Delusion is fond of being deluded. That’s part of the game.
According to Sayadaw U Tejaniya:
‘Doubt arises when I am dissatisfied with how things are…
Doubt arises when there is a conflict about what should and should not be done.’
Some questions can help to clarify the view:
‘Am I able to do the practice?’
‘Do I understand the practice?’
‘Do I find it useful to practice?’
‘Why do I practice?’
‘How has it influenced my life?’
‘In what ways has it benefitted me?’
‘How has it obstructed me?’
‘Can I apply it in my daily life?’
‘Is it good for me and for others?’
‘Is there too much intellect/thinking/questioning going on?’
These are important questions to clarify my motivation and intention.
There is a danger that the following may sound self-referential. As if you have to believe in something in order to know. This is not so. Before you read on, please remember: Everything I write here is just one opinion about things. I draw from many sources. Some are based on direct experience, some are based on reading and contemplating. Whatever the source, it is for you to ponder upon. If you know me as a person, then it is even more important to remember that. Do not discard it or accept it or criticise only because you think you know who I am and where I come from. I do not claim to represent ‘official buddhism’ even if there was such a thing. I try not to represent anything. I just enjoy sharing thoughts with you and if you don’t like it ask yourself why you don’t like it, if you like it ask yourself why you like it. This way you learn much more than by agreeing or disagreeing. That is, if you want to learn. I know I do. So I appreciate any comment you have on what you find here.
Without continuous awareness (sati) of whatever is happening, dissatisfaction will be unnoticed. Aversion takes hold. Doubt arises.
Without sati it is difficult to develop firm concentration (samādhi). Yet without proper samādhi, it is hard to establish stability of mind. Without stability of mind, we get drawn here and there, to and fro. Doubt arises.
With doubt in mind, wisdom (pañña) cannot blossom because the inner conflict about what should and should not be done remains unnoticed. Doubts arise.
Now what to do if there is doubt about the value of awareness & concentration & wisdom? How to get out of this one?!
Some things cannot be cleared up by words alone but only be verified by experiential and experimental exploration of mind-matter. Actually, the more words I use the more the essence gets covered up: If I do not do what needs to be done I omit to do my duty. It’s as simple as that. As a result, I get entangled in the stories I tell myself about this and that. In the same manner, I get estranged from dhamma, our true nature. The more I get estranged from my duty, i.e. my dhamma, I grow accustomed to and fixated on My point of view. I begin to establish categories like ‘right’ (I!) and ‘wrong’ (u!). This is why I said at the beginning that delusion is fond of being deluded: It is My delusion (…and I like it that way, thank you!)
That’s when equanimity enters the stage 😉
Up to you. Up to me. Up to every single one of us!