Contradictory teachings in spiritual traditions

A visiting student said, “It seems to me that your teaching is sometimes contradictory. One time you say, ‘There is nothing to seek.’ Then, at other times you say, ‘Arouse your determination to cease conceptualization.’ I am confused.”

Louie Wing said, “That is because you are looking for some definitive doctrine in my words. There are no definitive doctrines, no absolute truths. In fact, there is nothing to attain. You should not allow my words or anyone’s, to come between you and your own fundamental awareness. The best you can hope for from any so-called teacher, are clues and hints about which direction to turn.

 If you want some guidance, the best I can do is to tell you this; do not allow yourself to be caught up in perceptions, feelings, and thoughts. Stop indulging in making useless discriminations between this and that, self and other. Whenever you notice that you are caught up in discrimination, step back into your own fundamental awareness. Do not waste your time comparing differing ideas and notions about this teaching and that teaching. Cease all this futile conceptualization and step back into the clear and pure awareness of your own mind. Only after you have experienced it directly will you be able to accurately discern the teachings.

From The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing

by Ted Biringer

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