"Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

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"Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby padma norbu » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:37 pm

Can we explore this sentence a bit? Apparently, it comes from a Mahayana or Vajrayana teacher. I googled it and someone was attributing it to a Zen master. I fist heard it in the context of Vajrayana.

From the little I could find online, one person was saying that once you commit yourself to the Buddhist path, somehow this unleashes the floodgates in your personal experience, karma begins to ripen like a mofo and there can be a big upheaval in your psyche as a result of this. It can be quite painful. I don't know whether or not this is accurate, but that's why I'm here asking for opinions.

I can say that, for me, my life has always been rough. I suppose I thought that by following the Buddhist path my life would become easier since it is so sensible, but I have actually found that I am always learning and forgetting and struggling. Nothing has gotten any easier, I don't think. Just different.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: "Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:54 pm

Well...just responding to this...."karma begins to ripen like a mofo and there can be a big upheaval in your psyche as a result of this"

My experience is this is absolutely true. Our minds present our reality very basically. As we interpret reality through self ,when self be challenged, so seemingly in a way is our reality itself. So things hidden in our mindstream that were awaiting a period of cause to present will, when that circumstance presents, to elicit its appearence, they will begin to appear.

So threatening self appears, at a certain period of time, a reaction to that as concept(threat to self). That presents as a actual perceived reality with usually a negatively perceived thing. That thing reafirms in many fashion., Most habitual affirmations to self are, loss of any kind.... could be money, could be health, could be any number of things that we loose. In a conventional sense these appear as losses.

The flip side of that coin is however those very things may be used as a study in how they are not losses at all, and thusly with no perceived loss and thusly no protection of self concept they cease to serve function. A large part of our presentational reality is as means to affirm self strongly. Pain loss these things directly affirm self concept to our unbalanced minds.

With no function, if they, (appearences of loss), serve not that , as we are logially based congnizenses....they generally stop. Loss of a human life and things of that sort are based upon deeper things of the same thought.
If we entertain them(believe in them as real losses which require then self action).. of course they start again.

That best not to start stuff...I firmly believe if I'm not on a spiritual path I be ten or so years dead.
So I don't personally agree with that :smile:

Our lives and deaths our life stories if you will, serve basically to affirm our sense of self. That is how they are devised.
SElf, as result to this way of thinking as self, it may decide tomorrow or in the next second to end my perceived life. If I challenge without haveing a opposeing concept or true understanding, perhaps of.....this whole whole issue is unreal.... the death that occurs may be perceived negatively.
If fully understood, the death may not occur at this moment at all it serves not a logical purpose to self.

This is all theater to my personal way of thinking you see :smile:

As a aside of sorts....to my personal experience extream good fortune or luck, may present in the same fashion by self, especially to my opinion when the negatives mentioned (briefly) do not produce their anticipated by habit response, to affirm self in a individual life experience.
Then those may be seen as theater as well but since they work by perceived opposition, that may be more difficult to approach in the same manner depending upon ones habit.

It is the same. My druthers...best to aim for the middle in the conventional. Good or bad....oh well......theater.

I watch a good story............. the poor one, rich one, sick one, healthy one, one with many friends, or few friends, many family members or few, they may all be great great stories, to watch, if they are well thought, well made, and well presented, like a wish of a life story, as they say, wished to end up well....

.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: "Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby Paul » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:58 pm

I've heard it too, although I have no idea where it's originally from.

padma norbu wrote:From the little I could find online, one person was saying that once you commit yourself to the Buddhist path, somehow this unleashes the floodgates in your personal experience, karma begins to ripen like a mofo and there can be a big upheaval in your psyche as a result of this. It can be quite painful. I don't know whether or not this is accurate, but that's why I'm here asking for opinions.


This is certainly my experience. Life's anything but boring when you practice.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: "Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:52 pm

padma norbu wrote:From the little I could find online, one person was saying that once you commit yourself to the Buddhist path, somehow this unleashes the floodgates in your personal experience, karma begins to ripen like a mofo and there can be a big upheaval in your psyche as a result of this. It can be quite painful.


Nope this is a false belief. We don't realize how disturbed the mind is until we practice. This means when we start looking the at mind, we realize what we do and think is controlled by the karma of body, speech, and mind (greed, anger, and ignorance). We struggle because we are now trying to walk the path of Triple Jewels of Buddha-Dharma-Sangha or Awakened-Truth-Purity and not let the karma of body, speech,and mind walk us.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: "Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby padma norbu » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:01 am

LastLegend wrote:
padma norbu wrote:From the little I could find online, one person was saying that once you commit yourself to the Buddhist path, somehow this unleashes the floodgates in your personal experience, karma begins to ripen like a mofo and there can be a big upheaval in your psyche as a result of this. It can be quite painful.


Nope this is a false belief. We don't realize how disturbed the mind is until we practice. This means when we start looking the at mind, we realize what we do and think is controlled by the karma of body, speech, and mind (greed, anger, and ignorance). We struggle because we are now trying to walk the path of Triple Jewels of Buddha-Dharma-Sangha or Awakened-Truth-Purity and not let the karma of body, speech,and mind walk us.


I've thought of this, too. In fact, I've heard it before, actually. I don't know that I've ever heard it as a contradiction to the other view. I have heard Lama Pema at Nechung Foundation discuss former students who quit Buddhism and took up other religions and then said Allah or whoever has helped their life so much more than the dharma ever did because while they were Buddhists, they never had anything but misfortune and now they pray to Allah and they have a house and a great job, etc. Lama Pema laughed and said that he responded, "That's good!" but went on to explain (obviously) that it's not really good, it's only temporary benefit and that while we are on the Buddhist path we are "paying the bills" of our karmic debt. "We have to pay the bills," he said repeatedly.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: "Better not to start, once begun better to finish."

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:23 am

...and then said Allah or whoever has helped their life so much more than the dharma ever did because while they were Buddhists, they never had anything but misfortune and now they pray to Allah and they have a house and a great job, etc.
I worship you, you pay my rent (apologies to Pet Shop Boys) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d0GARTk_Nk
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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