I am so torn. The teaching I have received tells me one thing about how I should act and react, but my mind tells me, really insists, that I act and react a different way. It gives me no space. I am so full of fear and anger. But I don’t feel I can trust anything other than my feelings regardless what the teaching tells me.
What To Trust?
Dear What To Trust,
It is not unusual, even for those who have been practicing diligently for years, to be overwhelmed with some regularity by the power of their ego-mind. It is much stronger and aggressive than your true Buddha nature, which is generally passive.
The first question to ask yourself is whether you truly believe in your true Buddha nature? Do you believe in the teachings of the Buddha?
If the answer to these questions is not an unequivocal, “yes,” then you have to go back to the teachings and find that belief if you want to end your suffering.
If you do believe, there is unfortunately no short cut to ending this conflict within yourself. To review the whole process in a nutshell, look at my blog post, “End of Suffering Cheat Sheet.”
But one way to ease into the process and hopefully bring you some relief is the answer to your question, “What to trust?” What you should trust is your true Buddha nature and that if you walk the path, regardless what life throws at you, all will be well because you will always return to your true Buddha nature (even if there is a substantial detour!) and be at peace and find happiness in each moment.
What you should not trust are your feelings, perceptions, emotions, etc. … the five skandhas. As the Buddha taught, because these feelings and perceptions cause you suffering, they are not you, they are not yours, they are not your self. Your true self would not cause you suffering.
And so being aware of this, if becomes easier to view your feelings and perceptions with dispassion, to let them go, to not attach or obsess about them. They are not your feelings and perceptions, but feelings and perceptions that have been placed upon you by the culture and your learned experiences.
Once you become aware that your feelings and perceptions are not to be trusted, that they are not you, and believe the truth of this, you will be empowered to not attach to these feelings and perceptions and gain the necessary breathing room to connect and listen to your true Buddha nature.