Dharma Talk

Fundamentals of the Dharma: Wisdom

Wisdom is the integration of truth into your life. It is not theoretical or abstract in any sense, but a steady confidence of knowing what is true. Wisdom comes from seeing an experience in stillness, free from our normal commentary. Our narrative confines us to just what we have known and in the absence of the narrative arises a new perception. This is called wisdom.

For Your Contemplation

Ask yourself what you understand about the dharma, not what is intellectually satisfying but what you truly understand. For instance, do you understand how suffering arises? Do your actions demonstrate this wisdom? How deep is this truth? How far has it reached into your cells? Take a point of dharma that you frequently hear in talks but is not sufficiently integrated. For example, dharma talks speak about the pure, clear mind of awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance. Have you experienced this first hand or is it a conceptual understanding? First know the difference between the two forms of knowledge. How will you go about understanding dharma issues more directly? Is thinking about them sufficient? Take the issue you select and attempt to experience it first hand. For example, what is the mind like when it is free of judgment, and what is it like when it judges? Which mind is clearer and therefore more accessible to wisdom? Work with the dharma point all week and notice how wisdom arises naturally from interest and bare attention.