The Most Profound Doubt

svenmahr_lyetavhyFA1qc408ko1_r1_1280 copy.jpg

We all practice with one question—you all know that: What am I? Is this not the most profound doubt one can have? It is like our tool to advance and to grow and eventually wake up. Nevertheless, it is related to suffering and we don't like that. Usually we treat our problems like a disease we want to get rid of. Buddha as a young prince had the same questions and doubts like us. It is no surprise that, after having attained enlightenment, the very first thing he realized and declared was: Life is suffering. We suffer, because we hold on to things that are changing and passing, which return to emptiness even though we love them so much and don't want to be without them—even including our individuality, which is so important to us. Everything seems to lead into nothingness. How can we bear this? We all have our themes. I have my theme as well. The question that always profoundly shakes me is: Where has everything gone? The wonderful moments, the people we once felt connected with, the great feelings, people who have died. Where has it all gone? I am sure many of us have the same questions. The fact that all is impermanent is the basic realization of Buddhism. But we continue to practice. We go one step further. This is crucial. One sutra, which you all know by heart, says: The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and the mind is no hindrance. This points to a possible solution: Prajna Paramita, which gives insight into the completeness of the universe and into the completeness of our true nature—the highest form of wisdom. If we wake up, the consequence is a mind that has no hindrance and that is no hindrance. That is our Zen practice!