Dharma Discussions

Yutang Lin

Not to follow arguments into disturbances;
Just abide by coherent reasoning to decide.
No harm to let each blow a particular horn;
Single-minded in Bodhi, wisdom will grow.


Some Buddhist had doubts and disturbance of mind that arose from reading some Dharma discussions that involved criticisms on famous Buddhists. So the person wrote me for guidance.

Dharma is trying to expound on truths. Therefore, in Buddhist history there is a tradition of writing theses to expound, to distinguish and analyze, or to argue and interpret teachings. Freely allowing people to express their views, only then is the approach in accordance with the path of liberation. When we read such discussions it is only proper for us to try to distinguish the correct one by coherent reasoning in accordance with the basic Dharma principles such as selflessness and compassion. There is no need for us to follow the arguments to the extent of engaging in antagonistic accusations. In case it is beyond our ability to recognize the right view, one could simply put theories aside, and instead devote oneself to the practice of chanting epithets of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or making prostration to Buddhist holy images. Thereby one could simply pray for the speedy enlightenment of all sentient beings. In brief, Don't grasp to forms and thereby following views to more confusion; Better let go and simply through Dharma practices to cultivate Bodhi.

If one's mind could abide on the pursuit of Bodhi and one could practice Dharma in daily life, then one's wisdom will naturally grow deeper and more expansive with time so that one would transcend hair-splitting theoretical analyses and arguments to reach directly the ultimate true face.

Written in Chinese and translated on January 15, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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