Hopelessness

Re: Hopelessness

Postby duckfiasco » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:07 am

I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

I never knew there was so much light. Thank you all, truly.
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:35 am

Hi Duck:

Sounds like you're going through a particularly rough spot. It happens to all of us, in one way or another.

I agree with you that "Buddhism' is not much of of an immediate panacea when the shite in life starts to hit the fan. It's a practice that some thoughtful people come into, leave, and come back to. I see the Dharma as one of the few truths I've been able to grasp in this life, so just like air and water, I feel it's necessary, and real, and timeless. Still, when you get a flat tire on the highway at 2 am, or a friend's pathological husband is threatening you, the Dharma is not of much immediate use.

It's also true, IMO, that some of the advice that is given by some teachers sounds good, feels good, but when one really needs useful wisdom, it comes up empty. People in fear and pain can be advised to face their pain, and meditate on it, and do all the "unhooking" things that Pema Chodron suggests, and the teaching still feels vague or empty, and I don't mean this in a Buddhist way.

One thought that I had is that it can be helpful just to start with counseling or therapy. I am a divorce lawyer by trade, so I'm talking with people in fear, worry, and/or transition daily, and feel that having someone clinically trained can be a very helpful guide, a kalyana mitta of the clinical sort. Maybe also consider going to a Unitarian Church for fellowship, and see if that kind of congregation provides the energy and support you might be looking for. I've often felt that if Buddhism could capture more of the fellowship and community engagement that the Unitarians and even the Xtian churches capture, people might not be so challenged by the endless sitting and sense of withdrawal. Other posters' advice about hooking up with a vibrant monastery is good, too. Keep in mind that the monks upon which all of this Dharma stuff is based were all members of big, noisy communities of monks and lay people, with lots of varied personalities and interaction. Buddhism in the west for many people consists of sitting alone at home with your cat, meditating to a Zen clock in front of an alter/TV stand. That can suck, and make one feel very lonely or isolated. Some people dig that style, and others do not.

So, leave the alter in the garage, but don't let anyone steal it or trash it. You may want to come back to it. Try to change up the way you approach this very good, reliable and trusted Dharma...and if you do walk away from it for awhile, it will always be there, waiting for you. I think it's the real deal, and I'd hate to see you forsake it during this challenging time in your life. It all gets better, it really does....
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:43 am

duckfiasco wrote:I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

I never knew there was so much light. Thank you all, truly.



Trying too hard, expecting great results, even expecting fun, bliss, or happiness messes things up, there's a reason they always say to give up hope and fear.
Existence (at least of the sort we seem to want release from by practicing Buddhism) is full of ugly, disturbing shit. Meditation can actually draw attention to this simply because you are more aware of it. I think alot of us go into this thinking it is meant to make us happy, while I know that is in the cards, it also seems to sometimes make us fragile. There is alot of ugliness, inside and out, if our vision is clearer sometimes it seems to just make the gory the details easier to make out:(

Anyway, whatever happens it sounds like you are not in such a dark place any more, just keep that up, and best wishes.

But yeah, there isn't anywhere to escape to.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby ground » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:04 am

duckfiasco wrote:I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

While is does not make a difference whether there are altar, books, formal meditation, malabeads, philosophical points or not the intentionn "to piss on it" may be - not necessarily is - an indicator that the dilemma has not been seen and perpetuates itself.

duckfiasco wrote:I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

Neither easy nor diffcult to let be everything or nothing there is or is not. But yes besides runnning daily errands there is nothing to do and nowhere to go.

duckfiasco wrote:I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

Conciousness arises by means of grasping itself ... there is no conciousness without "felt" self. :sage:

From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. ... Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby Punya » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:10 am

Dear Duck

Thank you for your fearlessness in sharing something of your current experiences. I'm sure it will benefit others. You mentioned in an earlier post Buddhists who are "nice, talkative, helpful, but somehow aloof on a personal level and societal level" but you seem to have found some compassionate supporters here.

I wonder whether the form of buddhism you were practicing was not the one for you and, as others have said, you have not yet found a teacher with whom you feel a strong connection (this can take a long time but is worth the wait). For the moment though, you have taken a step that feels right to you. I'm sure you will give much thought to where you go from here. Just take your time and explore the options. Also, leave open the possibility of returning to the dharma in the future.

Please check in from time to time to let us know how you are doing.

With metta
Punya
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby Ayu » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:50 am

I think, Dharma is not bound to any buddhist tradition. Dharma is the most inner fire, the goal and duty of anyones life, may he or she be Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Dog, Cat, Duck or whatever.

If the bag becomes too heavy, you put it down and change the carrying hand. You loose the grip and take it on again whenever you feel up to it. Or you put it aside and leave it on the street. But you should not piss on it, that's all. Only because of Karma, pissing on it is not such a good imprint on ones own mind. Thats all.
Otherwise there is no problem. :heart:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby oushi » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:31 am

duckfiasco wrote:I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

I never knew there was so much light. Thank you all, truly.

:hug:
Say what you think about me here.
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:58 am

duckfiasco wrote:I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

I never knew there was so much light. Thank you all, truly.
You're like Virupa. How auspicious!
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby alpha » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:46 am

duckfiasco wrote:I put away the altar. I donated all my Buddhist books to the library. I stopped having formal meditation sessions. No more mala beads. No more philosophical points. Chuck all that out and piss on it if you really need to, which I did.

I never realized it could be easy. The walking in the walking, the sitting in the sitting. Sometimes I remember my breath, sometimes I don't. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. The dream of escape is itself the trap, and how painful it is.

I still recoil from Buddhism. My ideas became tainted with Big Deal. I ruined it with Save The World. "What spiritual door have I just pranced through?" my Self-Improvement always asked.

I never knew there was so much light. Thank you all, truly.



This is how you start.
Stay with that.
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Re: Hopelessness

Postby LastLegend » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:58 pm

duckfiasco, life's situations that you go through. First, you must deal with those. You can always ask for support and guidance from Buddha and Bodhisattva. They will answer you. Also keep up with precepts and try your best to practice giving-monetary, services, etc. These merits will help you a great deal along the way. It's hard for people to practice when they struggle with many difficulties in life. Buddhadharma therefore must also address this concern and it's through the practice of giving and also ask Buddha and Bodhisattva for support. But ultimately, you should rely on yourself.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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