enjoying samsara

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

Re: enjoying samsara

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:19 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:is a feeling... something that you can "enjoy" without more clinging?


It depends on what you mean by 'enjoy', of course.

MN 10 wrote:When feeling a worldly pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a worldly pleasant feeling’; when feeling an unworldly pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel an unworldly pleasant feeling’; when feeling a worldly painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a worldly painful feeling’; when feeling an unworldly painful feeling, he understands: ‘I feel an unworldly painful feeling’; when feeling a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel a worldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling’; when feeling an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘I feel an unworldly neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’

In this way he abides contemplating feelings as feelings internally, or he abides contemplating feelings as feelings externally, or he abides contemplating feelings as feelings both internally and externally. Or else he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of arising, or he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of vanishing, or he abides contemplating in feelings their nature of both arising and vanishing. Or else mindfulness that ‘there is feeling’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. That is how a bhikkhu abides contemplating feelings as feelings.


SN 54.8 wrote:"When concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is thus developed, thus pursued, then if he senses a feeling of pleasure, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished... he senses it disjoined from it... When sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here.'
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:37 am

Thanks everyone, great answers, lots to mull over.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:50 pm

I think that you will find that you are experiencing this.
Kimattha Sutta: What is the Purpose?
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "What is the purpose of skillful virtues? What is their reward?"

"Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, Ananda, and freedom from remorse as their reward."

"And what is the purpose of freedom from remorse? What is its reward?"

"Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of joy? What is its reward?"

"Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of rapture? What is its reward?"

"Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of serenity? What is its reward?"

"Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of pleasure? What is its reward?"

"Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of concentration? What is its reward?"

"Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of knowledge & vision of things as they actually are? What is its reward?"

"Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?"

"Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of dispassion? What is its reward?"

"Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

"Thus in this way, Ananda, skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, freedom from remorse as their reward. Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward. Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward. Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward. Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward. Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward. Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward. Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward. Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward. Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

"In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of arahantship."

And this.

Pamadaviharin Sutta: Dwelling in Heedlessness
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2005

"Monks, I will teach you about one who dwells in heedlessness and one who dwells in heedfulness. Listen and pay careful attention, I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "And how does one dwell in heedlessness? When a monk dwells without restraint over the faculty of the eye, the mind is stained with forms cognizable via the eye. When the mind is stained, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in suffering. The mind of one who suffers does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena (dhammas) don't become manifest. When phenomena aren't manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedlessness.

"When a monk dwells without restraint over the ear... nose... tongue... body...

"When a monk dwells without restraint over the faculty of the intellect, the mind is stained with ideas cognizable via the intellect. When the mind is stained, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in suffering. The mind of one who suffers does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena (dhammas) don't become manifest. When phenomena aren't manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedlessness.

"This is how one dwells in heedlessness.

"And how does one dwell in heedfulness? When a monk dwells with restraint over the faculty of the eye, the mind is not stained with forms cognizable via the eye. When the mind is not stained, there is joy. There being joy, there is rapture. There being rapture, there is serenity. There being serenity, he dwells in ease. The mind of one at ease becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena (dhammas) become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedfulness.

"When a monk dwells with restraint over the ear... nose... tongue... body...

"When a monk dwells with restraint over the faculty of the intellect, the mind is not stained with ideas cognizable via the intellect. When the mind is not stained, there is joy. There being joy, there is rapture. There being rapture, there is serenity. There being serenity, he dwells in ease. The mind of one at ease becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena (dhammas) become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedfulness.

"This is how one dwells in heedfulness."
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby theanarchist » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:56 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
I'm wondering what the view on this is, should samsara be enjoyable in this way..is it samsara that I am enjoying? .



Did you start to find negative behaviours enjoyable, like getting drunk, gambling, harming people, stealing, telling lies, exploiting others sexually?

If your behaviours are reasonably within acceptable ethical boundaries in buddhism there is nothing wrong with enjoying life.

If you were depressed and now you can enjoy a harmless chat with a friend and the earth you live on then this means your practice is working and you are doing the right thing, you are progressing in the direction of mental health. So how is that wrong? So unless you are at a stage of your practice where you actually can live as a full time renouncing hermit activities like having a chat with a friend that keep you emotionally balanced are an important part of your life.
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby uan » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:02 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Lindama wrote:Sounds like the light looking outward Johnny. My view has changed also, it's more intimate.

We can call it samsara or not ... but to see a world where universal principals are fulfilling themselves regardless of our preference... well, the colors are more bright.

I'm not an expert but since when is revulsion a big part of mahayana? Doesn't mahayana have a view of fulfillment? dunno....

:namaste:



Read any basic Mahayana text, the kind of thing you are supposed to read prior to Vajrayana practice..stuff like Parting From The Four Attachments, The Words of My Perfect Teacher etc. They all spend a huge amount of time on the importance of renunciation of samsara...i'm just wondering what renunciation really looks like in daily life, and whether from that point of view, this sense of freedom is something to be enjoyed or not. My gut feeling is that it is, and that comports some with what i've been taught..but i'm wondering what other folks think.


