The funny thing is that, after nearly 29 years, every day I feel like I am starting all over again.
If you were to "Begin all over again today," and commit to a comprehensive and serious study of Tibetan Buddhism today, How would you proceed? Would you, immediately relocate and join a specific community? Seek access to a specific Guru? As a layperson or as a nun or monk? Remember you are a beginner. Would charitable works be important to you or would you focus more on study, meditation/retreats or both? Are there communities/teachers who futures you see as especially bright and relevant in bringing the Dharma to the west and is this important to you? Finally, If for reasons of family or work you were unable to relocate, would you begin with online/homestudy classes from FPMT, Nalandabodhi, your choice, etc?
Seems about right.
We begin again, every day.
. . . to answer the question . . . read more, practice more . . . follow more . . . do more compassionate things etc.
Not rocket science. Change creates [wait for it . . . ] . . .
change . . .
Many people would like to say "I would have done this, or "would have gone to this place" or "to see this teacher", but we don't understand our own karma so we have little choice but to be blown around by it as we are now.
If I could go back and change anything, knowing what I know now,
yes, I would choose to keep my life as simple and as uncomplicated as possible,
so as to be able to devote more time to meditation, study, and practice.
In terms of advice, that would be it.
But you are always where you are mostly because of the choices that you have made,
and since there is no permanenet self, aren't we always starting over, constantly?
Lobster, flesh it out for me please, read more what? practice more what? follow more what? do you see what I am looking for?
Terma, My question for you would be: What teacher do you want to see now and Why? What place would you like to visit now and why?
Yudron wrote:I am completely happy with my life right now, and I feel -- in my own little way -- I am making the best of my current situation.
I know you are not looking for an "if I had to do it all over" thread, but it is hard not to go that way. I do hope to be born in a Buddhist family next time, in a good healthy flexible body, with ample wealth, and do three year retreat when I am in my teens in stead of my fifties, then continue my practice of the three inner tantras throughout my life, under my current lamas.
As it is, I hope to regain my energy, concentration, and determination to practice--which have been lagging a bit due to changing circumstances in my life. Also, to stay awake and present more often during the day. To really take all of the teachings I have received to heart, and be more humble, joyful, and simple. To be able to help sentient beings, somehow...
Sherlock wrote:Why would you want to be reborn here as a deluded being instead of making an aspiration to be reborn in a pure realm?
PorkChop wrote:Sherlock wrote:Why would you want to be reborn here as a deluded being instead of making an aspiration to be reborn in a pure realm?
There are many levels at which to take this question.
As a board dealing with Mahayana/Vajrayan Buddhism, there is the assumption of the Bodhisattva ideal and the development of Bodhicitta, which strives for the liberation of all beings, including those here in the Saha world.
There is also the question of Pure Lands....
If one believes in the Lotus Sutra, one would have to accept that this IS the Pure Land of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Then there is the discussion of Pure Lands and whether one can return to the Saha world after achieving Enlightenment or other attainments in relation to the Bodhisattva path.
You also have to take into account peoples' own assessment of their relative merits and the fruits of their karma - whether they believe they can be reborn in a higher realm.
In other words, maybe people believe they can do the most good here and/or achieve higher levels of attainment here and if they feel they are ready to "move on".
Our problem is that inside us there’s a mind going, “Impossible, impossible, impossible. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” We have to banish that mind from this solar system. Anything is possible; everything is possible. Sometimes you feel that your dreams are impossible, but they’re not. Human beings have great potential; they can do anything. The power of the mind is incredible, limitless.
tomamundsen wrote:I've only been practicing Vajrayana for about a year now, so I am quite the newcomer. But, if I were to begin all over again today, I would put even more effort into ngondro and never miss a day. I would miss days all the time towards the beginning of my practice. I still miss days occasionally now, but very minimally so in comparison.