Greatly confused.

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:29 pm

Gee, where to even begin?

After a certain depression of mine, I threw myself into Buddhism. Being philosophical in nature, deep in thoughts and far from being materialistic, for me, it fit the bill quite nicely.

And boy did it helped. It started so simple at first! Concentrate on the now, realize nothing is permanent, realize that the "self" is, indeed, an illusion. Comprehending those things was one thing, practising it, another. I had occasional slips here and there, "unskillful" moments so to speak... but I had made great progress.

Though, that's where things became complicated for me. "Desire" would be what troubles me the most. It doesn't have this... distinctive shape that would allow me to grasp and fully understand what it truly means. It fluctuate and no matter how many websites I've been reading on, not a single one tells them same story.

From there I wondered, just how far should I be pushing my training as a Buddhist toward complete detachment? Free from desires which, apparently, causes us a great deal of harm?

I still enjoy casual sex once in a while with some acquaintances of mine. I still take this occasional joint with my friends once a month or something (not out of addiction, need to decompress, meditate or to aid me on my quest for enlightenment or anything, but simply out of good fun.) I don't see harm in any of those acts (given we use a THC vaporizer as well); I don't become belligerent, angry, violent or anything either when I'm high.

I don't get into any conflicts in those sexual activities of mine either given both me and him are perfectly consensual and concious about our acting.

Though, with that been said, most people will conclude that the path for enlightenment in my case might seem impossible due to those apparently "bad" habits of mine which, on my opinion, are completely harmless. (Perhaps they are not, but that's beside the point I'm about to make.)

My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train.

I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.
Last edited by Demetrius on Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Tenzin & Söpa » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:39 pm

Hello Demetrius,

reading your story I was reminded of these words from HH the Dalai Lama:

Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist: use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are


:smile:
ཁོང་ཁྲོ་སློང་མཁན་མེད་ན། བཟོད་པ་སུ་ལ་སྒོམ།

When there is no one to provoke anger, how shall we practice patience?
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:47 pm

*snort* The worst part is... I actually remember hearing him saying that. Yet... for some reason, easily forgot about it. As I said, I did make progress in life. I became a LOT more aware of my doings, circumstances and the like.

I guess I just feel guilty for not being able to reach this fabled final step that is enlightenment. I've always been hard on myself.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Tenzin & Söpa » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:00 pm

Demetrius wrote:I guess I just feel guilty for not being able to reach this fabled final step that is enlightenment.


Some time ago I was really frustrated with something I couldn't grasp. The harder I tried, the least it made sense. That's when I stumbled upon this short story:

One of the devotees in the temple was well known for his zealousness and effort. Day and night he would sit in meditation, not stopping even to eat or sleep. As time passed, he grew thinner and more exhausted. The master of the temple advised him to slow down, to take more care of himself. But the devotee refused to heed his advice.

"Why are you rushing so, what is your hurry?" asked the master.

"I'm after enlightenment," replied the devotee, "there is no time to waste."

"And how do you know," asked the master, "that enlightenment is running on before you, so that you have to rush after it? ...Perhaps it is behind you - and all you need to encounter it is to stand still. ...But you're running away from it!"


:smile:
ཁོང་ཁྲོ་སློང་མཁན་མེད་ན། བཟོད་པ་སུ་ལ་སྒོམ།

When there is no one to provoke anger, how shall we practice patience?
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:05 pm

Image

Deep.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby smcj » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:05 pm

One of the reasons I'ma "gradualist" is that I've found making a little progress reduces my suffering and makes me happier. Becoming happier is good enough reason for me to continue. If at some point in the unforeseen future there is a goal line, then so be it.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Zhen Li » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:31 pm

I think every Buddhist can relate to your experience Demetrius.

Even monks enjoy themselves from time to time, usually within the limits of their vows.

I think one of the major influences upon what actions we choose to make is the environment. What is your environment like in terms of Buddhism? Do you go to a temple?