One thing I've noticed among the more realized Buddhist masters I've seen, is that they all appear outwardly as pretty happy and joyful. HHDL, ChNN, Ajahn Brahm, etc., not to mention those I've come in contact with personally who are not well known publicly.

I wouldn't get attached to the feeling, but I think it can be incredibly helpful, even in terms of renunciation. There really is no "samsara" that we can renounce. It's not contained in trash bag near the front door that we just need to take out (but forget to do). I've glimpsed on occasion what you've described, and it felt as if my attachments to many many things had diminished or disappeared. If someone came up to me and said "someone stole your car, your wife just left you and took everything, and oh, we are going to send you to prison for the rest of your life" I would probably have said, "okay."

I think we hold on to this concept that renunciation has to be severe and painful and dramatic. That we need to be dour. But even the Buddha gave up extreme asceticism before achieving enlightenment. In a sense, the freedom you describe, the lightness of it, the lack of it being a burden, makes non attachment to things/desires/samsara much easier and may be what non attachment looks like.

I know I'm not explaining myself well, but I think the gist is there - I don't think you have anything to worry about.

:anjali:
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:12 pm

i think we have to be aware that renunciation in theravada or hinayana and renunciation in mahayana and vajrayana are totally different things.

in theravada or hinayana we renounce sense pleasures and cut ties externally to the sources of attachment desire and aversion so that it will be easier to deal with on the inside. so its kind of an externalist approach.

in mahayana and vajrayana you renounce samsara from the inside, which means we renounce our habitual grasping and clinging states of mind and all the rest of the samsaric qualities of our minds workings. it is not like that you just say no to the qualities you are to renounce, as everyone can tell from experience it doesnt work that way. so its more of a progress than a decision. of course at first it is a decision but after that it is a progress, a work at hand. and we develop until we have renounced all samsaric qualities in our mind. ive come to see that it is also easier to see what '' renouncing samsara '' means in mahayana or vajrayana by looking it as an aspect intertwined with other aspects of the path rather than a solidary and independent function that performs or perfects it independently rather than working together with wisdom of emptiness and bodhicitta. it is an aspect but if you look at it narrow-mindedly you will not really come to know what renuncation of samsara is. but when you work together with all the three principal aspects of the path you will start to know what to renounce and how to renounce and start to see progress.

so as to conclude, imo renouncing samsara from the inside is much more of a skillful mean at least in our society and doesnt require drastic outer changes to think or actually make progress.
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….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby flowerbudh » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:10 am

Samsara is like a sticky spiderweb that covers the Earth...

Anyway, I think it's wonderful to enjoy life, but one must always remember changeability! This enjoyment will most likely be short-lived, so don't depend on it, or view it as the supreme state of understanding. Basically, just let it be and don't think too much about it.

Walk in peace.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby mandala » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:31 pm

I don't see it as you "enjoying samsara" so much as having a more joyful mind.
:smile:
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Lindama » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:20 pm

There's a lot of science about suffering.... practically none on joy, so it is suspected.... wow

suffering is impermanent too
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby dimeo » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:07 pm

Perhaps it's not so much samsara as a new taste of freedom that you're noticing? In the Uposatha Sutta there's a verse:
"Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation." (UD 5.5)

So perhaps at this point in your path, everything will give you that one taste of liberation...
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Lindama » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:12 pm

a zen master shot an arrow into the ocean.... bullseye!
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Roland » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:33 am

From my perspective, the emphasis on focusing on the pointlessness of samsaric activities to create that sense of revulsion, of renunciation, is about not getting caught up in habitual patterns, to break oneself free from concepts, or from attachment to emotions or activities. To view it all as essentially pointless because of the inherent suffering caused by the attachment to wordly activities. To take the middle way, existing in that space between attachment and aversion, detached, when everything becomes lighter, smoother, sort of like floating through reality, I guess. Not to say nothing matters anymore - I think that's the extreme end. I feel like there is that space where existence becomes easier, but I know what needs to be done... not that there are no more problems, but things mind attaches importance to, essentially "creating" problems, fall away. I don't see this as enjoying samsara - though there is this enjoyment of detachment, that deep sense of peace, contentment, happiness - I see this as renouncing samsara - the problems the mind creates, but of course not transcending samsara (if you can do that, let me know how you got to that point.) It's sort of a dissolution of the reality as it has been habituated through all the various conditionings. It all again becomes one taste...

I'm not so good at expressing this in words, but hopefully any part of that makes sense.

