An apology

I’m on a FPMT Tibetan Buddhist retreat working through Tsong Kapa’s stages of the path (Lam Rim). The text starts with respect for the teacher and it made me realize that one reason for my disappointment with the TS is that – lacking living teachers – I’ve treated the TS as a teacher. Since no organisation, as Krishnamurti rightly noted, can be a teacher I became frustrated at the whole thing.

I could have just left, as in many ways I’ve since done. Instead I spent some of my energy trying to tell people what was wrong with the TS.

This does not work. It’s bad karma and it makes me feel bad. As I’ve written before ‘teaching people a  lesson‘ just doesn’t work. There’s a reason that saying has such a bad name, even when the motivation is reasonably positive.

Blavatsky too warned against trying to teach people who didn’t want to be taught. I’ve fallen into that pitfall a lot in my life, and most of the content on this blog, including the comments, fits that description.

Why doesn’t it work? Because the TS has it’s own internal dynamics and simply trying to say ‘this and this is wrong’ doesn’t change those dynamics.

It’s simply not up to me to do anything about these things and keeping up the ability to comment on this blog also doesn’t help anybody.

For those of you who, like me, want to walk the talk, I advise you by all means to do what I’m sure Blavatsky would have advised: find a real spiritual teacher. Not as an authority, but as a guide. Because while ultimately nirvana is in the Mind, that doesn’t mean the mind doesn’t also have a great many pitfalls that we need help avoiding. And that too is explicit in a lot of what Blavatsky taught. In fact, the Lam Rim so far reminds me of Blavatsky in all kinds of ways, even though of course in the details of the practice there are also huge differences.