While every temple is different, you might find that immersing yourself in a Buddhist environment is like a breath of fresh air, where not only is the place positive in outlook but there aren't negative influences on your action. One of my favourite things to do is temporary ordination, and many temples do this for a few days to few years. Some people travel to Asia just to do this. Not only does it really make your mind feel great, but it's good karma and can help you understand more how environment influences your behaviour.

See, one of the issues with studying Buddhism as a lay person is that the sutras are almost always directed at monastics, and so naturally the expectations one will get from reading them will be high. If you only read the sutras directed at lay people, you will see that the expectations are perhaps even lower than what most Buddhist lay people hold themselves to! And the Mahayana ones directed at lay people naturally are even more flexible to environments. As regards the actions you fear are un-Buddhist, the question I would have is, have you taken the five precepts?

If you have taken the five precepts, your sexual activities aren't sexual misconduct as per the description of sexual misconduct in the texts, which rather refers to cases in which a woman is "under protection" of someone else, i.e. illicit sex. Smoking marijuana may be only considered medicine depending on the interpretation of the fifth precept, which strictly speaking refers to fermented liquors. What I would simply say with regards to marijuana is, it is illegal to possess and traffic in most jurisdictions, and likely in yours (I assume of course), so why break the law just for fun? Sure, many laws don't have corresponding precepts, but breaking laws is an issue in and of itself - it has it's own karma and consequences.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby reddust » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:39 pm

Demetrius wrote:
My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train.

I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.


Demetrius,
Why not take this as your next practice and investigation? I hit the same wall. My story is different in the details but basically I am where you are. What next? So figured I would use this has my meditation subject :namaste:
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Punya » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:28 pm

Demetrius wrote: My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train.

I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.


Wow, you really have got yourself in a knot - as many of us do from time to time. :smile:

I don't know what tradition you practice in, but every time I talk to my Nyingma teacher (and a teacher is a really good idea) he basically says one thing - give up expectations. Just keep practicing, whatever comes up whether you label it good or bad, just keep going. Just by noticing stuff, whether on or off the cushion, things will change. Stop trying to fix things. Things might not change as quickly as you'd like but they do change (in my case very, very slowly).

The point is not worldly happiness (although I have to say I, not so secretly, hope for a little of this too) but enlightenment and, if not in this lifetime, then a future one. In our new body we may not be conscious of past lives but if we do our best to purify our subtle mind now we can send it forth (so to speak) to benefit others in future lives. Cultivating a bodhicitta mind is therefore essential.

In terms of enjoying samsara there's a good thread running here viewtopic.php?f=34&t=15037

And, BTW, welcome to Dharmawheel. :hi:
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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:53 am

Zhen Li wrote: Sure, many laws don't have corresponding precepts, but breaking laws is an issue in and of itself - it has it's own karma and consequences.


Actually in Canada it's only illegal to sell it. Plus, if I were to live in Jamaica, odds are this whole reasoning wouldn't quite apply. I'm less concerned by the concept of "law and order" established by man and more about my own benefits/consequences in the act and what type of karma would get out of it. There's... MANY thing I've considered before even accepting to take that stuff.

#1: We're using a vaporizer. It basically extract the THC (the funny stuff) out of the canabis, leaving behind virtually all the residues. In other terms, a walk in a big polluted city would be far more harmful to breath than that. You may want to google it as I did as I was pretty doubtful myself at first.

#2: I don't buy it. It's given to me out of good will by my friend who I've know for ages. So I don't spend a dime on it. (neither does he; he grows his own stuff for personal use.)

#3: I am not even remotely addicted to that stuff. I don't depend on it to pull myself out of a dilemma or to have a "fix" or anything like that. And I don't delude myself that it will help me either. I see it for what it is; something fun. Fleeting, maybe, impermanent, obviously. But I don't feel a hole nor a void in me when the effect wears off. If anything, I laugh at the good time I had with my friend playing videogames/watching movie whilst laughing at the dumbest of things.

