March 25, 2013

Developing Insight: Final Week of Segyu Rinpoche's Retreat

In this final week of Segyu Rinpoche's online retreat, Developing Insight, he provides the final building block to Juniper's methodology for awakening the mind. The world, he says, is constructed of learned concepts—from the time we are born we are taught what is what, how to call things, and what is right and what is wrong. He describes insight, on the other hand, as "protecting our mind from the downfall into dogma."

Rinpoche outlines the development of wisdom as occurring in three moments: acknowledging the dogma, questioning the dogma, and allowing new insights to arise. He then elucidates the proper way to question conceptual dogma, warning us to be very careful not to judge it or negate it, as doing so would be to fall into new conceptual traps. Instead, we should understand the purity of phenomena, which are void of any conceptual beliefs like "good" or "bad." This leads to a fundamental insight of Buddhism: that nothing in the universe is autonomous. Rather, everything is interdependent, and life unfolds in a constant state of depending and arising. 

Rehashing the function and co-dependence of all of the building blocks, he reminds us to be patient, since wisdom develops slowly. The steps that lead to compassion and insight, he concludes, give rise to a joyous freedom that stems from our deep inner potential for spiritual flight.

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