Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:31 pm

Challenge23 wrote:Actually it is a little different than that(and I wish to point this out mostly so that I can be clear that the teachings and the teacher are excellent, if not a little distant).

My teacher knows what he is talking about and the teachings are actually quite good. As far as I know.

The problem is in regards to how one confirms that. I am deeply, deeply skeptical of anything that depends only on internal confirmation. Actually, I am deeply deeply skeptical, period.

An example.

Let's say that my teacher gave me a meditation on rebirth that, when I did it, certain things would happen that would demonstrate rebirth. How do I know that the experience is legitimate? How do I know that I'm not having a psychotic break or am fooling myself because some part of me really needs to believe it? How do I know that there wasn't some sort of chemical reaction that is causing whatever is happening?

Also, in regards to the perception of my teacher. How do I know that my perception is valid? People far, far more perceptive than I am have been totally fooled on points far less subtle than the one I'm trying to prove.

It isn't that I doubt my teacher or the teachings in any way. It's that I doubt my own ability to percieve reality in any way that can be considered "real" without overwhelming proof(and even then I am extremely mindful of the fact that what I am percieving might very well be incorrect*).

*For example, I am around 90% sure that reality exists and keeps "reality-ing" when I'm not percieving it and am about 95% sure that everything on the Internet isn't a huge network of AIs outside of a small group of people. But if I turn out wrong I wouldn't be especially shocked. Because the only thing I am 100% sure about is that reality is far more strange than I know or can know.
There is nothing wrong with being sceptical, actually one needs a healthy dose of scepticism.

At the same time though, trust is a helpful thing. Ask yourself: why would my teacher bullsh*t me? If you can find some really valid reasons, then continue being sceptical. If you cannot, then stop grasping so tenaciously to something that is not benefiting you. If you cannot see your teacher as the Buddha himself then at least see him as a teacher.

I think though that, if you persevere, you will find that this whole trip was just a smoke screen being thrown up by your ego in an attempt to stop you from expanding out of the theoretical comfort zone it (you, basically) has set up for you all these years (well, lifetimes actually).

As for reality being real... There are a number of Buddhist traditions that actually believe that reality is substantial, albeit dependently arisen. That there are actual objects "out there" that we project reality onto. So don't worry too much about that bit coz the jury is still out on that issue.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby dude » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:39 am

Skepticism isn't a bad thing. It's a motivation for practice.
Confronting doubt and making an effort to resolve it is much better than pretending to believe something you don't. In my experience; and I doubt plenty at times.
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Vajraprajnakhadga » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:22 am

dude wrote:Skepticism isn't a bad thing. It's a motivation for practice.


Skepticism is very useful up until the point one enters into a teacher/student relationship in a Vajrayana tradition. After that, if it remains, it is actually a pretty significant obstacle.
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby muni » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:21 am

The words of JD “the more you expect out of practice”.... the more struggling is, this is a light because it turns into striving to reach/obtain some thing which is like never been. Seeking in the woods for our spectacles on our nose.

I try this:
Doubt about whatever is doubt. Look directly to the doubt itself * then a calm clarity can arise; doubt is coming from no where and has no ground to stay.
*Free from thoughts’ comments.

Therefore it seems to me now that doubt arises in entanglement of fixated thoughts as reaction on things not going well or not like expected.

PS I agree about the scepticism, use it to leave it. Holding on it is a problem.

:anjali:
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Challenge23 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:27 pm

muni wrote:Therefore it seems to me now that doubt arises in entanglement of fixated thoughts as reaction on things not going well or not like expected.

:anjali:


Yeah, that is totally what is going on with me. I did have a pretty strong goal for practice. That's how I tend to do things. If I don't have an extremely well defined goal and a precise plan then I tend not to be at all interested unless what I'm doing is awesome in and of itself. I have never believed that the journey was better than the destination unless you pick destinations very poorly or the journey was through the land of awesome fractals and glorious tea parties.

Which, admittedly, is an obstacle and one that I am trying to work on.

In other updates I heard back from my teacher, he corrected my understanding well enough for me to keep going, which is good enough for me(I gave up on going happily quite some time ago. I can live with basically slogging through until the end and hoping I never, ever have to do it again).
IN THIS BOOK IT IS SPOKEN OF THE SEPHIROTH & THE PATHS, OF SPIRITS & CONJURATIONS, OF GODS, SPHERES, PLANES & MANY OTHER THINGS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT EXIST. IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THEY EXIST OR NOT. BY DOING CERTAIN THINGS CERTAIN RESULTS FOLLOW; STUDENTS ARE MOST EARNESTLY WARNED AGAINST ATTRIBUTING OBJECTIVE REALITY OR PHILOSOPHICAL VALIDITY TO ANY OF THEM.

Wagner, Eric; Wilson, Robert Anton (2004-12-01). An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson (Kindle Locations 1626-1629). New Falcon Publications. Kindle Edition., quoting from Alister Crowley
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:05 pm

Challenge23 wrote:(I gave up on going happily quite some time ago. I can live with basically slogging through until the end and hoping I never, ever have to do it again).
When you finally see the benefit to the practice you will want to do it again. I guarantee it.
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby emptydreams » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:30 am

Challenge23 wrote:
muni wrote:Therefore it seems to me now that doubt arises in entanglement of fixated thoughts as reaction on things not going well or not like expected.

