Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:05 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 80 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:08 pm
Posts: 106
Location: UK
Epistemes wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Had you not practice dharma in the past, you would not be interested in it today.


Do you mean past lives, or 12 years ago when an ex-girlfriend gave me Steve Hagen's introduction for my birthday?

If the former, I don't believe you. I have no reason to, honestly, as I have no experience in that area. I also contend that because the nations are increasingly globalized, with greater ease of access to information, that it's much more difficult to avoid Dharma, plus there are a great deal of sociological and philosophical reasons for it catching on with so many people.

Right, especially for people in places like Africa, where most of peoples' only concern is how to get water, and maybe some food if possible. Not to mention children dying of malaria every 45 seconds.

It's sweet when we limit everything to own situation only, but the reality is far wider than that....

_________________
"Be Buddhist or be Buddha"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 683
Epistemes wrote:
dakini_boi wrote:
Read Chogyam Trungpa's book Crazy Wisdom. He talks about hopelessness in great detail. In fact, I found it difficult to read because I would rather read about deities and pure lands. But given your current process, I think you will find it useful and illuminating.


The great thing about Kindle is that someone says: you should read this, and I can go, buy it and start reading instantly. :thumbsup:


Good, let me know what you think.

Now to go back to your original question - your frustration shows you get what hopelessness is. However, you mislabeled that hopelessness as "Buddhism." What you consider hopeless - endless arbitrary life after life, as a human, a stinkbug, whatever - with no substantial identity connecting them - is actually a perfect Buddhist description of samsara.

Even if you don't attain enlightenment in this life - as you may be correct in stating that few practitioners do - if you practice sincerely, you will create causes to continue dharma practice in favorable conditions in future lives. This should give you a sense of hope.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
dakini_boi wrote:
The great thing about Kindle is that someone says: you should read this, and I can go, buy it and start reading instantly. :thumbsup:


Good, let me know what you think.

Now to go back to your original question - your frustration shows you get what hopelessness is. However, you mislabeled that hopelessness as "Buddhism." What you consider hopeless - endless arbitrary life after life, as a human, a stinkbug, whatever - with no substantial identity connecting them - is actually a perfect Buddhist description of samsara.

Even if you don't attain enlightenment in this life - as you may be correct in stating that few practitioners do - if you practice sincerely, you will create causes to continue dharma practice in favorable conditions in future lives. This should give you a sense of hope.[/quote]

I responded above - page 3 or so - and got at the heart of what troubles me: death. It's not samsara, it's not heaven/hell, it's not being interrogated by Osiris. What I said there, and I'll repeat it again here, is that dead is dead and death is separation from our loved ones, period. This should be all the more motivation to unattach ourselves from our loved ones and regard all life with equanimity, but I'm not there yet...so I despair. I completely agree with what everybody says here on a conceptual level - but the thought of renunciation (which isn't what anyone or thing has asked me to do) causes me to sob greatly. I practice, I study, I ask questions, I learn - but I'm my level of attachment to my environment is very strong. That's where I am, that's why I despair, that's why I fear death, that's why I blame Buddhism even if the accusations aren't sound in the least. It's all one great big vata disturbance.

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 452
Location: Denver, CO
Epistemes wrote:
I responded above - page 3 or so - and got at the heart of what troubles me: death. It's not samsara, it's not heaven/hell, it's not being interrogated by Osiris. What I said there, and I'll repeat it again here, is that dead is dead and death is separation from our loved ones, period.


You may find this interesting and perhaps even helpful.

My first instruction in Shamatha was with a meditation instructor who described meditation practice as a way to practice for our own death. We learn to let go of thoughts and emotions as they arise. We learn to stop clinging. Much of the suffering that accompanies the dying process is brought about by our clinging to life, to our feelings of love and affection for friends and family, to our fear of the the unknown, to our pain. Death is inevitable. It cannot be escaped. No matter what we do, we will die. It is certain. To hold out against the inevitable, to cling to life, even as it passes away brings great suffering. Better to let go. We learn to do this by meditating.


Quote:
This should be all the more motivation to unattach ourselves from our loved ones and regard all life with equanimity, but I'm not there yet...so I despair. I completely agree with what everybody says here on a conceptual level - but the thought of renunciation (which isn't what anyone or thing has asked me to do) causes me to sob greatly. I practice, I study, I ask questions, I learn - but I'm my level of attachment to my environment is very strong.



You aren't alone. To some degree or another we all share the same attachments and anxieties where if comes to family. The bonds are strong and not easily broken. So, in a way family causes the greatest suffering - the deepest, the sharpest, the most raw and painful suffer there is.

