It's all gonna be all right.

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:41 am

One thing I have run into when talking to loved ones, friends etc. about life in general is that since getting into Dharma a number of years ago there are a few places where I now feel a gulf between us. I always felt it somewhat, but it's more pronounced now.

Whenever something goes wrong in life, which it does consistently, almost everyone I know (including self-professed atheists funnily enough) tends towards saying something like "it's all going to be ok". When pressed, if the discussion gets deeper it turns out that most people (again even the supposedly non-religious) seem to believe that there is some sort of cosmic balancing force in the universe. as a Buddhist obviously i've concluded that it's the nature of samsara to pretty much not be all right, and further I suspect that these notions of reliance on external balance and "all-rightness" are actually causing suffering to people I love, rather than helping.

Of course I don't want to preach at anyone or convince anyone of my views, I don't even publicly identify as a Buddhist very often.. but sometimes a part of me just wants to scream that this is not how it works, that overall it just isn't allright, and one has to come to acceptance of that fact to hope to deal with suffering on a mature level.. How can one communicate this to people who are close, and is it even necessary or good to do so? Sometimes people I love will talk about the general hectic nature of life, about how they wish everything was more stable and permanent. It's almost an invitation to talk a bit of Dharma, is there a way to do this without sounding like i'm converting, or trying to impress my views on them?
"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: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:15 am

Could it be that this "balancing force" is just the nature of mind itself, and that what they are referring to is our ability to deal with whatever arises? I'm not suggesting they have total insight into the illusory nature of samsara or any kind of coherent theory, but it does seem that this sort of intuitive response might not be as contrary to Buddhism as you are suggesting.

When you say, "deal with suffering on a mature level", it sounds kinda heavy, and although the people you are talking with seem to be putting their faith in nothing more than thin air, in some ways there is a kind of unrealised truth to that - the idea that samsara is all illusion, which in my view makes it a lot less heavy.

There are times on the path when everything looks bleak, but that's not the only aspect, nor the ultimate one, and I suspect that's what you are experiencing.

(ps. maybe I was right about you being Mr. Furious?! :tongue: )

(pps. oh no, that would make me the Sphinx!!! :thinking: )
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:00 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Whenever something goes wrong in life, which it does consistently, almost everyone I know (including self-professed atheists funnily enough) tends towards saying something like "it's all going to be ok".


It is tantamount to denying the reality and hoping for the best as the emotions associated with such thoughts are more comforting and reassuring than contemplating other outcomes. The thought of ease is more agreeable than the thought of suffering. When the suffering does arrive, the initial denial only adds to the experience of suffering of suffering, i.e., the mental agony that accompanies pain and loss.

Emotions, not reason, usually dictate our actions and physical and mental responses to events. In my mind, this is entirely inborn. Reason and critical thought are trained skills.


as a Buddhist obviously i've concluded that it's the nature of samsara to pretty much not be all right, and further I suspect that these notions of reliance on external balance and "all-rightness" are actually causing suffering to people I love, rather than helping.


You can't fix saṃsāra. It will always go wrong one way or another. There are only tears, lamentation, agony and pain awaiting those of us who are not liberated from its bondage.

This is actually a maxim that is difficult to accept (and few Buddhists actually do): there is no happiness in saṃsāra. Period. Any experience of happiness or contentment is just the immediate absence of suffering, which is a form of suffering in itself. Naturally that is preferable to immediately suffering, but nevertheless it will prove temporary and ultimately unsatisfactory.

Consider Asaṅga (4th century) in the Abhidharma-samuccaya:

It is said there are three forms of suffering. The eight kinds of suffering are included in them [birth, ageing, disease, death, association with the unpleasant, separation from the pleasant, not obtaining what one desires and five aggregates of attachment]. In that case are the eight included in the three, or are the three in the eight? They are grouped according to their own order: the sufferings of birth, ageing, disease, death, and association with what is unpleasant are mere sufferings (duḥkha-duḥkhatā); the sufferings of separation from what is pleasant and and not obtaining what one desires are sufferings caused by transformation (vipariṇāma-duḥkhatā); in brief, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering as suffering caused by conditioned states (saṃskāra-duḥkha).


The "separation from what is pleasant" is basically the failure of happy moments to last. Anything you think of as happiness is the conditions for future loss and suffering.

Hence saṃsāra is a nightmare.

How can one communicate this to people who are close, and is it even necessary or good to do so?


If you can convince them that the failure of happy moments to last is suffering, then logically no matter how good things you hope things will get, it'll inevitably just not work out. You can really only expect misery in one form or another (apparent or subtle) in ordinary life, so plan accordingly and seek to transcend it.

If they're unreasonable, though, and driven chiefly by emotions, such reasoning will not work.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:01 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

Let them believe what they desire. It's helping to keep them sane.

