May 20 : The Carnivorous Demon of Doubt

Roaming in the space of darkest confusion, tormenting those who strive for ultimate aims, it is viciously lethal to liberation. The carnivorous demon of doubt — please protect us from this danger! 

Doubt can confuse us and lead us in circles so that we get absolutely nowhere. If this doubt is in relation to our practice, it will hinder us from moving forward. It eats our time and prevents us from attaining awakening. It is called a carnivorous demon because it eats away our chances of getting out of samsara and being of benefit to all sentient beings.

The doubt that we are trying to be aware of is the doubt that can come when we perceive that, due to our practice, others question our sanity: “People think that going to a retreat is a waste of time. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I will go to the beach with my friends instead.”

We cannot see straight. The path goes this way, but we are not sure. We doubt our ability to practise. We doubt the teachings and the teachers. We go around and around getting nowhere. We cannot get off this merry-go-round in our life, so we cannot get off the merry-go-round of samsara which is making us dizzy and sick. What do we do?

First, we calm the mind. Meditation is helpful. Meditating on the breath brings us to a calm and peaceful place. We then slowly start to dissect our doubt. We study the Buddha’s teachings from a place of logic and clarity to find our motivation and to reach an accurate conclusion about the teachings. Instead of the mind being in a dark, dismal hole of doubt, let the light of the teachings in and rest within that, without the demon destroying your future.

“365 Gems of Wisdom” e-book is out now!