#4: Even under the influence of the substance, I'm still lucid enough to do anything stupid or that I know I'd normally regret. (Some may argue that I don't :shrug: honestly I can say I'm still there enough to keep part of my head on my shoulders.)
#5: Heck, I even eat fruits when I get the case of munchies. :popcorn:

So yeah. If being skilful in your un-skilfulness was even possible, that'd be it I suppose? :lol:

Punya wrote:I don't know what tradition you practice in...


Honestly, I'm not sure myself. I'm like a pianist that never really learned to read a music sheet. I try to broad my ways of learning as much as possible and avoid confining myself to one way of practice or teachings, though, I still obviously learned the basic, the four noble truths as well as the eigthfold path, for example (derp). However, I do tend to find Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings and insights to be... well, very insightful. His ways of doing things in (zen)Buddhism resonates very well with me.

reddust wrote:So figured I would use this has my meditation subject


That's something I tend to find slightly confusing as well... aside breath concentration visualization and certain mantras... I get a hard time imagining how one can basically "brainstorm" on a problem, so to speak, while meditating. I tend to avoid thinking too much, otherwise I get distracted and disrupt the calmness I build up...


Also, thank you for the warm welcome everyone!
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby reddust » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:09 am

Demetrius wrote:
reddust wrote:So figured I would use this has my meditation subject


That's something I tend to find slightly confusing as well... aside breath concentration visualization and certain mantras... I get a hard time imagining how one can basically "brainstorm" on a problem, so to speak, while meditating. I tend to avoid thinking too much, otherwise I get distracted and disrupt the calmness I build up...


Also, thank you for the warm welcome everyone!


When confusion and discontent (as sensation within the body/mind) come up I use vipaśyanā method of meditation and watch with equanimity. I don't brainstorm :namaste: Link I think the site is kosher, I like the data it carries.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:14 am

Demetrius, thanks for your reply. I'll just respond to your reply to my comments. Of course, I am no one to tell you what you should do, I am just a concerned guy, and I don't want you to get into trouble.

Firstly, as I am also in Canada, I know that possession is illegal. Under 30g is a summary conviction and over is indictment. You can still get a criminal record, in theory, of course everyone knows that police do not enforce possession laws in Canada. I have never done marijuana, because, as a rule, I think that the law should be respected - it is made by men, but so are the Buddhist precepts, and so is your body. You make the choice by your own free will whether you want to live an ordered life according to principles, or disordered life according to whim. I know that this is really not considered serious in Canada, and I could go on, but all I will say is, take care, and be careful. In the end, I can only suggest you don't do it, but yes of course there are worse things you could do.

Secondly, I know you will probably dismiss me here too, but there really isn't the same amount of research done on Marijuana as there is on other drugs. This is because there are too many legal issues surrounding research on the topic, that most medical professionals, except those with a particular interest, will choose to research something which doesn't have as many hoops to jump through. However, if you have the option, I would recommend ingesting it physically in pill or baked goods form rather than inhaling it. This is because I think we're far from conclusive in terms of research results with both burned forms and vaporized forms, that for your own safety, you might want to consider alternative forms of ingestion if possible. Of course, it's just a precaution. After all, proponents of marijuana argue that it is medicinal, but people don't inhale aspirin because regardless of whether it gets in you that way or not, inhaling stuff which we haven't done enough research about the inhalement of is a risk. To use an analogy, we don't know if cell phones actually interfere with airline equipment because there are too many models for the airline companies to research, but just to be safe they ban the use of them all because the research hasn't been done. I'd recommend the same precaution. (Also, if you are under 21, I would also recommend waiting until you are over 21 before you use it, to avoid the possible risk of developing psychotic illnesses or schizophrenia.)

