Speaking in Jakarta in 2017, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche distinguishes Buddhism from its cultural containers.
The essence of Buddhism is beyond cultural assumptions of serene “holy men” and a paradise-like “nirvana”. It is to recognize the “raw simple truth” that is with you all the time. This includes the truth that all compounded things are impermanent and that all of our experience is conditional, dependent and therefore unreliable and dream-like. Accepting these truths is what it means to be a buddhist.
Rinpoche explained how the great enemy to recognizing the truth is our habit, and this habit is fuelled by distraction. Cultivating awareness of our direct experience – what we see, hear, taste and touch – is “bad news to our habit” because it confuses our usual chain of distracted thought.
Onsite Translation: Indonesian