moving beyond hope and fear

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby smcj » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:37 am

...if you can understand that there is no way of knowing anything, HOPE for being right, and FEAR of being wrong has no ground for rising

Unlike many people here in this forum I am what is called a 'gradualist'. On my path there is something to know, and there is something to do.

You are all probably familiar with the parallel of using thorn to remove a thorn. Belief used to remove beliefs.

Quite correct. Do you have a problem with that? I don't.
"Those who study a teaching and become attached to it will become angry when they hear something that is not their teaching. Their pride and conceit will defeat them and lead them to suffering."
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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby LastLegend » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:54 am

What is meant by experience?

What is meant by awareness?

―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:42 am

oushi wrote:
What is meant by awareness?

Whatever people agree upon.
For me there is no difference between those two, and it is, what happens. Whatever happens, is, and that's all for me. Everything that is pointing "outside" is a belief. Often I see pointing to something "wonderful" outside this very experience, located somewhere in future. I prefer to stay with what is, then chase after becoming. At best, that which is sought after, will become what is, after countless hopes and fears... This is because people divide "what is" into good and bad, hoping that through their actions, some day in the future everything there is, will be good. "Good" is also a belief, ever-changing one, so they are stuck in endless chase.

im sure someone considers this a belief.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….


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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby oushi » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:41 am

smcj wrote:That itself is a belief. You believe that you don't need a belief.

I don't need a belief for what?
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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby muni » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:14 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How can it be done?

I mean really, the very basis of our existence is expecting something, wanting something to conform to our can one avoid doing this with Dharma? Should we even try to avoid it? How can our minds move beyond expectations of wanting our practice to conform to our samsaric expectations?

Beyond hope and fear, how can it be done? By trust in the Awaken Ones or Wisdom Compassion.
Since this is beyond thought, the intelligence is not locked in limitations but shines as radiance. This is for me beyond fear and hope and we are invited by a variety of methods and so to recognize same uncondition nature.

The sun shines impartially.
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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby Seishin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:56 pm

This topic is getting a little heated so I'll lock it for now for review


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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby monktastic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:03 pm

I haven't had the chance to read through the full thread, but I found some notes that made some stuff click for me some time ago. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche says:

Hope and fear are painful: that is suffering. Whenever there is thinking, there is hope and fear. Whenever there is hope and fear, there is suffering.

My interpretation: samsara = hope and fear. Full equivalence. So the questions "can we move beyond hope and fear" and "how" are just restatements of the last two Noble Truths (Is there a path beyond suffering? Yes. What is it? The Dharma...)

Now a few quotes from Lama Gendun Rinpoche (hailed as a full buddha):

We can observe many varieties of suffering and at the same time recognize a common basis that applies to all beings. This common basis is omnipresent ignorance, and it expresses itself in a constant alternation between hope and fear.

Caught in hope and fear, we worry so much about attaining realization, and it is precisely this that prevents it.

Notice his choice to use the word "precisely."

And if you're a student of Mahamudra or Dzogchen, hopefully his following words will connect with you :)

In true meditation we are free of concerns. When we ask ourselves whether we are capable of or good enough to attain realization, then this shows that we have not understood the instructions about the nature of mind. The mind is the dharmakaya, the truth body. We should simply remind ourselves: “My mind is dharmakaya, the lama’s mind is dharmakaya, there is no difference between the mind of the lama and my mind. The dharmakaya pervades everything. Therefore, there is no cause for hope or fear, since everything is already there.” We only need to relax and have faith in the power of the blessings of the Three Jewels and the lama, faith that the true nature of things will reveal itself in its full simplicity when we are open and relaxed.

It is easy to understand that true meditation should be beyond hope and fear. However, this should not lead to our wanting to get rid of these emotions or revolting against them, because then again we would be trying to accomplish something and avoid something else.

Resting in the empty openness of our mind also dissolves hope, fear and all other emotional disturbances that might arise because of ignorance.

To look directly at the one who hopes that a pleasant feeling will endure or who fears that his meditation is not correct, is the antidote to hope and fear. Who is this someone who thinks that his meditation is good or bad? Does he have a form, is he located at a particular place, does he possess substance or color? What is his true nature? We attempt to find something that we can pin down as the thinker. We search for it everywhere, but we see nothing. In this not-seeing anything – a seeing without seeing something – we then rest."

