Another Belief Bites the Dust

We all have hidden beliefs. They’re ones we take as truth because they seem to be part of who we are. We don’t question them because we’ve always believed them or we’ve believed them for so long that we don’t doubt their truth. And we don’t see them because we don’t look for them. It’s like being in a cage and looking through the bars rather than at the bars. You don’t see the bars; you see through the spaces between them, so you don’t know you’re trapped, caged by your hidden beliefs.

You can find your hidden beliefs by asking yourself what you think about all kinds of things – women, men, marriage, science, religion, different races and so on. Whenever you ask yourself what you believe about something, you might uncover a hidden belief. But if they’re a core belief, they won’t be revealed by your first answer, not if you’ve held them since childhood. You may have more recent beliefs pasted on top, but core beliefs will always compromise the more recent belief because they’re stronger. A new belief, if it conflicts with a core belief, just won’t really stick. So you might think that you believe that all races are equal, for example, but deep down a belief in inequality might remain from childhood or from time in a cult. Until you uncover that hidden core belief and expose it to examination so it can fade away in the light of your adult or cult-free self, you’re holding conflicting beliefs and that will always bring some mental discomfort.

I discovered recently why I had been struggling with the idea that I ‘should’ have some ‘spiritual’ practice or path. When I eventually recognised the cause of my angst, saw the hidden belief and realised its limitations, it vanished like smoke blown by the wind and so did my angst.

And when I examined it closely, I realised just how Tibetan Buddhism used this seemingly positive belief as a hook to keep me stuck in a cult and keep the money rolling into Rigpa’s coffers. It did have a positive effect on me for a while. The trouble is that I never discarded it when it became no longer relevant or useful to me.

Listen to the video to get the full story.

Did you or do you also hold this belief? If so, is it still relevant to and beneficial for you? What effect does holding it have on your life?


Image by mollyroselee from Pixabay

6 Replies to “Another Belief Bites the Dust”

  1. Dear Tahlia,

    Thank you so much for your video post today! Its arrival in my inbox coincided nicely with the arrival of an offer of something else, which has forced a whole reckoning and realisation and Aha! moment. I feel brought to my senses in the best possible way. So, thank you so much! 😉

    You are so right about courses and money and being played on to a certain extent. We have to know when that is happening and when to let go. Over the last six months I have been trying something that is secular and exploratory in nature based on some “life coaching” principals. (Whatever the heck THAT means, eh?)

    I recently had to make a big life decision and I did this course as I was afraid I’d go back on my promise to myself. So I did this thing in 3-4 short pieces so that it’s not felt like a course.

    Now there is an offer of a 6 month course for much more money. I’ve been journeying along with this as it evolved as it felt interesting and experimental. However now I’m wondering if the organisers are even aware of the potential for dependence and the development of cult-ish behaviour. Time for me to step off this train methinks!!!

    Anyway it’s always great to listen to your comments on life and religion and the Tib Bud madness we all bought into for so long. Still learning here where and when I get hooked!!! It just didn’t take 16 years this time! Ha ha!!

    Hope all is well with you and yours down under.

    Big COVID-safe hugs

  2. Hi Tahlia,
    Thanks for this and other pieces you have posted over the time. Like the previous comment this is very timely for me too. I was never really on a ‘spiritual path’ even if TB talked about a path to Enlightenment which I personally thought was not as easy as it looked. I was more in search of knowledge, explanation, understanding and an adding on to what I already knew. Kind of seeing where it took me. Wherever that was I believed I had to get it for myself. That TB was not going to hand it to me. Maybe that was because of the setup and all the courses.
    Like Europa I have recently been exploring other ideas. While useful they all seem to be a pyramid or investment in more and more. Which is sometimes fine but in other ways just seems more and more money. Maybe that’s why people went into charnel grounds, caves, deserts, sat under trees and just let things be to see what happens and observe themselves. Which brings me to a point you made of dropping everything. That comes up for me too. It’s like stepping back to reconnect with self. Yet there can be a pull to ‘do’ even in a pandemic. It is like how to we move from observation or stillness or resting and watching or peace into action while still being connected to the expansiveness and not get caught up in the minutia. Guess a work in progress, maybe for many lifetimes. So for now I will just keep pondering and watching that I don’t spend too much on getting. Keep up the good work. Look forward to future posts.

    1. Thanks BB
      Sorry it took me so long to reply. Been busy with business! It’s interesting that you said, ‘stepping back to reconnect with self’. I think that’s very true, that one can be so involved in following a path that you lose connection with the wholeness of yourself. You become what the path demands of you, even though the aim of the path is to be completely ‘you’. In following the path we can sometimes lose it. That sounds like a contradiction, but I think that’s what happened to me. I was too busy being ‘Buddhist Tahlia’ rather than just me. I’m much better off for letting it all go. It’s so nice to just be oneself without concern for how that self is. But then all those years of study and practice have left my mind and heart in a good place, so I can just be me without fear that that ‘me’ is a horrible person. A little weird, maybe, but that’s okay by me.

  3. Spot on Tahlia.
    I remember talking to a Rigparian (=someone who stayed in Rigpa after the abuse came out) about leaving Rigpa. They exclaimed: ‘But what about your spiritual path?’ I replied that the spiritual path begins and ends with compassion, so what use is there in following a path that lacks that? Their answer was, that they didn’t know the people who said they were abused, and it wasn’t told to them personally. They concluded with: ‘My spiritual path is the most important me.’
    And I think that last sentence is the problem. The moment you place ‘my spiritual path’ above anything/anyone else, you’re basically a fundamentalist.

    Apart from that, I also feel the need to have a spiritual path dissolving. It’s OK the way it is…

    1. Ah, I forgot that aspect, but, yes, I saw that too. People whose commitment to the path as the most important thing meant that they put their own interest above doing something about the suffering of others. In the very act of making their spiritual path the most important thing, they stepped off the path really – compassion being the basis of the Mahayana and Vajrayana paths. The enabling and normalising of the abuse was the same kind of thing. Brainwashed into believing that the abuse was crazy wisdom, we ignored the suffering of others. Trouble was, it was hard to follow the ache in one’s heart when we saw him yelling at others and they were crying and shaking, when the y stood up the next day and said how they saw it as love. We were trained to ignore our natural impulse to alleviate the suffering of others. It’s so twisted, so back to front, so not dharma, and not even (apart from the over emphasis on devotion and crazy wisdom) what Sogyal taught with his words.

      Anyway, the best thing that has happened for my spiritual ‘path’ is letting it dissolve. Rigid ideas aren’t the way to finding one’s true nature, and Dzogchen is beyond religion anyway. Even Sogyal said that. It was time for me and many others to leave the monastery and go into the wilderness of everyday life, just like the yogis of old. The letter writers gave me the impetus I needed to move on.

  4. I remember RTR in DzB pointing out that the whole thing was to cut grasping. So if we are not meant to ‘grasp’ onto anything, including life itself, what are we left with? Guess we have to find that out for ourselves!

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