Sherab, we're saying the same thing in different ways.
This is a hot topic here these days so I'll be direct.
If we feel doubt and think, "this practice is all wrong, I need this new one, those better beliefs," this is not bringing doubt to the path.
If we feel doubt about our own abilities and think, "this wide world out there seems more true, I want to become one with it," this is not bringing doubt to the path.
If we feel small and ineffective and think, "this is how I really am, a pile of crap!" this is not bringing doubt to the path.
What is bringing doubt and discouragement to the path?
Opening the hand of thought, letting them land in our palms, and taking a good look at them.
If we close our fist by following our desire to be free from pain, we can no longer see our experience.
Bravely seeing our own experience, we compassionately understand the plight of beings who identify 100% with every thought.
Bravely seeing our own ineffectiveness to construe goals and achieve them, we compassionately understand the plight of beings who rejoice in success and despair in failure.
Our discouragement, our doubt, is so painful because we cannot find the peace and satisfaction we seek in these things.
They are so variable (anicca), come and go as they please (anatta), and bring only pain the moment we try to have things our way (dukka).
Our discouragement and doubt are not virtues, but indicators.
If we've spent our whole lives being an intellectual, being a go-getter, having success, then this is a hard pill to swallow.
Finally, my first post was not hyperbole. I have an unusually bad memory. I can't remember dharma talks, books, quotes, and have never come close to any meditative state.
That said, I still read, listen, meditate, recite the nembutsu, and practice.
That's because the whole point of the darn thing is to do this for the good of others.
To be very direct for people mired in discouragement:
Stop relying on doubt for every little thing.
Stop relying on success to motivate you.
Stop relying on a calm mind to meditate.
Stop relying on enlightenment to be a decent human being.
Muster all the gumption you have and enter every single dharma gate you find, no matter what the sign above it says.
The power of buddha-dharma is revealed depending on whether or not there is effort, and is distinguished depending on whether or not it is practiced. - Dogen, "Guidelines for Studying the Way"
Namu Amida Butsu