I change my underwear everyday... is that bad?
Not as long as you wash too! LOL
It seems like a long list, but it spans around 45 years from my early teens, and maybe longer if you include mercenary stints as a choirboy! LOL
I think I found something of value in all of my 'spiritual' experiences and it is very hard to say that suddenly I found the light and ditched all prior influences on the mind. I'm not sure you can do that anyway. Karma creates Vipaka.
On a few occasions I definitely moved away from something unwholesome, and on other occasions I definitely moved towards something I found attractive. Most of the changes which have been most beneficial were the result of causes and conditions coming together to drop an opportunity in my lap. However, for the most part, all the experiences were beneficial in terms of developing compassion, tackling the 3 poisons and especially in that immeasurable feeling of bliss and unity with all life.
I think the mind has things revealed to it and it is also able to be trained to stabilise and abide in those states which are revealed.
Of course this thread was prompted by Malcolm, who received some positive and some negative responses to his announcement, name change etc. I wonder to what extent some of the negative comments were made through fear by some that a weakness was exposed in their own path, created a feeling of insecurity, and that they felt affronted that what they currently practise has been set aside by someone else.
My list was full of 'I' rather than 'mind', relating the experiences in everyday language, but 'mindfulness' is really what it is all about. It's easy to become comfortable and chant a sadhana on autopilot, so sometimes it is good to take a break, try a different avenue, and return. Sometimes, however, going back is of no value at all and we should move on.
I also have sympathy with a person's expression of 'mind' in terms of 'Dharma' rather than 'isms'. When did I stop becoming a pagan celtic practitioner and when did I become a 'Buddhist'. 'I' may give myself a label but 'mind' is not bounded by such arbitrary divisions so in being mindful of changes I don't think we need to become attached to what defines a 'self' as if there is a static mind we can slap a sticker onto which says 'Buddhist'.
Apologies, rambling. LOL
What happens to you when you change a 'position'? Politicians have to persouade voters, but we all have friends and fellow practitioners who may be upset by changes.
Do you feel a need to justify it or are you able to ignore other people's views on your change?
If we justify it, do we do that for the benefit of others or to make ourselves feel more comfortable and secure in our decision?