If you were to "Begin all over again today"...

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Re: If you were to "Begin all over again today"...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:53 pm

Yudron wrote:As it is, I hope to regain my energy, concentration, and determination to practice--which have been lagging a bit due to changing circumstances in my life. Also, to stay awake and present more often during the day. To really take all of the teachings I have received to heart, and be more humble, joyful, and simple. To be able to help sentient beings, somehow...


This really strikes a chord with me.
I find that dharma "practice" (I mean, time devoted to meditation, 'ritual' activity, etc.)
seems, for me anyway, to move in cycles.
Very concentrated for a while, then a bit less, and even ignored for a while.
Then I realize how much I need to practice and the pendulum swings back.
All my teachers say this is not a good strategy. You can't get momentum going.
It's like taking a road trip and stopping at every rest stop to buy postcards.

At the advice of a friend, I have begun to do full prostrations again as part of my morning routine.
This, after I stopped doing ngondro about 17 years ago, after only 11,000 prostrations.

But I think what happens is that we tend to store up a lot of "dharma engery" or something
...is it "merit"? I don't know, but it is somehow separate from the mundane concerns of the world,
something builds up internally, and we want to connect it with what is external.
It's like being someone who invents a new flying machine, who spends a year locked in the laboratory,
totally focused on the project,
and then later takes it outside to see if it will fly or not.
And it flies and it flies and the person flies off far away, and then the wings snap off,
and the person has to go all the way back to the laboratory and work on it some more.

So, the question,
"If you were to "Begin all over again today"
...I think that problem comes up a lot!!

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: If you were to "Begin all over again today"...

Postby PorkChop » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:06 pm

Sherlock wrote:If you are a deluded being on Earth the amount of good you can do is still quite limited. Of course while we live we should try to benefit other beings as much as possible, but for maximum effect, one should aim to be enlightened before one can liberate others.


There, fixed that for you.

We should be helping others whenever we can; if for no other reason than to help with the accumulation stage. (Personally, I find aspirations of true altruism much more inspiring.)

This world has a long history of individuals completely shaking up society, both for good and for bad.
Might as well try.

After 2600 years of Buddhism we could assume that there are some Bodhisattvas out there that may need some extra bodies to help with the leg work and that if our intentions are good, they'll help guide.

The Lam Rim talks about wishes for a higher rebirth being the aspirations of those with low capacities.
Not sure how definitively I should take this statement, but a local monk mentioned in a talk once that aspirations to escape the Saha world and be reborn in a Pure Land were consistent with the aspirations of those with low capacities.
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Re: If you were to "Begin all over again today"...

Postby Zenda » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:50 pm

If you were to "Begin all over again today," and commit to a comprehensive and serious study of Tibetan Buddhism today, How would you proceed? Would you, immediately relocate and join a specific community? Seek access to a specific Guru? As a layperson or as a nun or monk? Remember you are a begginner. Would charitable works be important to you or would you focus more on study, meditation/retreats or both? Are there communities/teachers who futures you see as especially bright and relevant in bringing the Dharma to the west and is this important to you? Finally, If for reasons of family or work you were unable to relocate, would you begin with online/homestudy classes from FPMT, Nalandabodhi, your choice, etc?


I think it's really difficult to be proscriptive about the path because everyone has different needs and karmic conditioning. The only advice I can think of is to tell people to check your motivation for practice, find a method that resonates, and keep at it consistently. And relax... I don't mean spacing out or blissing out; I mean not trying so hard that you block off avenues of discovery. Again and again I've been reminded that learning and growing in practice means letting go of my ideas about things and my agenda about how it will happen.

The best teacher and organization, I think, is the one that you connect with and whom you feel has the qualities of bodhicitta and whom you trust. It's good too if this person or organization is not afraid to challenge your assumptions; i think that in order to grow we have to go beyond our parochial views. I don't see any one group or teacher as better than another because it depends on a student's needs and proclivities. Try to avoid charlatans though.

Hope that's a little helpful.
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Re: If you were to "Begin all over again today"...

Postby muni » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:00 pm

I should "listen" to guidance how to eat my soup.

There is the story of the independent self who is collecting knowledges and so is trying to find something very high and far away in the special environment........of his/her own dreams.

Again?

Therefore to be openminded and not locked in my chatter, for wisdom can point/guide/shake my dream, so that there is no exhausted seeking in the dream woods of my concepts and opinions.

Guiding wisdom, not part of my dream, inviting out of the selfcreated dream.

Guiding wisdom to point me not to swallow or hold on the silver or goldon spoon for my soup, but to know how to use.

Chattering again... :rolleye:

:namaste:
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