Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Bodhi
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Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Bodhi » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:57 pm

Hello,

I am here after quite a bit of a journey. I used to be active member here and of e-sangha. I practiced Pureland for a few years and a few years in Chan(Zen) at a branch of Chung Tai. I am now facing a bit of an obstacle in my spiritual life. About a year and a half ago I abandoned everything for many reasons that I prefer not to say since it might offends many. I lost the light, the belief, the faith, and the endeavor in my Buddhist practice. I guess I really and probably still dont accept the mystical aspect of buddhism. I declared myself an agnostic Atheist and rejected all religions. For a while it felt right then it didnt, I also didnt feel like I belong within the Atheist community because for some odd reason I still feel spiritual and the aggressiveness (seems like even hate) of the majority of atheists toward religion and eagerness to attack it is a turn off for me. Though what I do have in common with many of atheists are my love for science.

So I really dont know exactly what I am asking. I feel like I am lacking spirituality, feels like I am missing buddhism but cant bring myself to accept or believe it in again. I feel kind of lost. What do you think? Why do you practice Buddhism? Any experience from your practice that prove your practice?

Most sincerely
Peace abd happiness
Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh

wayland
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby wayland » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:45 pm


Yudron
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Yudron » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:05 pm

I love science, too. "I have a masters degree in science" as the radio character Dr. Science used to say.

Science does inform my practice a lot. Honestly, by looking at things with the eye of a little science I think my understanding of emptiness is stronger than some Buddhist's I know who don't have any of that. As you know, if you ook at smaller and smaller particles down to subatomic particles and what they are made of, there is no "thing" there to find. Weird things start to happen where in the very act of looking at these "things" they shift into something else. It's so profound. How can we take serious "me" and "you" and all this stuff around us? Even how they look to us is totally dependent on the eye anatomy of the human species and the way those non-thing things reflect light. It's all arbitrary! I could go on and on. Have you looked at the scientific literature on the Multiverse?

My conclusion is that Buddhism--especially the Mahayana and Vajrayana--get at truths that go beyond that atom smasher. Ultimately, there are no word to describe reality and consciousness that can really capture it, and never will be because labeling ruins our awareness of reality. But the great esoteric traditions of Buddhism make the effort.

Ultimately, we have to rest in the nature of the ultimate. That requires being convinced of the benefits of doing it.... and that's why there are teachings and paths of practice and so forth.

I can say, personally, that I am a content person who is happy most of the time as a result of my practice. Before I was moody, anxious and depressed, critical and judgmental. Slowly, slowly, these things have untied themselves. Do I lapse every now and then, sure! You can see that from my posts. But I am soooo much better. That's no small feat! I couldn't have gotten myself about of the mental mess I was in. I had to take refuge in the triple gems.
Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

greentara
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby greentara » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:48 pm

Bodhi, Most seekers go through an arid period. Forget about your tertiary qualifications they're of little help. You've got two choices. Find a meditation teacher that you find awesome and makes your heart melt.
Or deal with this mind that is a thought factory. Churning out unwanted thoughts endlessly. These thoughts always latch on to emotions and its a rollercoaster ride. When you really become aware of the tyranny of the mind, through one pointed effort you then attempt to stem the flow, stop the thrum.

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Dan74
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:29 am

I think there is really good advice above.

I can just add that for me, Buddhism is primarily about doing rather than believing. It is a practice rather than a dogma.

I am a mathematician by trade, so I guess my job is to be careful about assumptions and scrupulous about the logic. I don't have a problem with the main Buddhist beliefs but for people who are bothered by rebirth, siddhis, etc I'd simply say, put it all aside and practice.

These days Buddhist practice for me is summed up by two words "pay attention" and what can possibly be wrong with that?

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wisdom
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby wisdom » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:59 am

Try to go back to the basics. Look at the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and the essentials of what Buddha taught about the senses, attachment, aversion, and emptiness. Ask yourself if these things accord with your reasoning. If they do, then proceed to look into other Buddhist paths. Maybe Chan/Zen/Pureland is not for you. If the basics of what the Buddha taught do not accord with your reasoning and common sense, don't just abandon your search for truth, but try to determine why. It might lead you onto non Buddhist paths, but at least then you are still trying.

Also remind yourself of the suffering and aversion you see in everyone around you. Few paths produce as many happy, well adjusted, balanced, normal, healthy people as Buddhism does. Few paths have such a rational approach. The Buddha said to use your common sense. If something sounds too mystical and out there, don't deny it might be true, but don't accept it blindly. Buddhism is based on experiential evidence. There are elements of faith and devotion, but these are taken up as skillful means. In the same way a scientist will undertake an experiment having faith that if they follow the instructions, the outcome will be what the experiment says it will be. So even an atheistic scientist has to have faith from time to time.

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wisdom
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby wisdom » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:03 am


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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:41 pm


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Admin_PC
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Admin_PC » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:03 pm

I'm probably speaking out of turn, but I'm curious why dyed-in-the-wool "scientific" physicalists/materialists don't go for a philosophy more like Stoicism instead of pining for the label of "Buddhist".
Slap a meditation practice on to Stoicism and you've got your "Secular Buddhism" right there...
:shrug:

deepbluehum
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:22 pm


greentara
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby greentara » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:52 pm

bodhi, Most of us feel like this at the beginning of a spiritual quest but it becomes weaker along the way.... "Internally I was rejoicing. I actually had a feeling like on the inside I was lit up. I’d discovered something buried, like a spiritual artefact accidentally dug up on an archaeological adventure"

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lobster
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby lobster » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:34 am


Punya
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Punya » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:57 pm

Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree
Lying in the forests of the Malaya mountains
Absorbs the perfume of sandal from the moist leaves and branches
So you come to resemble who whomever you follow.

~Words of My Perfect Teacher

greentara
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby greentara » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:04 pm

ngodrup,

Receive the gift into your hand,and acknowledge that you have received it. That completes the act
for the giver. Then you get to perform an act of generosity. You may, for example, say "I wish to
make an offering of this very precious object I have to you." Then you give back the very same
item, saying "it was given to me by a very kind donor, I think you may find it useful and meaningful.
Please receive my generosity at this time.

This may sound good but it's very scripted. I'd prefer something far more spontanious.

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Bodhi
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby Bodhi » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:44 am

Wherever you are, that is where the mind should be. Always be mindful, and be your own master. This is true freedom. - Grand Master Wei Chueh

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lobster
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Re: Advice, suggestion, guidance, anything?

Postby lobster » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:55 pm



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