As for being addicted, I don't believe in real addiction anyway, so I believe you when you say you aren't addicted. Likewise, I know you probably won't do anything stupid on cannabis, since usually it just makes people giggly and happy (I presume, but of course I wouldn't know). But of course, I'd recommend against using it in this regard (just as a precaution again), because it may possibly lower your IQ if you use it for your entire lifetime (of course, there's no conclusive research either way, just correlations).

If you read this, I hope you won't hate me. I'm just hoping you don't take too many risks, one or two from time to time can be fun (but a lifetime of risk of course is not rational).

Take care,
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:02 am

Oh. Here I was told that it was lega-*ahem* Oh well anyway, that's beside my point ayway XD. Honestly, laws made by man or not, I still try and look at them by taking a few steps back and actually wonder it if makes any sense. In Kansas there's a law that prohibits catching fishes with you bare hands. (I kid you not).

All I know and all people should know, in my opinion, is that this stuff, few plants of it, are growing calmly in a basement without hurting anyone. Not even sold or dealt with any pusher or any hazy business. Sure! I guess if a police storms it out at random, decides to head downstairs, without a warrant, then we might be in for some trouble and bad Karma. :lol:

And as for breathing THC vapors, all I can say is that I train; I do cardio, as a matter of fact. Lots of it. And if anything; the first symptoms of dirty lungs are coughing, sore throat, loss of breath (either long after, like a full year later or just after consumption.) And all I can say is that I experienced -absolutely- none of these. Not even slightly. Same time, same performance. As for IQ drop, usually if you take that stuff each day instead of... once a month or so, like me, you only get that on the short term (while the effect lasts). If you abuse of the substance, then that's another story. It's said that people fully recover from the dim-witting effects nonetheless on the long run, but I wouldn't push it on that since I take that stuff responsibly.

And comon! Opinions differ. And either it's me or you calling that duck over there a chicken, I don't care XD. No way I'd get worked up over that.

If anything, by stating my points I somehow cleared my own mind of all those confusions I had on this subject... which is slightly starting to get off topic however, I'll admit.

So thanks a lot! :twothumbsup:

Oh and P.S: I'm 23
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:33 pm

In buddhism there is no "oh this is a sin, you are not allowed to do it" with a set of commandments.

You are invited to observe your actions and according to their carmic consequences, you can jugde for yourself, you can decide to engage in something or not.

The consumption of mind altering drugs (I personally don't think THC is here worse than getting drunk with alcohol, as the state of mind that is induced has similarities) will probalby stems from and causes a habit of enjoying dull states of mind. Now what is something that is not helping if you want to seriously meditate. It might also cause a tendency to be more likely reborn in the animal realm as this is associated with ignorance/a dull mind.

Since you use it so infrequently, I'm not sure how big those influences are but since you do it on a somewhat regular basis it will probably have some, however minor influence.

If you want to venture into Tibetan buddhism, it is said that substances like these will clog your energy body. Some years ago I was attending a teaching where the master said that you can't do Phowa (transferrence of consciousness) if you are using stuff like that.

Now if you are on a buddhist path your goal is obviously the fully awakened state. So on the way there you have to and will give up drugs eventually at some point (or have you ever seen a statue/painting of the buddha smoking a joint :tongue: )
On the other hand ON THE PATH it is not expected of the followers of that path to be always and in all situation perfect. A lot of buddhists DO occasionally tella lie, they ARE occasionally behaving selfish or aggressive etc, so it is apparent that giving up every unholesome action is really hard to do.

It could also very well be that with growing meditation experience the state of being stoned becomes less and less desirable and that will eventually cause you to seek these situations less and less unless you one day quit.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:40 pm

Demetrius wrote:
My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train..


"The longest yourney begins with the first step" I don't know where this saying comes from


Just imagine you had begun to really sersiously practice 3893489376 lifetimes ago. Then you might be enlightened by now. So obviously you missed it back then. Now is that a reason to not start now?

And by the way, you might have practiced in past life times and are not at step one right now. That you ask all those questions now shows that very likely you have been involved with dharma before.


