Who is our best Dharma teacher? I wrote this article in response to a friend's request for a Teacher in Buddhism. I explained how we can be our own best teacher.

A friend wrote: : I would like to request someone who can show me the way : to nirvana, or at least give me a start in the right : direction. I am true in my intentions, and humbly request : teachings from wise one.

I replied:
Actually, my friend, we are our own best teacher.

The process towards Enlightenment starts with developing insight into oneself. In the beginning, learn to observe your body, thoughts and feelings. Slowly, you would develop insights into how your mind work.

By gaining these insights, we start to learn to appreciate our joys and work with our unhappiness. At this stage, we would find ourselves increasingly with more pleasant experiences & less unpleasant ones. This is coz we begin to develop some measure of inner peace. We become more able to experience our pleasant experiences, such as simple joys. Hence the joy multiplies. We also become more able to work with unpleasant experiences, such as learning to deal with disappointments. As such, our unhappiness starts to shrink. Furthermore, at this stage, we would find that, increasingly, people start to like us a little more coz we have become more gentle, kinder, a little more generous, a little more appreciative & more tolerant etc. This adds to our pleasant experiences.

Continue observing yourself, developing awareness. After a while, u would achieve your 1st break-thru, that pain & sufferings, pleasure & bliss, are distinct qualities. In simple terms, there can be pain without sufferings, bliss without pleasure. In the words of the Buddha, "Peace despite pleasure or pain".

At this stage, we do not increase our pleasant experiences anymore. Instead, we begin to see both pleasant & unpleasant experiences as equally acceptable. We begin to develop "peace despite pleasure or pain". With this peace established, our minds will be concentrated, mindful, and there is bliss beyond all experiences. We are on our way to our next break-thru.

That is all I'm qualified to comment on. I have not reached that break-thru yet. Suffice to say, we are the best persons to teach ourselves. So, my friend, look into yourself for a teacher. You will then be learning from the best.