The Buddha’s teaching was vast and diverse. It can be applied to existential questions such as “what is my purpose in life?” or to the more worldly questions such as, “how do I succeed in my job or business?” Chances are you know the answers already. Only you know what you truly want out of life, your personal mountain to climb. But there is something standing between you and clear view of your goals and your path to achieve them. Doubt is like a cloud that obscures your view of the truth.
A common question from students of meditation and Buddhism is, “why should I believe your doctrine over other doctrines?” It is a reasonable question since every religion claims that it’s path reveals the truth and that other paths are wrong. The question itself demonstrates the unique appeal of insight meditation practice. It has nothing to do with belief in the conventional sense.
Meditation practice is not about blind faith in a doctrine or a teaching. Instead it is a practice of observation; perhaps one could say it is the worlds oldest science. That is why when confronted with doubt from his students the Buddha did not engage with it at all since there is no way to externally distinguish one doctrine from another. He said, “No one in the world… can I release from doubting. But knowing the most excellent Dhamma, you will cross over the flood.” In other words, only you can release yourself from doubt by the means of your own observation, internally. Nobody can talk you out of doubt.
The key to this science is the same as the key to every science: observation, that is to say the four foundations of mindfulness. Directing you awareness to the movements of your body, to whether you’re feeling good bad or neutral, to your thoughts and to your senses will reveal the true nature of the mental and physical world. If your own observation coincides with the Buddha’s teaching, doubt in his advice will be destroyed.
The Buddha treated his students like adults and refused to take responsibility for their spiritual progress. We encourage you to take up this challenge and discover for yourself your own true path to happiness.