We can say that no dharma is proper dharma and that all dharma is proper dharma. Why?
This depends on the situation, the times, or the people a teacher may meet. Only the awakened are able to say this. After enlightenment any language that we use is correct. Before awakening, any use of language without having first discovered our software system or our Buddha nature, is wrong. We can find good dharma from a bodhisattva or from Shakyamuni Buddha. Therefore, not all dharma is good dharma.
Our main purpose is to investigate Zen in order to awaken, rather than point to others’ religious beliefs. Even the Buddhist religion is changeable, adapting to different cultural contexts, so we don’t say much about other religions, including Buddhist religions.
Dharma is medicine. Enlightened people are like good doctors who know how to use the right medicine to treat people. Just as a good doctor diagnoses an illness correctly, the teacher also prescribes the correct medicine and the correct way to practice, which depends on individual conditioning. The right teacher knows how to use the dharma flexibly and appropriately for the student. So no single dharma is the proper dharma. The correct medicine is that which is suitable for the student. The Buddha was a great doctor who knew what kind of medicine was suitable for us.
An awakened teacher points to your heart and your thoughts. Your main purpose is to discover how to discover your Buddha nature.
What kind of road is inside of us?
We are linguistic beings exposed to mass media. Each person’s belief system is like a series of language marks, or like a copy of ourselves. We download, copy, and produce a lot of ego. The nature of our ego’s functions is similar to this process. Each mark of language or belief is set up equally in our disk space. Some of this language leaves a very strong imprint and the rest is weaker. These different emphases depend on the person who downloads these language marks into their mind. Our decisions regarding what is important or not important depend on our temperament, changes in time, situation or environment, context and so on. These downloads are deposited and then released or imprinted onto the mind. Strong communication media continue of their own volition, or they are exported from the mind, and these media have great energy. They reproduce similar beliefs from the marks of language, and other media of sounds and images. These media will do their best to be accepted by the mind. This influences how we, as language animals, compare right and wrong, black and white, and so on. The ego is inseparable from the marks of language or communication, and so it is very difficult to investigate Zen. Like a shadow ego follows our language marks.
Our data is sourced through education and culture, which is then downloaded, copied to our minds, becoming our data. We now live in an overwhelming mass communication society, and this affects us deeply. Society is much larger than before because of old and new information, which is so changeable it confuses us and may cause conflict. This is especially so for the young who may not know the difference between wrong and right. Illusion creates an illusory society. People are not careful about their bodies, for example, and may drink and drive and injure themselves or others.
These kinds of problems arise from highly efficient forms of mass communication such as the internet, which allows no time for reflection on and contemplation of received information. People are losing their critical thinking skills, as they are able to access information so quickly. People are losing their faculty to think and act independently. We are becoming controlled by some greedy people, who attempt to brainwash us. We need time for meditation. We need to observe our breath and pacify our minds. The background of our mind is simply energy.
Any language is a product of our ego and its beliefs, and the marks of language. Ego and language support each other. In this culture of drugs and alcohol confusion abounds. Beautiful emotions, sunshine and colour have been lost, and the physical body has lost its balance. The cost to society is that there are far more risks than previously. The media has created great delusion. People play computer games but do not understand that one cannot play with the body through drugs, which weaken the body and create illness. Superbugs have appeared. From the earth we are taking enormous amounts of energy. Governments have to produce more electricity for their citizens, and so the earth is getting warmer. This earth is becoming very sick. Why are earthquakes, floods or superbugs occurring more frequently? Our situation is uncomfortable, and the earth is unhappy and unhealthy.
We are the drivers of our body. We do not have one hundred per cent control of our bodies, which need healthy food. We are able to use our body well, and to practice dharma. If you do not find out who you are, you are able to use this software to awaken. We must treat our body well or we will lose our precious human life. Once we have awakened we get great happy. We are an organic system, and we are everywhere. We need to treat our body with care and balance. Awakening is very important. Buddha said that the chance of taking a human birth is very difficult. It is as if we have won the lottery. We must look after this body and not destroy it through drugs or suicide or violence.
This seems to be difficult because of our knowledge minds, which are directly connected with the language marks we have downloaded from external sources. We need the right kind of knowledge for the right people: right knowledge and right dharma for the right student. It is possible for society to be more peaceful: we have the capability to create this. Animals do not have this capacity. We do not need to lose or to avoid our knowledge minds, we simply need to investigate and discover our true Buddha nature.