Imagine if Buddhism only taught Two Noble Truths (suffering and cause of suffering). That's what life must be like for such people.
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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
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Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby wisdom » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:52 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Whenever something goes wrong in life, which it does consistently, almost everyone I know (including self-professed atheists funnily enough) tends towards saying something like "it's all going to be ok". When pressed, if the discussion gets deeper it turns out that most people (again even the supposedly non-religious) seem to believe that there is some sort of cosmic balancing force in the universe. as a Buddhist obviously i've concluded that it's the nature of samsara to pretty much not be all right, and further I suspect that these notions of reliance on external balance and "all-rightness" are actually causing suffering to people I love, rather than helping.


But it will be alright. Bad things happening are like nightmares happening, eventually you will wake up. Maybe not now or even in this life, but eventually. And if there are no further lives, then death is still an end. Either way it will be alright and there is no reason to worry.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby muni » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:37 am

The ocean its own movement / waves isn't seen as bad and good or neutral waves. :smile: The ocean just remains whatever movement appears in its being. Samsara wants to modify all phenomena for the sake of itself, taking that independent self and all phenomena/other selves for real lasting things.

Our practice guided by awaken nature is no luxury to see how it is all alright.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DdVCzJF8So While our natures' light is always there, never leaves.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby lobster » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:36 pm

But it will be alright


seems all right to me, even the 'wrong/dukkha' bits
how have we ended up right?
Is that wrong view? :thanks:
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Jesse » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:15 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:sometimes a part of me just wants to scream that this is not how it works, that overall it just isn't allright, and one has to come to acceptance of that fact to hope to deal with suffering on a mature level.. How can one communicate this to people who are close, and is it even necessary or good to do so?


The realization that life is truly this bad, and I mean really verifying it is utterly terrifying. Most Buddhists aren't ready to fully accept it, why would anyone else? For someone not ready to see this, it's just better to leave it alone imo.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Bleak! I suspect that some views are mistaking the path for the result.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Jesse » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:35 pm

futerko wrote:Bleak! I suspect that some views are mistaking the path for the result.


Not to sound depressing, but outside of a few happy moments life mostly is terrible. War, Hunger, Homelessness, Illnesses(physical/mental), Old Age, Death and Unless you like lying to yourself.. nobody knows what happens once we die. We hang onto our sanity with illusions, presumptions and fantasy. There is no god, there is no ultimate justice or balance to the universe that will make these things ok, The universe doesn't have some amazing happy ending in store for us. It's just shit, and It won't get better.

That's reality.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:38 pm

ghost01 wrote:
futerko wrote:Bleak! I suspect that some views are mistaking the path for the result.


Not to sound depressing, but outside of a few happy moments life mostly is terrible. War, Hunger, Homelessness, Illnesses(physical/mental), Old Age, Death and Unless you like lying to yourself.. nobody knows what happens once we die. We hang onto our sanity with illusions, presumptions and fantasy. There is no god, there is no ultimate justice or balance to the universe that will make these things ok, The universe doesn't have some amazing happy ending in store for us. It's just shit, and It won't get better.

That's reality.
Woah! What kind of Buddhism are you practicing there?
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Whenever something goes wrong in life, which it does consistently, almost everyone I know (including self-professed atheists funnily enough) tends towards saying something like "it's all going to be ok". When pressed, if the discussion gets deeper it turns out that most people (again even the supposedly non-religious) seem to believe that there is some sort of cosmic balancing force in the universe.


Sometimes people don't know what to say, so they say something that they want to believe; that everyone will live happily ever after.

as a Buddhist obviously i've concluded that it's the nature of samsara to pretty much not be all right, and further I suspect that these notions of reliance on external balance and "all-rightness" are actually causing suffering to people I love, rather than helping.


For what it's worth I believe things unfold as they should, for good or ill. To expect that everything will be all right, when deep down one knows it won't be, is a cause of pain, suffering and anguish. My Italian-American parents and grandparents used to say "Si vuo Di" (God willing; if God wills it) because it's how they coped with uncertainty or something bad. They called it God, we call it samsara, karma, but it's all the same, imo.

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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Jesse » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:53 pm

futerko wrote:
ghost01 wrote:
futerko wrote:Bleak! I suspect that some views are mistaking the path for the result.


Not to sound depressing, but outside of a few happy moments life mostly is terrible. War, Hunger, Homelessness, Illnesses(physical/mental), Old Age, Death and Unless you like lying to yourself.. nobody knows what happens once we die. We hang onto our sanity with illusions, presumptions and fantasy. There is no god, there is no ultimate justice or balance to the universe that will make these things ok, The universe doesn't have some amazing happy ending in store for us. It's just shit, and It won't get better.

That's reality.
Woah! What kind of Buddhism are you practicing there?


Well the amazing thing is, there are people out there who are still sane, full of love and help others despite this situation.. if you can call that a bright side.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:57 pm

The usual response to nightmares is to say, "it's just a nightmare, not real," and this dream like quality is also its divine aspect.

