Pete Mcr wrote:Exchange 'antiques' for books, and its pretty much me, or at least 11 years of me. I have often given up past paths, which could be enlightening if maintained, after becoming dissatisfied or, more often, distracted (by another path). The pattern is a constant, a constant tussle between pursuing a creative path or pursuing an intellectual/spiritual path (e.g. music vs philosophy, philosophy vs psychotherapy, one form of psychotherapy vs another). There is a strong part of me that wants something beyond 'ego', and I believe that I don't regret too many of these changes. But this pattern of giving up many paths could suggest I'm turning paths into ego entertainment. A concern is that I/my ego could do this next with Buddhism and that I'll find myself in that lost place again.
Anyone had a similar experience?
Yes, absolutely. I have given up previous religious paths, and the nagging self doubt that I have goes along with this question:
'did this path not work out for me because it wasn't right, or was it because I didn't try hard enough/stick with it long enough/etc?'
Like you, I have a hard time trusting that I will stick with Buddhism, even though right now this seems like the best place for me to be. I can rationally look at the things I tried before and see where the problems lay, plus I'm in a different place as a person now then I was then. Yet, I'm just not very good at trusting myself sometimes. However, even if I do change my mind later, as long as I learn something from this experience, then it will be worthwhile.
Sooo, rather than just ditch stuff, I think I need to follow through and stay resolute with a certain path, clear my plate, digest it, and go easy on starting several books on Buddhism all at once. How do people stay resolute, practically speaking? How do people give up giving up?
Now to make Chogyam Trungpa's words a beautiful antique rather than throwing them in a junk shop!
I love to read, so I do read a lot of Buddhist related books. However, previous experience tells me I need to make sure I don't get stuck in the trap of just reading. To avoid that pitfall, I started a daily routine. I get up early so that I have time to meditate before work. I light incense and candles, take refuge, sometimes chant the heart sutra, and then either meditate silently or practice nembutsu. I will silently recite nembutsu at other points in the day, but it depends on what's going on and where my head is at. But this way no matter what, every day I actually do something. It acts as an anchor of sorts. Then my reading takes on the role of being inspirational and motivational rather than the whole of what I do.