Many people have asked us good questions about Dhamma practice — many of them arising from the teachings presented on the ‘Wisdom of the Masters’ YouTube channel. So we thought it worthwhile to share some of the Q & As here with everyone (suitably anonymised), as such questions are often relevant and relatable for us all in our spiritual practice.
Please keep in mind that the answers are contemplative ‘reflections’, not dogmatic treatises on Dhamma… they are intended to help people reflect on their situation, and find a way to work skillfully with it and progress in their path of practice. Responses to the YouTube questions in particular are spontaneous and often brief, and usually relate to a specific teaching the questioner has heard and is asking about.
With regard to hearing different Dhamma teachings, a helpful anecdote concerning Ajahn Chah comes to mind here…
Once Ajahn Chah was challenged by a questioner, saying his teachings could sometimes be contradictory. Ajahn Chah laughed and responded that his way of teaching was very simple… He then said:
“It is as though I see people walking down a road I know well. To them the way may be unclear. I look up and see someone about to fall into a ditch on the right-hand side of the road, so I call out to him, ‘Go left, go left’ Similarly, if I see another person about to fall into a ditch on the left, I call out, ‘Go right, go right!’ That is the extent of my teaching. Whatever extreme you get caught in, whatever you get attached to, I say, ‘Let go of that too.’ Let go on the left, let go on the right. Come back to the center, and you will arrive at the true Dhamma.”
This wise pointing is well worth remembering when it comes to hearing or reading teachings on Dhamma — context is everything.
Click on each question-link below and it will take you to the full Q & A …
Q: I struggle to be kind to myself and forgive myself for mistakes I’ve made. How can I do this?
Most of the questions below have come from ‘Wisdom of the Masters’ YouTube channel
Q: How does merely thinking wise thoughts awaken prajna/wisdom?
Q: How to remove ignorance? How to remove the false sense of ‘I’?
Q. Why doesn’t my daily meditation reach the same level as in retreat?
Q. Please explain the difference between ‘consciousness’ and ‘awareness’?
Q. Is it normal to be scared when I feel the sense of ‘I’ fading?
Q. What does it mean to not ‘chase after thoughts’?
Q. Please advise whether I should view my mind as an enemy or a friend?
Q. How can I remain in the state of awareness in the present?
Q. How to abide in emptiness and liberate oneself from individuality?
Q. Which practice is the best preparation for death and enlightenment?
Q. Am I too much of a thinker to ever taste real freedom?
Q. How do you reconcile views of ‘God’ with your view as a Buddhist Nun?
If you’d like a PDF of a larger selection of Q&As from the ‘Wisdom of the Masters’ channel, you can download that by clicking this link: Q&A (Pt.1) PDF (694 KB)
Q: Can you help me distinguish between the false ‘I’ and the ‘I’ source?
Q: How do I ‘think’ from the heart and stay there? I do not want to be in the mind for the mind causes depression…
Q: Why is confusion caused, only for it to be resolved time and time again?
Q: How does one lose this ego? I don’t like myself!
Q: During my morning meditation listening to Tilopa’s teaching on Mahamudra I had a magnificent experience that I want to share and would like to hear if this kind of thing is normal and what it might be…
New Set – 2023
Q: How can we know if Consciousness is a singularity?
Q: I am terrified of dying… How to deal with it?
Q: Is there such a thing as a ‘basic space of awareness’, or is awareness momentary?
Q: Is Jhana the emptiness of Anatta?
Q: What is the reason for abstaining from all mind altering substances?
Q: We can’t stop our thinking, can we? Or is it our wrong thoughts that ‘obscure the mind’ for us?