Expectations and progress

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Expectations and progress

Postby Music » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:01 am

Buddhists often say don't expect, just practice. But without expectations, isnt it hard to know if we are making progress? It is confusing. They say just keep meditating. Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby catmoon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:04 am

After a month or two, you will start noticing things. Your mind will work differently. The real clincher is when people start saying that you've changed, without being asked.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:43 am

Music wrote:Buddhists often say don't expect, just practice. But without expectations, isnt it hard to know if we are making progress? It is confusing. They say just keep meditating. Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?


You don't hear this from everyone.

Progress can be quantified.

Are you less neurotic? Are you kinder to people? Do you feel compassion even to little insects? Are you less prone to anger? Can you maintain your meditative focus longer? Do you catch yourself having negative thoughts more often? Are you less prone to act on those thoughts?

I personally think saying "don't expect anything" to be utterly foolish. It just confuses people and has them ask what the point is, as if some occult wisdom will suddenly manifest when they're ripe.

The whole point of Buddhist practice is to remedy suffering. If you suffer less as a result of proper sustained practice, then that's progress.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:45 pm

Huseng wrote:You don't hear this from everyone.

Progress can be quantified.

Are you less neurotic? Are you kinder to people? Do you feel compassion even to little insects? Are you less prone to anger? Can you maintain your meditative focus longer? Do you catch yourself having negative thoughts more often? Are you less prone to act on those thoughts?

I personally think saying "don't expect anything" to be utterly foolish. It just confuses people and has them ask what the point is, as if some occult wisdom will suddenly manifest when they're ripe.

The whole point of Buddhist practice is to remedy suffering. If you suffer less as a result of proper sustained practice, then that's progress.


Hmm, I guess this all explains why I was recently puzzled by the realisation that I was getting some limited results from irregular practice - More-substantial changes might have come from regular practice. I suspect "don't expect anything" teachings such as parts of "Threefold Purity" are aimed more at maha/vajra-yana practitioners than for beginners, maybe-? I thought "no expectations" meant "no results (that can be seen outside an unconscious karmic continuum)", although I get that others might be more able to perceive changes in one's way of being than oneself.

Music wrote:Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?


That's the question _ _
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:25 am

Music wrote:Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?


You start to realise that you are the one who is ultimately in control of your mental and emotional state, and so can start taking responsibility for that.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby oushi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:44 am

futerko wrote:You start to realise that you are the one who is ultimately in control of your mental and emotional state, and so can start taking responsibility for that.

Actually, it's the other way around. You realise you are not in control of you mental states, and not responsible for them. Without guilt, there are no expectations, and no suffering.
Music wrote:Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?

What is the right direction to reality? The right direction is no particular direction, that is why it encompass all directions. Without chasing the right path, you are always meditating.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:14 am

oushi wrote:
futerko wrote:You start to realise that you are the one who is ultimately in control of your mental and emotional state, and so can start taking responsibility for that.

Actually, it's the other way around. You realise you are not in control of you mental states, and not responsible for them. Without guilt, there are no expectations, and no suffering.
Music wrote:Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?

What is the right direction to reality? The right direction is no particular direction, that is why it encompass all directions. Without chasing the right path, you are always meditating.


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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby oushi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:36 am

futerko wrote:All beings have their own reality, and are responsible for its creation.

Although interesting, it certainly isn't a Buddhist view.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Jechan » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:01 pm

You will gradually start to notice things around you more. Perhaps how you would have normally reacted to things in the past might be changed. Sustained practice allows will over time give you a different perspective on people and events. Also a better insight into your own problems and the obsatcles in your life.
As somebody else mentioned, it's such a great feeling when people tell you that you have changed or "theres something different about you."
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Matt J » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:25 pm

That's a fine recipe for nihilism.

oushi wrote:Actually, it's the other way around. You realise you are not in control of you mental states, and not responsible for them. Without guilt, there are no expectations, and no suffering.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby oushi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:37 pm

Matt J wrote:That's a fine recipe for nihilism.

oushi wrote:Actually, it's the other way around. You realise you are not in control of you mental states, and not responsible for them. Without guilt, there are no expectations, and no suffering.

