What are common mistakes that beginners make?

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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:43 pm

Feeling the need to declare their Buddhist faith, lineage affiliation and guru to even the most passing acquaintances.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby duckfiasco » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:26 pm

Here are just a few of the things I've run into and continue to deal with :)


Getting constantly sidetracked in search of new and interesting Buddhist tidbits.

Feeling like you understand a teaching right away.

Giving up too easily.

Viewing frustration and impatience as impediments.

Using Dharma as a kind of war plan for battling yourself and your habits.

Missing the constant opportunities there are for practice. If something seems mundane, you aren't paying attention :)


I'm sure there are many other ways we make things hard for ourselves :tongue:

Peace :heart:
Namu Amida Butsu
Amida gathers over the dry heart and sends living rains; the earth he covers in hands to bear up our steps; in each dark and bright place is written his Name for us to find. Wonderful, wonderful!
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:36 pm

Always chasing the carrot of the next, better empowerment. On second thought, this isn't just limited to beginners.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby seeker242 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:44 pm

1: Thinking that your mind is supposed to go completely blank in meditation and if it doesn't, then you are "failing" at meditation practice.

2: Not doing any meditation but thinking that everything can be resolved just by thinking about stuff.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:38 am

:smile:
You can tell the beginners because they are so deadly serious about their new-found "Buddhisim".
(joke)

A lot of the things mentioned already come ....in my opinion....from one source.
That is the "I am" ego attitude they show.
Like "I am":
+ meditating a whole (insert number here) hours every week.
+ spending (insert number here) hours a week studying the writings/teachings of (insert name here)
+ and "I am" a "follower" of (insert name here) who is my personal teacher.

and so on.

But the most important thing the new comers have to learn...and to be fair most eventually do learn....is that their experience in finding "Buddhisim" is not a unique experience. They need to unlearn that "I am" ego attitude regarding being a "Buddhist".
They need to understand they are not the first people to go there, others have been there before them.
Usually, they do....but sometimes not before they make a fool of themselves in their new found enthusiasim.
I think we've all been there before ourselves....at least I was.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:24 am

Beginners make beginner's mistakes. That's why they are beginners. These are natural and are corrected as one gains more experience.

Do all the mistakes you're entitled to do when you are a beginner. Don't worry too much about them, because they are easy to correct. Just keep on going.

Much more problematic, in my sincere opinion, are the "seasoned mistakes". Those are much harder to correct. Those are the ones one needs to be careful about. :smile:

(but there's some good advice in this thread that may help beginners avoiding a few mistakes)
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby Seishin » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:06 am

Well said
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:05 pm

Viewing samsara and suffering "here" versus nirvana and liberation "somewhere else," "when I get there someday..."

This may be cultural to the West, but viewing our nature as inherently flawed and trying to mold it into our idea of the Buddha nature.

Being oblivious to the omnipresence of samsara in our lives as deluded beings. This means being ignorant of when we apply samsaric responses to samsaric needs and keep the whole cycle going.

Possibly admitting the insubstantiality of negative thoughts or those of other people, but strongly leaning on ideas of realization or suchness. I try to remind myself very often that all views are wrong views. It's not an easy thing to accept :juggling:


Good luck to anyone else who is also feeling their way along this strange and wonderful path!
Peace :heart:
Namu Amida Butsu
Amida gathers over the dry heart and sends living rains; the earth he covers in hands to bear up our steps; in each dark and bright place is written his Name for us to find. Wonderful, wonderful!
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:20 am

duckfiasco wrote:Viewing samsara and suffering "here" versus nirvana and liberation "somewhere else," "when I get there someday..."



A teacher once said "Nirvana is simply the correct understanding of Samsara." I found that quite profound, and still do! :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby lucidaromulus » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:13 pm

the mistake(This mistake not only occur among beginners):
thinking "practice" is merely the activity of making offerings, doing prostrations, reciting mantras, doing sadahanas, going for retreats, attending pujas, reading dharma books.


I believe that is a part of practice. only a part though.
However, the real practice is to incorporate into your everyday life the 10 virtues, 6 paramitas, emptiness, renunciation and boddhicitta.
Real practice is to transform your mind, every single second from the moment you learn the teachings until you die. and to do so in the next life and the lives after that until you attain enlightenment
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Re: What are common mistakes that beginners make?

Postby simhamuka » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:39 pm

1 - Judging other people's practice, or thinking they know how well/poorly others are doing spiritually.

2 - Not staying a beginner. Being a beginner is great.
Sengdongma has an easy job, because there are no enemies.
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