At times, we may be in a state of doubt, either in ourselves, or in the Dhamma principles. “I meditate everyday but still can’t calm the mind”, or “I have learnt so much over the years, yet I don’t have the deep level of faith”; thoughts like these are common. We may even think that we are too deep down the ‘rabbit hole’ in this life to realise our mind’s full potential. If left unchecked, the sceptical mind will ebb our determination to reach our spiritual goals.
To transform doubt to a deep confidence in the Buddha’s teachings, we must experience for ourselves the efficacy of Dhamma. We do this by learning the Dhamma and investigating, with an open mind, the cause of our unhappiness and discontent. With determination, we put into practice the ways to overcome our defilements. Often, we won’t achieve immediate results because these mental habits have accumulated over a long period of time, and therefore will take patience, time and effort to unwind.
At the same time, we infuse virtues such as giving, kindness and compassion into our lives by looking for every opportunity, however small, to put them into action. With good intentions, we will feel a sense of calm and gladness begin to grow. More importantly, our minds start to gain clarity to see the truth in the Buddha’s words.
When we are frustrated, we can also seek the support of our kalyana mittas – our spiritual friends. By reaching out to them, we can lean on and draw inspiration from their strength and wisdom gained from their own experience. The Buddha said that it is rare to be born human and even rarer to hear the sublime Dhamma, thus let us use this exceptional opportunity to secure ourselves on this path towards the end of suffering.