Why Can't I? How Can I?  

January 10, 1981

Dear Bobby,

Why can't I resolve to practice Dharma fully? Why can't I commit myself to it? Why don't I trust any of my teachers?

How can I resolve to practice Dharma fully? How can I commit myself to it? How can I trust my teachers?

Thank you for your efforts.

Love,

Patrick


February 24, 1981

Dear Patrick,

Why can't you resolve to practice Dharma fully? I have never met you, but I can guess two big reasons why you can't resolve to practice Dharma fully: (1) you have too many selfish desires, and (2) you don't understand how valuable the Dharma is.

Why can't you commit yourself to it? You can't commit yourself to it because you can't control your desires long enough to find out what "it" is. What is "it"?

Why don't you trust any of your teachers? How can you trust a teacher if you don't practice or commit yourself to the Dharma that they are teaching about?

How can you practice Dharma fully? You must see that your selfish desires are endless and that no matter how much you try to satiate them, they will just grow stronger and increase in number. Then you must understand that desire leads to suffering. If you can understand this completely, then you will understand how valuable the Dharma is.

How can you commit yourself to it? You can commit yourself to it by making a firm decision to control your desires.

How can you trust your teachers? You must practice and commit yourself to the Dharma.

What is Dharma? What are you?

Long ago Bodhidharma sat facing a wall for nine years, He killed all Buddhas. He killed all eminent teachers. He killed all people.

What does this mean? When you understand this, you will have no problem with your practice, commitment, or your teachers. Practice = commitment = teachers.

Sincerely,

Bobby


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