Oh and about the sex. It is not expected of lay people to live celibately (otherwise in buddhist countries humand would die out :tongue: ). And there is not a rule about marriage in buddhism, so sex with a person you are not married with is not seen as unethical, as long as it's concensual.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:49 pm

Demetrius wrote:I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.


Don't worry. I have seen a few people with unhealthy,neurotic renounciation trips in the name of religion, that were harming themselves a lot more than you do with your once a month a joint and sex policy. :twothumbsup: .


Demetrius wrote:
Though, that's where things became complicated for me. "Desire" would be what troubles me the most. It doesn't have this... distinctive shape that would allow me to grasp and fully understand what it truly means. It fluctuate and no matter how many websites I've been reading on, not a single one tells them same story..



You are describing the normal human condition. The fact that you have this simply means you are a regular human being. The fact that you can see clearly that this is a problem already sets you apart from the masses of people who don't.

Now to expect that buddhism has a quick fix for this is completely unrealistic. It's rather that the various buddhist methods slowly slowly erode it away if applied for long enough. During that time, unless you are substantially progressed on the path it's not expected that you don't have these. The rules of ethic conduct in buddhism are there to help you channel those urges in a way that they don't become harmful for others and yourself until one day in the future you don't have them anymore.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby Demetrius » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:03 pm

@theanarchist

Like I said, I wouldn't want this to get off-topic, but unlike alcohol, I'm a lot calmer, composed and in control of my actions when I'm high rather then when I'm drunk. Secondly, I don't get hangover. Thirdly, since there's no after-effects aside the munchies, meditating is perfectly possible the day after.

Hence why I barely drink any alcohol; if I get too far down the road with that stuff, I get a head ache right after... which is the worst for meditation.

Honestly, I don't feel it have... a lick of influence over me. And I'm mindful enough to realize that. Perhaps at some point I'll lose interest in it because of that as I meditate and get further on the path of enlightenment? Who knows. It's just that so far it's not hindering me in any conceivable way.


So yeah! Thank you all for your support! It did give me lots insight on my current situation which I believe will become quite useful! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:40 pm

People have the idea that in order to practice Buddhism you have to stop doing all the things you like doing.
But deprivation is not what the Buddha taught.
This is not what detachment means.
You asked,
"...is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfillment... yet I seem to be missing the train."


Buddha never spoke about enlightenment.
He only taught the perfect cessation of suffering,
and the causes of suffering:
All beings want to have lasting happiness
but they rely on things which are not lasting
and so, their happiness goes as quickly as it arrives, and they crave more.
Around and around and around.

Suffering is simply the constantly unsatisfied, always carving state of mind.
That's all suffering really is.
But what the mind wants, ultimately, is to be satisfied, perfectly at peace.
Being at peace, free from craving, is the mind's natural state.
That's what people call enlightenment.

The perfect end of suffering is the cessation of craving.
But if you try to force it, it won't work.
That's where you are "missing the train".
Denying the things that make you happy won't bring happiness!
Sakyamuni tried that and almost starved to death.

So, have sex, enjoy a good meal, smoke a joint, do what you enjoy,
just don't expect temporary things to bring lasting happiness
or you'll be miserable.
That's what detachment means.
Enjoy things, and then let them go.
if you want to give up everything, and push yourself a little harder,
then become a monk.
otherwise, stop torturing yourself!

If you want to find something that will bring lasting happiness
then you have to work with the source of happiness itself
which is with your own mind.
So, that's what meditation and other practices are for,
so you can realize your mind's own true nature
naturally free from craving (desire) not forced.

You can easily do this
and attain perfect peace of mind (enlightenment)
in your lifetime.
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby LastLegend » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:10 am

Demetrius wrote:My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train.

I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.


Who told you that you can't be a realized Buddha in this lifetime? I think you don't know that.

Is the teaching not about abandoning all attachments?

