Viscid wrote:Okay, so what does "May all heavenly beings protect you." mean? Doesn't that imply that there are external, real heavenly beings which choose to protect some people and not others? Do you believe that? This doesn't raise any red flags?
If I ever even think of ordaining, the doubt which accompanies beliefs such as this immediately stops me in my tracks.
That may be one of the reasons why "doubt" is the 5th hindrance.
The monk can have sceptical doubt, but he is advised to note it mindfully without clining to it.
"When sceptical doubt is present in him, the monk knows, "There is sceptical doubt in me," or when sceptical doubt is absent he knows, "There is no sceptical doubt in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen sceptical doubt comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen sceptical doubt comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected sceptical doubt comes to be."
— MN 10 (Satipatthana Sutta)
A man traveling through a desert, aware that travelers may be plundered or killed by robbers, will, at the mere sound of a twig or a bird, become anxious and fearful, thinking: "The robbers have come!" He will go a few steps, and then out of fear, he will stop, and continue in such a manner all the way; or he may even turn back. Stopping more frequently than walking, only with toil and difficulty will he reach a place of safety, or he may not even reach it.
It is similar with one in whom doubt has arisen in regard to one of the eight objects of doubt. Doubting whether the Master is an Enlightened One or not, he cannot accept it in confidence, as a matter of trust. Unable to do so, he does not attain to the paths and fruits of sanctity. Thus, as the traveler in the desert is uncertain whether robbers are there or not, he produces in his mind, again and again, a state of wavering and vacillation, a lack of decision, a state of anxiety; and thus he creates in himself an obstacle for reaching the safe ground of sanctity (ariya-bhumi). In that way, sceptical doubt is like traveling in a desert.
- Thanissaro "The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest "