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Dharma is the teachings of the Buddha. It’s not the kind of teaching we get at schools and need to take a stressful exam for, but teachings that really help us get out of suffering. All our suffering and problems, all the difficult things we face in life, are like a sickness and the Dharma is like the antidote. The compassionate Buddha, like a professional doctor, explains the way to be cured, by putting the medicine—the Dharma—in our hands.

What are the qualities of the Dharma?

There are so many different teachings to suit different levels and dispositions. That’s why there are lots of Buddhist traditions, all coming from the Buddha. For example, Buddhism in China, Tibet, Thailand and so on emphasize different methods. But they all lead to the same goal: liberation.

The Dharma is based on logic. It teaches us about reality, and uses the scientific method of experimentation. The Buddha himself advised us to test for ourselves what he taught. For instance, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, for many years, has been working with scientists to validate key Buddhist concepts, like mind. Scientists are now slowly accepting that the mind is more than just the brain.

The Dharma isn’t directed towards just one single problem. As soon as we solve one problem, another one comes straight away. The Dharma teaches us how to go to the root of all problems, to recognize it, and to deal with it. So that we never have to experience problems again. Imagine that we had a headache everyday. We could take an aspirin and it’ll help for a while, but the headaches will come back. Imagine another medicine that is not only more effective but could provide relief from headaches forever: the Dharma is like that. Here, the Buddha provides us with the best medicine, but it’s up to us to take it. As we slowly start taking the medicine of the Dharma, we see that it really works, it cures all our problems. This is why we study and practice the Dharma.

    –  Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche II



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