26 April 2008

Letter 1.20

...Miles Davis once said, 'Man, if you don't know what jazz is, then no one can tell you' - meaning that jazz can only be understood as an experience. Not only does this also apply to the Buddha's Teaching, but to just about everything else as well. An experience can only be communicated to one who has had a similar experience - and the closer the experience the more meaningful the communication. Since the experience involved in practicing the Buddha's Teaching (which, by the way, is a very different thing from 'Buddhism') is foreign to the Western experience one shouldn't really expect a book on the subject to say much to one. Perhaps, though, it will give you an idea of what to look for in your own experience to find as analogous a situation to mine as is possible…

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