HTH! (Oops, there's that hope again ;))
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby ground » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:09 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How can it be done?

Ask yourself why you would want to be be doing this or that. And if an answer arises question it.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I mean really, the very basis of our existence is expecting something, wanting something to conform to our can one avoid doing this with Dharma?

Why would you want to avoid anything?

Discover all the ideas you have conditioned yourself with.

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Should we even try to avoid it? How can our minds move beyond expectations of wanting our practice to conform to our samsaric expectations?

Do not avoid anything. But do not make this "Do not avoid anything." another of your ideals. It is just another rule to break. Forget buddhism, it is just one of those BSs.
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Re: moving beyond hope and fear

Postby undefineable » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:48 am

ground wrote:Do not avoid anything.
I'm sure that if faced with the prospect of infinite and near-eternal agony, a Buddha would acknowledge that there is in fact no reason to avoid this and remain completely unfazed. For a regular being, not only would it be hard *not* to try and avoid such suffering if it were believed to be likely, but also, the realisation of that suffering would surely render that being's "mindstream" useless for aeons of aeons, wiping out any progress in dharma previously made. However, that being could then reflect: Why should it matter if progress towards enlightenment is closed off to oneself, as long as other beings can reach it?
ground wrote:But do not make this "Do not avoid anything." another of your ideals.
This would be to avoid avoiding - The principle necessarily cancels itself out when raised to the level of a personal ideal. And this isn't just true for dharma - The list of activities (besides meditation) in which direct effort is *inversely* correlated with demonstrable ability -socialising, selling, acting, dancing, swimming (an activity everyone "unlearns" in infancy) etc.- is endless _

It's been suggested before that the structure of modern western societies renders all fear and avoidance purely destructive - in a way that simply isn't and wasn't the case in other places and at other times. Faced with a belief in Hell, for example, a social environment within the reach of individual comprehension -in which all adolescents and adults are continually tested and re-tested on a straightforward, practical level as a matter of course- often offers plenty of opportunity to easily ensure that positive actions are performed and most negative actions avoided. On the other hand, the vast and ephemeral structures of the modern western setting -so competitive that the contents of the 'tests' themselves are closely-guarded secrets revealed only to allies- are likely, conversely, to induce a "rabbit-in-the-headlights" effect, as younger people try to figure out how to resist being crushed by the direct and indirect intimidation meted out to them by previous generations. As ever-more-complicated structures knit together more and more widely and deeply, karma becomes largely about what other people allow you to do to yourself and your society in every sense, as individual social relations are made less and less relevant to you and your life. This makes negative karma through inaction more of a danger than negative actions, as well as significantly raising rates of suicide, mental illness, and so on.

So while I'm probably more positive about modern western societies than most here, it's not hard to see why positive actions -especially dharma practice- are said to have become that much harder to perform in this 'kali yuga' - Most of the positive actions that are performed are performed purely for one's own benefit, and what positive balance there is by way of benefit to society is merely coincidental, shot through with negatives (as with advertising), and prone to 'tipping' into negativity (as with banking). Believing that you're a net contributor to the world when this seems likely (especially when you're ready to adjust that belief in accordance with the changing context within which one acts) will probably help develop a wider motivation, however, and there is of course a world of difference between acting (wisely) in order to actualise oneself -so widespread in today's world as well as in traditional 'hinayana' practice- and acting (unwisely) in order to bring oneself mere pleasure or contentment.

For these reasons, the belief in lower realms itself is no longer a motivator to perform within society, having instead the opposite effect - If Hell is real, then however it works, believing in it not only adds to a westerner's suffering, but also makes it more likely that he (the role of women being looser than that of men) will end up there. This partly explains the popularity of atheism among the middle and upper classes.

It's clear that this line of argument -if it's accepted (and it was in fact concluded on the relevant thread that 'negative karma through inaction' is indeed a danger)- could easily be psychologically damaging, but it needs to be made; Dharmawheel seems like the right kind of 'sheltered' place in which to make it. Luckily, Buddhism as an organised 'religion' takes account of the fact that many of its doctrines will harm certain people at certain times at certain places, and therefore aims to withhold those doctrines from these people. Curiosity killed *this* cat, though, and the negative effect of doctrines like hell on the mentally vulnerable could do with being addressed.

On the other hand, it is of course well-known among mental health professionals that facing your fears is the only way to move beyond them :sage:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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