Ven. Shih Jingang
As a child, my mother Enid often said to me, “There is no such thing as a silly question,” and then would add, “unless.” This latter word was left hanging, and I eventually realised that it was up to me to learn the depth of its meaning.
At the same time that Enid was planting seeds for reflection, my first spiritual teacher, Ven. Lama Senge Tashi, encouraged me to cultivate more skilful thoughts, speech and actions. Sometimes I would try to verbally assert “I” or “Me,” and Lama would respond with, “Who is speaking?” or “Who is asking?”
Taking on board these teachings, although always feeling that questions were encouraged, I learnt that certain lines of questioning were/are unskillful. It is important to look at the source of a question: does it come from a place of attachment, fear or aversion? Is the question a reaction to a perceived threat to one’s sense of personal identity? But where is this ‘I’ that feels threatened? Search for ‘I’ and it cannot be located. There is no permanent, fixed identity that can be called a Self. It is an illusion.
To intuitively discover that there is no-one to protect, or be offended, is to attain freedom from attachment, fear or aversion. When ‘I’ dissolves to reveal ‘US,’ then things are seen as they truly are. Pure Mind, Buddha. In this boundless space Compassion and Wisdom manifests for the benefit of all sentient beings.