If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it.
This is an existential/nihilistic perspective. The emotional complexities that result from it are what the lamas call "loong", and are a great impediment to the efficacy of our practice.
Sorry my friend, but this is total nonsense. As doctor of Tibetan Medicine I can assure you that among the many causes of rlung disease, this is not one of them. It is also not an impediment to practice, at least, not to my practice.
Believing we live in a cold merciless meaningless universe where the only meaning is what we impute on it is a fundamentally frightened way to live.
No, it is a fearless way to live.
Trying to make things right "on our own terms" is asserting our will in such a way as to be an impediment to receiving blessings.
"Blessings" don't come from outside. They come from dependent origination and realization. That's about it.
In terms of Dharma practice that fundamental fear is not the problem. It is assumed by Dharma to be the initial operating spiritual principal in the individual. That is why the initial teachings traditionally are about the hell realms, etc. If people have fears, then direct those fears productively and bring them to Dharma. But at some point those fears need to connect to Dharma and need to begin to resolve, which is the stage of "Refuge". Our fears need to begin to be resolved into belief and trust, or as is said more traditionally faith and devotion. At the end of the path there are no more fears, and one of the epithets for buddhahood is "The Great Fearlessness". My late teacher was heard to say, "All fully revealed religions start with fear and end with love. Why? Because fear is the initial spiritual condition of all men, and love the ultimate spiritual condition of all men."
When we understand there is no meaning then we are at the end of fear. Fear comes from expectations about fulfilling meaning.
In the traditional tibetan culture people feel that they live in a universe where there is a divine justice, and there are loving divinities that are accessible on a functional basis. To them there is an '"Ultimate Truth" and people achieve it on a regular basis. This allows them the maximum opportunity to trust and believe, and not be afraid. On the other hand, existential nihilism, coupled with a society in flux, families in disarray, creates frightened people that cannot trust and have no faith. This is the disadvantage we have in our practices. This is what no lama can ever conceive of, since their worldview cannot allow for it. It is our blind spot that we insist not be disturbed because when our own religion collapsed we rejected all religion, not just our religion.
Ascertaining that the universe has no intrinsic meaning is not existential nihilism.
Personally, I have no use for religion. I do have a use for personal experience.
There has never been any time in history nor has there ever been a culture where societies were not in flux, where families were not in disarray.
The worldview of some lamas do not allow for many things. I am not confined by the worldview of anyone else. Whether I am confined by my own is something you cannot know, but you can certainly judge it if you like.
This is not to say that we have more defilements than a Tibetan. Their anger, greed and such are just as great as ours. It is more like we have a computer virus in our system software that does not allow us to connect properly to the Dharma.
I do not suffer from any cultural viruses that cut me off from Dharma.
Protecting our hearts and minds from hurt by being closed makes sense in a merciless universe. Being open is terrifying, as it allows for the hurts to go even deeper. But if our spiritual practice is to be fruitful we need to allow our spirit out so it can grow. If you want to learn to swim you're going to have to get wet. And just about everyone here knows the pitfalls and failings of the modern Dharma scene.
In reality, the modern Dharma scene is no better and no worse than it was during the time of the Buddha, with one exception, the Buddha, or so we imagine.
But clearly the teachings guide us towards unconditional trust, faith and devotion.
Sorry, that is not where my path has lead me. It has lead me to unconditional confidence, knowledge and personal experience. I don't really respond well to the trust, faith and devotion thing.
The Buddha taught that we suffer from birth, aging, sickness and death. He taught us how to escape that condition. Later humans elaborated on the Buddha's message and taught the deeper meaning underlying it (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence). Still other humans later on decided that was too extreme and decided that the deeper meaning needed to be augmented by a somewhat more positive message about our condition, and taught tathāgatagarbha. None of this however renders the universe meaningful.
As I have said many times here and elsewhere. "Life has no meaning, but if you are a Dharma practitioner, then life is meaningful." But this is not a declaration of a teleological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology
) meaningfulness of the kind you are expressing here. It is also not a declaration of absolute meaningfulness. It is a strictly relative meaningfulness relevant only to humans who can think and judge. It is not a statement about the value of the universe or even the value of a spotted owl. Spotted owls are meaningful to me personally, but they are not ultimately meaningful in anyway.
The universe will perish. Generally speaking we are taught in the Dharma not to impute meaning on the impermanent, the afflicted and identityless. Since even nirvana is identityless, it is a little risky for Dharma practitioners to invest much meaning in it.
The absence of illness is health.
The absence of suffering is bliss.
The absence of meaning is freedom.