They’re not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions. They’re no different from things that appear in your dreams at night, be they palaces or carriages, forested parks or lakeside ‘lions. Don’t conceive any delight for such things. They’re all cradles of rebirth. Keep this in mind when you approach death. Don’t cling to appearances, and you’ll break through all barriers. A moment’s hesitation and you’ll be under the spell of devils. Your real body is pure and impervious. But because of delusions you’re unaware of it. And because of this you suffer karma in vain. Wherever you find delight, you find bondage. But once you awaken to your original body and mind," you’re no longer bound by attachments.

And what are the three lower states? They’re where those who persist in poisoned thoughts and evil deeds are born. Those whose karma from greed is greatest become hungry ghosts. Those whose karma from anger is greatest become sufferers in hell. And those whose karma from delusion is greatest become beasts. These three lower states together with the previous three higher states form the six states of existence. From this you should realize that all karma, painful or otherwise, comes from your own mind. If you can just concentrate your mind and transcend its falsehood and evil, the suffering of the three realms and six states of existence will automatically disappear. And once free from suffering, you’re truly free. But the Buddha said, "Only after undergoing innumerable hardships for three asankhya kalpas did I achieve enlightenment," Why do you now say that simply beholding the mind and over-coming the three poisons is liberation?

The words of the Buddha are true. But the three-asankhya kalpas refer to the three poisoned states of mind. What we call asankhya in Sanskrit you call countless. Within these three poisoned states of mind are countless evil thoughts, And every thought lasts a kalpa. Such an infinity is what the Buddha meant by the three asankhya kalpas, Once the three poisons obscure your real self, how can you be called liberated until you overcome their countless evil thoughts? People who can transform the three poisons of greed, anger, and delusion into the three releases are said to pass through the three-sankhya kalpas. But people of this final age are the densest of fools. They don’t understand what the Tathagata really meant by the three-asankhya kalpas. They say enlightenment is only achieved after endless kalpas and thereby mislead disciples to retreat on the path to Buddhahood.


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NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Greatly confused.

Postby AlexanderS » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:42 pm

Demetrius wrote:Gee, where to even begin?

After a certain depression of mine, I threw myself into Buddhism. Being philosophical in nature, deep in thoughts and far from being materialistic, for me, it fit the bill quite nicely.

And boy did it helped. It started so simple at first! Concentrate on the now, realize nothing is permanent, realize that the "self" is, indeed, an illusion. Comprehending those things was one thing, practising it, another. I had occasional slips here and there, "unskillful" moments so to speak... but I had made great progress.

Though, that's where things became complicated for me. "Desire" would be what troubles me the most. It doesn't have this... distinctive shape that would allow me to grasp and fully understand what it truly means. It fluctuate and no matter how many websites I've been reading on, not a single one tells them same story.

From there I wondered, just how far should I be pushing my training as a Buddhist toward complete detachment? Free from desires which, apparently, causes us a great deal of harm?

I still enjoy casual sex once in a while with some acquaintances of mine. I still take this occasional joint with my friends once a month or something (not out of addiction, need to decompress, meditate or to aid me on my quest for enlightenment or anything, but simply out of good fun.) I don't see harm in any of those acts (given we use a THC vaporizer as well); I don't become belligerent, angry, violent or anything either when I'm high.

I don't get into any conflicts in those sexual activities of mine either given both me and him are perfectly consensual and concious about our acting.

Though, with that been said, most people will conclude that the path for enlightenment in my case might seem impossible due to those apparently "bad" habits of mine which, on my opinion, are completely harmless. (Perhaps they are not, but that's beside the point I'm about to make.)

My question is... is Buddhism worth practising knowing enlightenment may very well never be achieved in your lifetime? What's the point? Apparently enlightenment is the pinnacle of happiness and life fulfilment... yet I seem to be missing the train.

I literally feel like a failure not being able to push myself any further.


Do you practice in a tradition? Being connected to a linage/tradition, teacher and sangha may help you to give you more direction and guidance. I don't think you should feel guilty about enjoying the good things in life.
AlexanderS
 
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