Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

The Natural Law

By Ryanshelton7 @LivingVipassana

I’m going to run you through some definitions to see if we’re on the same page. Dhamma is the natural law; dhamma is not a belief. Meditation helps me learn the natural law at deeper and deeper levels over time. The insights I gain from my daily practice impact my beliefs. My beliefs are not the natural law. My beliefs are simply my best current understanding of how the world words. Attachment to my current set of beliefs can be destructive to both me and my community. This distinction be between a belief and the natural law is critical for establishing diverse loving communities. Remembering this distinction is hard.

This is why meditating is so important and studying scripture can be harmful. Studying scripture simply gives me an intellectual understanding that can impact my beliefs. Our intellect wants to align with facts which causes us to hold to tightly to our beliefs. Regularly meditating allows us to develop our own beliefs without the need or desire to undercut someone else’s beliefs.

Unlike gathering at a church service where people learn “the truth” from a priest, gathering to meditate together is about growing on the path together. Instead of aligning with the spoken truth of the priest, everyone is aligning with their own truth. I think this can make it harder to establish a dhamma community because the belief systems of different meditators can be so different making it hard to connect on a personal level. But this is what makes Vipassana unique. It doesn’t matter what your current beliefs are as long as your open to learning and growing with dhamma. Time to meditate.


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