Dharma Talk

Fundamentals of the Dharma: Love of Honesty

We cannot talk about the fundamentals of Dharma without mentioning honesty. All we have to do is meet a truly honest person to know that honesty is infectious. We sense that it must take courage to live with honesty and integrity, but what it really takes is a love of the truth. Honesty in Dharma practice is simply the love of what is true. It is behind all of our inquiry and Dharma investigation. "What is going on here?" is the soul searching question that opens the doors of the heart. We release our deceptions for two reasons: first, it is painful to deceive, and second, we have a profound urge to know the true causes and motivations for our defensiveness. That urge, when properly honed, will be our vehicle for the completion of the spiritual journey.

For Your Contemplation

Honesty is acknowledging distortion without pretension, recognizing the cause of pain without projecting that cause, and facing facts without defensiveness. Which of these areas need more attention in your practice? Make one of these areas an active inquiry this week. For instance, if you decide to face facts without defensiveness, investigate what motivates you to turn away and deny what is occurring. The purpose is to understand yourself better, not to become self-critical. Be gentle with your defenses or you will be reinforcing the wrong intention.