Doubt is a particularly dangerous hinderance because it can have a powerful ability to stop us from walking the path towards happiness. The Buddhist approach to doubt is unique in that we do not try to counter doubt with knowledge. That would only lead to a logical debate and, since there can always be many sides to a debate, each seeming equally valid, this cannot lead us out of doubt. In fact, it may create more doubt which, of course, would be counter-productive.

The Buddhist approach to doubt is to adjust our meditation practice so that the doubt itself becomes our object of contemplation. We bring our attention to the various points of view and perspectives that are arising in the mind and then we let go of them and bring the mind gently back into the present moment. We repeat this process continually until we are able to understand the doubt, where it comes from and where it will lead us.

If we are feeling doubtful we need to recognize that this feeling is valid but we also need to understand how things will turn out for us if we allow doubt to take over our lives. If we find that doubt is a dominant feature of our minds, it would be helpful to invest some time into looking inside to determine what we truly want out of life so that, when the doubt arises, we will have a reference point that we can look to as a compass. If we aim for and walk towards true happiness, it will be difficult for doubt to knock us off course.

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(3) Choose Hapiness, B. Happiness