down, relax and reflect gently – not in a panicky way, sit and notice what is happening. What happens when you open and allow whatever is happening to happen without worrying?

Student:

Loneliness is part of it too. No one here seems to value any of the inner things that I do.

Lama Shenpen:  

Yes. It makes it tough – very tough. That’s because suffering hasn’t hit them hard enough yet, and not in the right way. They still think samsara is fixable. You need Dharma friends to support you – that is what the sangha is for.

Student:

I only find only constant change and suffering in the outer world. It has no deep meaning and yet I still engage in dead-end projects and unhelpful thinking. I don’t seem to be able to straddle both worlds.

Lama Shenpen:  

You will learn to choose to step out of what is meaningless and keep constant to your Heart Wish for Dharma and Truth. Keep going.

Lama Shenpen’s students have joined the The Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at www.ahs.org.uk/training