Either you know nihilism from you own experience, or you practiced according to this recipe. I think, you know neither, and you practice needs to mature. If it does, you will find this recipe in all practices and schools from Dzogchen to Zen, and all religions from Christianity to Dao.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:11 pm

oushi wrote:
futerko wrote:All beings have their own reality, and are responsible for its creation.

Although interesting, it certainly isn't a Buddhist view.


By "reality" I mean a set of concepts by which we try to make sense of experience - 'We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.'
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Seishin » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:29 pm

I think goals are important but expectations should be avoided. The Buddha set out to become enlightened (his goal) but made no expectations on when that would occur.

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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby oushi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:37 pm

futerko wrote:
oushi wrote:
futerko wrote:All beings have their own reality, and are responsible for its creation.

Although interesting, it certainly isn't a Buddhist view.


By "reality" I mean a set of concepts by which we try to make sense of experience - 'We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.'

Who is responsible for its creation? Go and blame yourself and others when something goes wrong, because there must be someone responsible. Guess what, there isn't. This wheel of responsibility, expectations, control, dissatisfaction moves the vehicle of guilt, striving and suffering. It's not simply matter of being ignorant, as you never were in control in the first place. I'm not talking about giving up anything, i'm talking about accepting everything as it is. Those actions that you make are the effect of causality, and deluded by separateness you fall under the wheel of this Dukkha vehicle. Longchenpa said "deliberate action deceives", and that is entire delusion there is.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:15 pm

oushi wrote:Who is responsible for its creation? Go and blame yourself and others when something goes wrong, because there must be someone responsible. Guess what, there isn't. This wheel of responsibility, expectations, control, dissatisfaction moves the vehicle of guilt, striving and suffering. It's not simply matter of being ignorant, as you never were in control in the first place. I'm not talking about giving up anything, i'm talking about accepting everything as it is. Those actions that you make are the effect of causality, and deluded by separateness you fall under the wheel of this Dukkha vehicle. Longchenpa said "deliberate action deceives", and that is entire delusion there is.


I'm not really sure what you mean by something going wrong. Taking responsibility for one's own practice has nothing to do with blame.
Longchenpa was referring to goal-oriented action which is not conducive to meditation and especially not to Dzogchen to which he was referring. Your quote is from a 250 page book which I doubt can be accurately reduced to the idea of simply "embracing everything as it is". Lhun grub is not something that can be realised by simply taking "no particular direction".
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby oushi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:40 pm

futerko wrote:Lhun grub is not something that can be realised by simply taking "no particular direction".

Multiplicity of paths is delusion. "No particular path" is the One path, which is spontaneously present. It can be not only realized, but it is experienced all the time.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:07 pm

oushi wrote:
futerko wrote:Lhun grub is not something that can be realised by simply taking "no particular direction".

Multiplicity of paths is delusion. "No particular path" is the One path, which is spontaneously present. It can be not only realized, but it is experienced all the time.


Are you saying that trekchö is uneccessary?
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Jyoti » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:32 am

futerko wrote:
oushi wrote:
futerko wrote:Lhun grub is not something that can be realised by simply taking "no particular direction".

Multiplicity of paths is delusion. "No particular path" is the One path, which is spontaneously present. It can be not only realized, but it is experienced all the time.


Are you saying that trekchö is uneccessary?


He mentioned one path, trekcho is the one path from beginning to end.

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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:43 am

Music wrote:Buddhists often say don't expect, just practice. But without expectations, isnt it hard to know if we are making progress? It is confusing. They say just keep meditating. Fine, but how do know if we are moving in the right direction?



Meditation is contrived and conceptual from the Vajrayana POV.
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Re: Expectations and progress

Postby Andrew108 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:38 am

oushi wrote:Actually, it's the other way around. You realise you are not in control of you mental states, and not responsible for them. Without guilt, there are no expectations, and no suffering.

What is the right direction to reality? The right direction is no particular direction, that is why it encompass all directions. Without chasing the right path, you are always meditating.


This doesn't really help. You are trying to be smart. It's like using a bomb to dig a hole when all you really need is a spade.
The bomb is the word 'actually'. See how you want to be right even whilst suggesting there is no right? I must have done the same as you and I regret it. I regret trying to be smart.
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