Should we consciously avoid ideas and concepts, or just consider them tools?

Lama Ole’s answer:

I wouldn’t avoid concepts, because they can be convenient and useful. On the other hand, I would always remind myself that they are all only a dream. They weren’t there yesterday and will be gone tomorrow. So we know that concepts are pictures in the mirror but not the mirror itself. The truth and wisdom of space itself is profoundly meaningful. It’s in the vibration of every atom. It’s truer than all our concepts, ideas, and thoughts, and we are part of this space.

In fact, we can act much more effectively if we don’t continuously ask “why?” and “what for?” and so on. A lot of our everyday mental activity is like a coup d’état in a banana republic: Only two or three aspects of the radiant jewel that is our mind try to dominate everything. The ability to understand mathematics, to create poetry, or to do many other things is suddenly dominated by our intellect, pride, expectations, fears, and so on.

It’s beneficial to dissolve this, so that these abilities can arise when they are needed and disappear when they are no longer necessary. This has deep meaning. At work, one or another quality is very useful, and when it’s not needed anymore, one can do something else—maybe fall in love, explore nature, or discover how exciting the here and now is. But if one always hangs on to everything, is never in the moment, then one is neurotic.

It is this “both-and” state of mind that we should strive for. Try to always do what is right in front of your nose without being distracted. That is real freedom.