The unsatisfactory nature of samsara is also the way out. If samsara was totally satisfying then we would just be like pigs wallowing in mud, and content with that - the idea of dukkha is the first noble truth and the motivation to practice, it is neither the ultimate truth nor the result.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:06 pm

At first, everything is all right.

Then you start practicing, and things are not all right.

After a lifetime of practicing, things are all right.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby muni » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:40 pm

ghost01 wrote:
Well the amazing thing is, there are people out there who are still sane, full of love and help others despite this situation.. if you can call that a bright side.


As Shantideva said:

All happiness is coming from the wish may others be happy.
All misery is coming from the wish may I be happy.

The more care for others the more welbeing is experienced. It is said that a warm heart puts the mind at ease and opens 'the door' of separation, which has never been.

:smile:
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby wisdom » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:10 pm

ghost01 wrote:
futerko wrote:Bleak! I suspect that some views are mistaking the path for the result.


Not to sound depressing, but outside of a few happy moments life mostly is terrible. War, Hunger, Homelessness, Illnesses(physical/mental), Old Age, Death and Unless you like lying to yourself.. nobody knows what happens once we die. We hang onto our sanity with illusions, presumptions and fantasy. There is no god, there is no ultimate justice or balance to the universe that will make these things ok, The universe doesn't have some amazing happy ending in store for us. It's just shit, and It won't get better.

That's reality.


Thats Samsara, you see it clearly. Theres a way out, and the Buddha has given us that path.
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Re: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:12 pm

futerko wrote:Could it be that this "balancing force" is just the nature of mind itself, and that what they are referring to is our ability to deal with whatever arises? I'm not suggesting they have total insight into the illusory nature of samsara or any kind of coherent theory, but it does seem that this sort of intuitive response might not be as contrary to Buddhism as you are suggesting.

When you say, "deal with suffering on a mature level", it sounds kinda heavy, and although the people you are talking with seem to be putting their faith in nothing more than thin air, in some ways there is a kind of unrealised truth to that - the idea that samsara is all illusion, which in my view makes it a lot less heavy.

There are times on the path when everything looks bleak, but that's not the only aspect, nor the ultimate one, and I suspect that's what you are experiencing.

(ps. maybe I was right about you being Mr. Furious?! :tongue: )

(pps. oh no, that would make me the Sphinx!!! :thinking: )


Ha, you inspired me..i really am Mr. Furious:)

Seriously though, some good food for thought so far. I don't want to be an ass or tell people I love how to think about life, I just get such an awkward feeling when I hear them talk about how great it'll be "once things settle down" or whatever, or allude to some permanent state in the future of "allrightness" because I've come to the conclusion that that is only delaying acceptance of the situation. Not saying I always practice what I preach, but knowing that "The Just World" is a fiction was for me a pretty liberating thing, so I feel tempted to explain to others when maybe I shouldn't say anything.

I think it's true though that maybe I am projecting what I think they mean to some degree, so maybe it's worth just examining things more before opening my mouth..

Maybe the next time I hear someone day it I will just think of the kind of Transcendent allrightness that Wisdom talked about.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:28 pm

Jainarayan wrote:For what it's worth I believe things unfold as they should, for good or ill. To expect that everything will be all right, when deep down one knows it won't be, is a cause of pain, suffering and anguish. My Italian-American parents and grandparents used to say "Si vuo Di" (God willing; if God wills it) because it's how they coped with uncertainty or something bad. They called it God, we call it samsara, karma, but it's all the same, imo.

:namaste:


This is where you differ from the typical Buddhist view, in general Buddhism does not see samsara as working as it should, and unless by working as it should we mean sucking. Dukkha I have read can carry the connotation of a wheel out of alignment, or a misaligned joint. It never quite works right..that is the whole reason to be liberated from it's cycle, and to wish for the liberation of others.

futerko wrote:The usual response to nightmares is to say, "it's just a nightmare, not real," and this dream like quality is also its divine aspect.

The unsatisfactory nature of samsara is also the way out. If samsara was totally satisfying then we would just be like pigs wallowing in mud, and content with that - the idea of dukkha is the first noble truth and the motivation to practice, it is neither the ultimate truth nor the result.


Right and that's the thing, saying "it will be allright" is to not acknowledge the nightmare, if you can let go of the idea of "being all right" altogether, that is the first step towards a sense of peace with whatever we are dealing with...at least that is how it has been for me.
"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: It's all gonna be all right.

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 am

haha, you certainly don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines!

Don't underestimate the influence you can have on those around you - for example, by emanating patience, compassion, and kindness - it can be like watching your child make their own mistakes, very difficult to let go and not step in for them, but ultimately they will still make their own mistakes and learn for themselves. If you stay calm, like a rock for them to anchor themselves to in that storm, then they may even start to ask what your "secret" is.
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