A couple examples. I've had to deal with an insanely disfunctional family situation for the better part of 40 years. It's largely my fault. I've lived in Colorado for 25 years. My immediate family is in Minnesota. In those twenty five years, my brother and sister have come to visit me a grand total of zero times. I don't know why. I've had people I barely knew come all the way from Europe to visit me, but my own flesh and blood can't be bothered. If you don't think that bugs the shit out of me about once an hour ....... the assholes won't even tell me why. My father an I had a few outstanding issues dating back to the beginning of this 40-year stretch of abject misery and we were never able to resolve them and put them to rest. He died a a couple years ago. Things between will never, of course, be resolved. These are, of course, attachments. They are the cause of suffering. I cling to this misery, even though the pain of it, borne out of this unspeakable love I have for them, is nearly unbearable. I can see the suffering it causes. I know where it comes from. Just the same, I can't let go of it.

So my friend you are not alone. My family situation probably isn't the same as your's, but it is the source suffering for us both.

Quote:
That's where I am, that's why I despair, that's why I fear death, that's why I blame Buddhism even if the accusations aren't sound in the least.


But that's why we can't dispair. It will drive us nuts. We have no need to fear death, either and if we do we have excellent tools and an excellent teacher to help us cope with that fear.

We can't blame Buddhism. We can't blame anyone or anything else. Our suffering is our own doing, but we can't even blame ourselves.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 683
Epistemes wrote:

I responded above - page 3 or so - and got at the heart of what troubles me: death. It's not samsara, it's not heaven/hell, it's not being interrogated by Osiris. What I said there, and I'll repeat it again here, is that dead is dead and death is separation from our loved ones, period. This should be all the more motivation to unattach ourselves from our loved ones and regard all life with equanimity, but I'm not there yet...so I despair. I completely agree with what everybody says here on a conceptual level - but the thought of renunciation (which isn't what anyone or thing has asked me to do) causes me to sob greatly. I practice, I study, I ask questions, I learn - but I'm my level of attachment to my environment is very strong. That's where I am, that's why I despair, that's why I fear death, that's why I blame Buddhism even if the accusations aren't sound in the least. It's all one great big vata disturbance.


I'm glad you realize it's illogical to blame Buddhism for the existence of death.

Renunciation only means letting go of what actually causes suffering. Neither relationships, nor pleasure, nor death cause suffering. If you have the courage to participate fully in life and relationships, at the same time acknowledging the inevitability of death - that is renunciation. It's impossible to "let go of attachment." Just continue to be courageous, honest, and open to possibilities that are completely incomprehensible to your limited mind. You are practicing dharma, and it is not always pleasant medicine.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 683
By the way - the emotional state that you describe - fear of death, despair, afflicted attachment - is a perfect, perhaps ideal, basis for taking refuge.

It doesn't mean that you let go of your attachments to things, as I said before, that is impossible.

What it means is that:

1. you recognize how your habits of attachment, aversion, and most importantly, ignorance, are causing you so much suffering (a process you describe very well)

2. you allow for the possibility of a state of being, Buddhahood, which is free from this kind of entrenched bullshit - at the same time being totally awake and compassionate.


Again, you don't have to let go of anything. om mani padme hung.

You can also take practical measures to pacify that unruly vata.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
Chaz wrote:
My first instruction in Shamatha was with a meditation instructor who described meditation practice as a way to practice for our own death. We learn to let go of thoughts and emotions as they arise. We learn to stop clinging. Much of the suffering that accompanies the dying process is brought about by our clinging to life, to our feelings of love and affection for friends and family, to our fear of the the unknown, to our pain. Death is inevitable. It cannot be escaped. No matter what we do, we will die. It is certain. To hold out against the inevitable, to cling to life, even as it passes away brings great suffering. Better to let go. We learn to do this by meditating.


Sometime last year, when I got fixated on the concept of death, when I really began to take a hard look at spirituality, I read the Dalai Lama's book titled Mind of Clear Light. You are probably familiar with it. It's one of my favorites, actually. I need to go back and read it.

In that book, he mentions something similar: that we should begin the practice of meditation and calming the mind now so that when death comes we are not left grasping at some ephemeral surface. He also recommends mindfulness at the moment of death - provided it's not a violent death. I think he says that if we are mindful at death, we will be more aware of our reincarnation.

Here's the thing about Buddhism that our ego hates: your faced with how absolutely uncontrollable 99.9% of the variables in life are. That .1% is mind. Which is amazing considering that if you can get a grip on that .1%, the other 99.9% comes into focus. This all comes as a rather big shock after nearly 30 years of being exposed to the concept of a permanent "place" called heaven. [Speaking of, not believing in heaven is among the unforgivable sins in Christianity because it's the result of despair which is the result of lack of belief in the Truth of the Holy Spirit.]

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm
Posts: 1014
Don't worry death is just a vicious rumor. No existence in the first place, nothing to affirm or deny.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
dakini_boi wrote:
By the way - the emotional state that you describe - fear of death, despair, afflicted attachment - is a perfect, perhaps ideal, basis for taking refuge.


