immediately; but if we are patient a space can be created

within us, in which doubts can be carefully and objectively

examined, unraveled, dissolved, and healed. What we lack,

especially in this culture, is the right undistracted and richly

spacious environment of the mind, which can only be created

through sustained meditation practice, and in which insights

can be given the chance slowly to mature and ripen.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to solve all your doubts

and problems; as the masters say, "Make haste slowly." I

always tell my students not to have unreasonable expectations,

because it takes time for spiritual growth. It takes years

to learn Japanese properly or become a doctor: Can we really

expect to have all the answers, let alone become enlightened,

in a few weeks? The spiritual journey is one of continuous

learning and purification. When you know this, you become

humble. There is a famous Tibetan saying: "Do not mistake

understanding for realization, and do not mistake realization

for liberation." And Milarepa said: "Do not entertain hopes for

realization, but practice all your life." One of the things I have

come to appreciate most about my own tradition is its downto-earth,

no-nonsense practicality, and its acute sense that the

greatest achievements take the deepest patience and the

longest time.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines