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Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring? - Dhamma Wheel

Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Jhana4
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Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:14 pm

I was reading a sutta on Dependent Origination the other day for a class. It reminded me of what I don't like about the Pali Canon.

I'm an atheist.

To be honest the idea of rebirth doesn't strike me as being a bummer, even being at the age I am at, having experienced unpleasant things and knowing full well that life will not be all sunshine and rainbows.

Becoming detached from the ups and downs of life does sound appealing to me, but not being beyond pleasure. I find the suttas that instruct monks on how to build an aversion to the body, sex and life to be well.......an aversion. I don't find it inspiring to think that the best I can hope for is to work hard on detaching myself from life for the reward of being completely dead when I die.

Even assuming it is all true, I don't get any benefit from it. It isn't "me" that lives on in a new body. It is a new life with my old unfinished kamma to deal with. So, what do I get of all of that work of finishing out my kamma?

Sometimes a kind of standard, man on the street existentialist view of life seems more cheerfful in comparison. You live, you have some pleasures, you learn to deal with some inevitable pain the best you can and you die.

At least you aren't dealing with a mental map of learning to have a zeal for stamping out the pleasures in life.

Am I missing something appealing in the Buddhist cosmology to look forward to?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Kenshou
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:48 pm

There is more happiness in being free from the perpetual chase after pleasures and away from pain, than there is in participating in the chase. Or so they say. But I think it can take a lot of looking to figure that out, since we're conditioned really well to focus on the pleasing aspect of it all.

And though separation from "worldy" pleasures is encouraged, developing happiness based on more wholesome things is also encouraged, so it's not totally joyless and grim.

PeterB
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:51 pm

For someone who doesnt find Dhamma inspiring you are spending a lot of time hanging out here.

Leaving aside Buddhist theory...what do you practice Jhana4 ?

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Monkey Mind
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:01 pm

Last edited by Monkey Mind on Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

Jhana4
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:04 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Ben
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:06 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Mawkish1983
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Location: Essex, UK

Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:17 pm


Jhana4
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Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:22 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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mikenz66
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:28 pm

Hi Jhana4,

If you want to get a good overview of the Canon, I'd advise ordering:
In the Buddha's Words,An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi,
who has organised a wide selection of Suttas in a logical sequence.

You can read the Introduction and Chapter 1 as a PDF here, along with a review:
http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... n=&image=1

Reading that book and other Suttas certainly inspired me...

:anjali:
Mike

PeterB
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:30 pm


perkele
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby perkele » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:31 pm


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:38 pm

Contemplation of repulsiveness is not for the purpose of developing aversion, which would just be replacing one defilement (lust) with another (aversion). Its about the removal of lust, and the cultivation of disenchantment, insight into impermanence, and arousing of (samvega). With insight gained, one can see that beauty and repulsiveness are both just habitual perceptions — without it, one will be swept away by the perception of beauty and lust will overwhelm the mind.

It was taught to monks who were observing full-time chastity, not for lay persons observing five precepts. It can also be practised by lay people, but is not often taught these days, except perhaps in forest monasteries.

One should always choose a meditation suited to one's temperament — that is why there are many different methods included in the Satipatthāna Sutta. Try mindfulness of breathing or analysis of the four elements if contemplation of repulsiveness doesn't work for you. For cultivating tranquillity, one can use recollection of the Buddha's qualities, or the Brahmaviharas — loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic-joy, and equanimity.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Ben
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:40 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Nyana
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Nyana » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:44 pm


nobody12345
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby nobody12345 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:13 pm

Hi friend.
The ironic thing is, sometimes, when you feel like you can't take it anymore or throw towel and give up all together, usually that's the time you are very VERY close to a breakthrough.
Metta.

Jhana4
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Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:50 pm

Last edited by Jhana4 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

A_Martin
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Location: Udorn, Thailand

Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby A_Martin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:15 pm


Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:49 pm

Last edited by Jhana4 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:54 pm

A_Martin is a monk. It is considered an act of good etiquette in the Theravada to address monks as Bhante.

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:59 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.


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