How did you know I haven't taken refuge yet? All the doubt I've expressed?? :lol:

I won't go into too many details here, but I'm an incredibly fickle person. I mean, I think I'm sort of pissed at myself for jumping the Catholic ship like I did after investing so much time and energy into that. Of course, if it wasn't for Catholicism, I wouldn't be where I'm at now - I'd likely still be spending on my money on liquor, women, and really crappy heavy metal CDs. Ah, dependent origination at work there, I see.

I'm impressed by some of you on this forum. Some people here studied Buddhism for years before taking refuge. I admire that persistence. It's admirable to investigate every possible avenue before coming on board. My impetuousness has gotten me into trouble one too many times. One moment I think, "Dzogchen is it," then I reflect and consider that I really have no idea what I'm doing or talking about. What happens when the honeymoon period wears off? Do I go chasing after Santeria then? B'hai? I've been at this three months. Woo-freakin'-hoo. I have no basis for doing anything more than continuing to read, discuss and try to practice.

Quote:
You can also take practical measures to pacify that unruly vata.


Vimala is a wonderful medicine.

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
Epistemes wrote:

Vimala is a wonderful medicine.


Dharma is better. But sometimes the medicine does not appear to taste good.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm
Posts: 1014
Epistemes wrote:
What happens when the honeymoon period wears off?




Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 683
Epistemes wrote:
How did you know I haven't taken refuge yet? All the doubt I've expressed?? :lol:


I made no assumptions about whether or not you had ever taken refuge. Many practitioners take refuge repeatedly each day. Many also contemplate the "4 thoughts that turn the mind toward dharma" daily, prior to taking refuge. The point of the 4 thoughts is to provoke disillusionment, if not despair toward samsara. You seem to have a knack for despair and disillusionment, which is an asset when going for refuge.

Epistemes wrote:
I have no basis for doing anything more than continuing to read, discuss and try to practice.


That's wonderful. May all beings share your dedication to happiness. :smile:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
Namdrol wrote:
Epistemes wrote:

Vimala is a wonderful medicine.


Dharma is better. But sometimes the medicine does not appear to taste good.


I agree, but:

"It's no good building a new crystal cage out of the [Buddhist] teachings. However beautiful it might be, it's still a cage[.]"
--Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am
Posts: 12736
Epistemes wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Epistemes wrote:

Vimala is a wonderful medicine.


Dharma is better. But sometimes the medicine does not appear to taste good.


I agree, but:

"It's no good building a new crystal cage out of the [Buddhist] teachings. However beautiful it might be, it's still a cage[.]"
--Chogyal Namkhai Norbu



You have apparently mistaken me for a dogmatist.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm
Posts: 1014
See, before you find out if everything is hopeless, it's far more important to ask if it's froody.


Last edited by Karma Dondrup Tashi on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm
Posts: 432
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Don't worry death is just a vicious rumor. No existence in the first place, nothing to affirm or deny.


We never see things changing, only ending or starting. It comes with this neat human built-in pattern of duality. Vision 2.0. There might even be an app for it. Fortunately, liberation is real, and attainable. Ever kicked a bad habit? Speaking of habit... this "I" thing is exactly that. Fear not, you have to be or do nothing, just be with yourself and observe, in everything you do, just notice.

Death is a huge motif of life's landscapes, because it's structurally part of life's arising... see 12 links of DO. What arises, ceases. That which does not arise, does not cease. Just a thought.

:namaste:
D. Ogyen

_________________
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am
Posts: 1069
Epistemes, your one funny dude!

getting these old stuffy buddhists underpants in a twist and all bunched up..

i mean one can only really show respect for something once it makes sense in ones DNA, until then, its just lip service. no one here has not been there at some stage or another. just keep going with that energy you have.

:namaste:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am
Posts: 821
We humans are the ones that are hopeless until we turn to the Dharma


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm
Posts: 432
Heruka wrote:
Epistemes, your one funny dude!

getting these old stuffy buddhists underpants in a twist and all bunched up..

i mean one can only really show respect for something once it makes sense in ones DNA, until then, its just lip service. no one here has not been there at some stage or another. just keep going with that energy you have.

:namaste:



underpants are made to be twisted and bunched up. that's what they're there for. It's so stuffy buddhists can ALSO realize emptiness..

:rolling:

_________________
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:45 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
Ogyen wrote:
underpants are made to be twisted and bunched up. that's what they're there for. It's so stuffy buddhists can ALSO realize emptiness..
And all this time I thought they were for keeping the s**t and p*ss and other bodily fluids off ones pants! That's what I like about this site: you learn something new every day! :tongue:

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 80 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kunzang and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group