I happened to be watching an instructional music video on YouTube, and the instructor said, “The reason why we make music is because we want people to feel something.” I thought this was a wonderful statement and that the same could be said about Buddhism.
Music can make us tap our feet, sway our bodies, jump for joy, or move us to tears. It can make us reflective, it can take us back to our childhood, it can resonate with us, seemingly to the very marrow of our bones. I still get choked up when I conduct a cemetery service in which there is a military honor guard and they play “Taps.” Such a simple melody, but it is so sad and so moving.
If we apply what this music instructor said, then I think we could make the same statement about the Dharma. The reason why we want to share the Dharma is because we want people to feel something.
When I give a sermon or Dharma talk, I hope that the Sangha is feeling something. I hope that they find the message either interesting, moving, thought-provoking, inspiring, enjoyable, or gratifying in some manner.
That is the challenge for a minister, to try to give a message in which people feel something. If I put everyone to sleep, then I have not done my job. But, I guess you could say that too is feeling something, to feel sleepy.