:anjali:


Yeah, that is totally what is going on with me. I did have a pretty strong goal for practice. That's how I tend to do things. If I don't have an extremely well defined goal and a precise plan then I tend not to be at all interested unless what I'm doing is awesome in and of itself. I have never believed that the journey was better than the destination unless you pick destinations very poorly or the journey was through the land of awesome fractals and glorious tea parties.

Which, admittedly, is an obstacle and one that I am trying to work on.

In other updates I heard back from my teacher, he corrected my understanding well enough for me to keep going, which is good enough for me(I gave up on going happily quite some time ago. I can live with basically slogging through until the end and hoping I never, ever have to do it again).



hmm, i also suffer from depression and has been "secretly" diagnosed as bipolar (hospital staff refers to me as a bipolar patient, but the doctors say im depressed), and i had it since i was around 6-7 years old up till somewhere around earlier this year. I have been on and off meds and now im off them permanently as i have my depression under control. Even when it comes it no longer affects my thinking that much. And its not the meds that helped but Dharma interpreted as cognitive behavioural therapy. Try not to depend on the meds tho because it may make things worse, but if it is already really bad now, you need it until you get better.

first thing is that ppl affected with depression often think more than ordinary folk, or overthink, you can use this overthinking mind to investigate the Dharma instead. The 2nd thing is to keep rewiring your mind to not hurt others. Its a bit tough, but you'll get there once you get the hang of it, and the last thing to remember is to never go to extremes. The stronger the goal, the stronger the desire/drive, the greater the depression when it hits. Keep everything fluid and not fixed in your mind. This helps a lot in lowering your depression triggers. When something happens dont think about the negative outcomes but be prepared. This helps a lot as well.

last but not least, regulate your food intake and be very mindful of what effects what type of foods have. There are some foods that will provoke depression and some that will heal it. Exercise as much as you can but on a regular basis as endorphins can help balance off the chemicals in the brain. Vajrasattva will help but you have to also put in concious effort to contain depression. For example, If I have cancer and I only chant menhla without medical assistance its not gonna help, so i have to pair that with medical help.

kinda speaking from experience as well, so, good luck!
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Challenge23 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:13 pm

Also, as a follow up to the original post. I think I am almost at the root of the problem.

When I meditate I'm able to "get" emptiness fairly easily. This is true intellectually and(to a lesser extent, obviously) experientially. Bliss, on the other hand, I can count on one hand the times I've had anything that I would be willing to call "bliss" during any meditative experience. For me, at least, mediation is like " fermented cod liver oil" for the soul.

So I'll have to figure out how to make mediation less like "fermented cod liver oil" and more like "a vacation somewhere warm and pleasant" as, even though I can hammer through things for awhile, I'm not sure I can continue with 0 reward for me or anyone else indefinitely.

Also, this is an article that was pretty informative in regards to my research.
IN THIS BOOK IT IS SPOKEN OF THE SEPHIROTH & THE PATHS, OF SPIRITS & CONJURATIONS, OF GODS, SPHERES, PLANES & MANY OTHER THINGS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT EXIST. IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THEY EXIST OR NOT. BY DOING CERTAIN THINGS CERTAIN RESULTS FOLLOW; STUDENTS ARE MOST EARNESTLY WARNED AGAINST ATTRIBUTING OBJECTIVE REALITY OR PHILOSOPHICAL VALIDITY TO ANY OF THEM.

Wagner, Eric; Wilson, Robert Anton (2004-12-01). An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson (Kindle Locations 1626-1629). New Falcon Publications. Kindle Edition., quoting from Alister Crowley
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby Ayu » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:12 pm

The posts that drifted away are in a new thread now: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=18501&p=266995#p266995
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Re: Doubt, Vajrasattva, etc.

Postby qwerty13 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:01 pm

This is just my thoughts, but here you go: I don`t think you should be doing ngondro right now. You are depressed, you have a lot of intellectual conflict and general confusion. That is not a base from which you should be doing ngondro.
My suggestion is that you talk to your teacher and say that mayby you should postpone your ngondro till you heal your depression. Then continue ngondro.

Instead of ngondro, you need green Tara. Since you have depression, Tara is the best help for that, and in general she will give you the help you need to figure out your thoughts and problems.
Secondly, you need to lighten up. It sounds like you are pushing yourself all the time. That`s no use, I have done it myself, and it produced more problems(like pretty bad lung and general imbalance of elements, no fun stuff at all) for me than what I originally had.

So to sum it up: I think you have to make healing your depression your first thing in the to do -list right now. And forget the ngondro completly for now ( ofcourse ask your teacher first, if he is OK with this). Then, if you can do that, do some Tara practice like in here, in case you dont have initiation (http://thubtenchodron.org/2009/10/tara- ... -extended/). And then, just try to relax. Take a warm bath. Do those things you mentioned that helped to alleviate your depression (like meet people, get some exercise, mayby do some physical yoga, like Yantra.)

Try to forget those intellectualizations. If you dont understand something, just think "OK, i dont understand this now, so I will put away for now, but later I will get it, when I get more merit and experiene".
People love emotional confusion. Just look at the film posters in front of the cinema: nothing but emotional confusion on their faces. Buddha-dharma means not putting yourself at the mercy of emotional confusion. In the world, on the other hand, a big fuss is made over nothing.

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