I think I know what you mean though. There was a point where I was practicing 4+ hours a day sustained for months, when all the conditions were correct. It's a really incredible way to experience life. It's that feeling that I think is referred to when texts call the teacher the doctor and the dharma the medicine - that "medicine" feeling I dip into during periods in life when the ability to increase time per day spent practicing manifests.
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:53 pm

mandala wrote:I don't see it as you "enjoying samsara" so much as having a more joyful mind.
:smile:


Impermanence causes joy, I think.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby theanarchist » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:58 pm

padma norbu wrote:
mandala wrote:I don't see it as you "enjoying samsara" so much as having a more joyful mind.
:smile:


Impermanence causes joy, I think.


It certainly does after a weekend of tooth ache.
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:51 pm

padma norbu wrote:
mandala wrote:I don't see it as you "enjoying samsara" so much as having a more joyful mind.
:smile:


Impermanence causes joy, I think.


Something like that...

SN 12.23 wrote:...conviction has stress & suffering as its prerequisite, joy has conviction as its prerequisite...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Northern Light » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:12 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:According to Gampopa, the first two (of four) obstacles to liberation are attachment to the things of this life, and attachment to the pleasures of samsara. So tread lightly in your enjoyment!


I Disagree.

As someone else said in this thread, you can be as happy as you can, going about daily life, as long as you understand the basic Buddhist teaching that nothing is permanent, and that you're not attached. So if you have a fantastic meal out with friends and feel happy, you have nothing to worry about unless you're thinking something like "I can't wait for this next week again, I hope we do this every week now". That would indicate attachment. But without the attachment, ENJOY AND BE HAPPY!

When I was new to Buddhism, I dismissed it after 3 months of getting too 'in to' reading people's viewpoints (which they tend to offer as 'fact') on forums like this, telling people 'how it is'. The opinions at that time were representing a really dark, depressing version of Buddhism.

Buddhism would not be a worthy endeavour if it made you miserable, depressed and sad! ....... Buddhism is about the opposite! Look at the Dalai Lama!

So be happy, be wise and do not feel guity for enjoying your life!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
Nichiren Buddhist.
My lifetime outlook: "...just take the good.... there is always bad..... but just take the good". :)
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Matt J » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:32 pm

I'm discovering there are two directions in Buddhism, and one does not necessarily exclude the other. There is the direction of breaking down, analyzing, and turning away from. Yet there is also the direction of embracing, accepting, and non-duality.

Personally, I found that dharma was very bitter in the beginning, but it is becoming much sweeter. I think overall, joy gets a bad reputation in some Buddhist circles. A Buddhist qi gong teacher once told me, very importantly, to enjoy my practice. Joy or piti is so important that the Buddha labeled it one of the seven factors of enlightenment. For me, it is a natural outgrowth of practice and a symptom of a mind that is more open and less clinging.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:27 am

Fazang 法藏 (643-712), the third patriarch of the Huayan school states:

《修華嚴奧旨妄盡還源觀》卷1:「觀色即空成大智而不住生死。觀空即色成大悲而不住涅槃。以色空無二。悲智不殊。」(CBETA, T45, no. 1876, p. 638, b1-3)
Contemplating that form is emptiness one attains great wisdom yet one does not abide in saṃsāra. Contemplating that emptiness is form one attains great compassion yet one does not abide in nirvāṇa. As form and emptiness are non-dual, compassion and wisdom are undifferentiated.


In the Mahāyāna model, one transforms existence as saṃsāra to existence as nirvāṇa.

Saṃsāra is to nirvāṇa as illness is to health. In the absence of the causes of suffering, you do not experience suffering, though as a bodhisattva you can intentionally and intelligently engage reality for the benefit of beings, and all the while feeling content and joyful. This is different from worldly happiness as it is unconditional.

Still, renunciation from worldly pleasures is perhaps necessary because of our addictions to them. If you are addicted to alcohol, for example, you should contemplate the faults of such substance abuse. This will aid in dropping a harmful addiction. Likewise, contemplating the faults and woes of worldly existence is necessary if you constantly attempt to build happiness on such unstable ground.

In my mind, as your slowly move from saṃsāric existence to nirvāṇic existence, one experiences less emotional extremes, which means an absence of both anger and happiness. Emotions stop owning you, so to speak, and one is naturally settled and content. If you understand the basics of emptiness, unconditional compassion should naturally emerge. Consequently, there is less and less unwholesome karma produced, and this means the ripening of wholesome karma as suffering gradually declines. This means the causes for suffering are reduced. Again, in the absence of those causes, you suffer less.

So it becomes not so much a matter of enjoying saṃsāra -- one does not enjoy suffering disease -- but simply eliminating the causes of the illness and producing a healthy state of mind, which is a sense of contentment.

From a more multi-life perspective there are other issues to deal with, like having to deal with the karma from past lives, but the first step to liberation is remedying the neurosis and suffering of this life. There will be greater progress if you are in a healthy state of mind. As an analogy, you don't win a marathon with diseased limbs. Likewise, you don't win liberation with a diseased mind.
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Re: enjoying samsara

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:17 pm

:good:

For sure there are things I used to do and care about, patterns I used to be involved with that today not only look uninviting, but I know were actually just burdensome, or downright unhealthy anyway.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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