jeeprs wrote:I think unless you're in a monastic vocation of some kind the idea of 'full-time meditation' is unrealistic. Even then, few monastic orders (Buddhist, Christian or otherwise) are structured around 'full-time meditation'.
So, it might be a false dichotomy.
One of the limbs of the Eightfold Path is 'right livelihood', and if you can find your way into that - which is often a real challenge! - then there ought to be time for study and practice. So I would say a balanced approach could accommodate both aspects of life.
maynoth wrote:I would be in a monastic vocation if there were any temples for what I study but there aren't. To be honest it's a very small sect. What I study requires full time meditation.
jeeprs wrote:I think unless you're in a monastic vocation of some kind the idea of 'full-time meditation' is unrealistic.
Andrew108 wrote:If you practice 4 hours a day then that is enough.
Andrew108 wrote:Do you think meditation is about achieving something?
Andrew108 wrote: I have serious doubts about the depth of wisdom that they are passing on to you.
Andrew108 wrote:That being said, if you have a job that is very stressful and that you find brings about a lot of dissatisfaction then of course why not change your job? Or why not take two weeks holiday and do a retreat? Life is just as easily wasted as a full-time meditator if you have no genuine insight.
BuddhaSoup wrote:On one hand you wish to devote yourself to your intensive practice. On the other hand, you have a desire for a home purchase, that you can later sell and use the funds you've saved and from the sale of assets in your home country to teach overseas. Both are great ideas, and not necessarily mutually exclusive.
With right livelihood in mind, you can embark on a vocation that truly represents Right Livelihood. It's not clear from your post what your employment or vocation currently is, but surely you can choose a vocation that compensates reasonably, be frugal as another poster described, and over time, you'll have that house in your home country.
It won't be an easy path, but if you choose in a sense a career and a meditation 'vocation' you might not have time for marriage, or to raise a family, and if you're a young adult you'll need to consider what to prioritize in your life.
It's my feeling that in some respects Buddhism in the West needs to find resonance with the lay working class....it's just so hard for practitioners to migrate to a monastery and practice 24/7. For those that do, it's a beautiful and valuable life. My sense is that you can choose a Right Livelihood vocation, devote yourself to practice, and give yourself 10-20 years to realize these practice and financial goals you have set for yourself.
Then, go to India, Tibet, Japan or Thailand, and teach English, and fully realize your Bodhisattva Path.
Simon E. wrote:Formal meditation on the cushion is a necessity for most of us.
But meditation does not only happen on the cushion.
maynoth wrote:Simon E. wrote:Formal meditation on the cushion is a necessity for most of us.
But meditation does not only happen on the cushion.
That is true, but what I study is a specific form, an extremely deep state of trance and suspended animation for hours on end, If I had 10 hours to devote to it, I might get to spend an hour tops in actual meditation.
Those are my options and I don't really like either of them.
Andrew108 wrote:Then my advice is to give up this type of practice because it won't bring you any genuine benefit.
"How long has your guru been teaching?"
"Well, uh, over thirty years."
"And how many of his students have achieved enlightenment?"
"That you know of personally?"
"Well, uh, I never..."
"That you've heard of?"
"That there were rumors of?"
"I don't think..."
"What is it they're doing, Martin? The recipe for enlightenment they're promoting - what is it?"
"Uh, well, meditation and knowledge, basically."
"And in thirty years they've never held someone up and said, 'Look at this guy! He's enlightened and we got him there!' In thirty years, they don't have one? Don't you think they should have, like, an entire army of enlightened guys to show off by now?"
"Well, it's not..."
"After thirty years they should have a few dozen generations of enlightened people. Even with only a quarter of them becoming teachers, they should have flooded the world by now, mathematically speaking, don't you think? I'm not asking all this as a teacher myself, mind you. I'm just asking as a consumer, or a consumer's advocate. Don't you think it's reasonable to ask to know a teacher's success rate? The proof is in the pudding, right? Didn't you ask them about the fruit of their teachings when you started with them?"
"Well, that's not..."
"Don't you think it's reasonable to ask? They're in the enlightenment business, aren't they? Or did I misunderstand you? Do they have something else going?"
"Nooo, but they..."
"If Consumer Reports magazine did a report on which spiritual organizations delivered as promised, don't you suppose that the first statistic listed under each organization would be success rating? Like, here are a hundred randomly selected people who started with the organization five years ago and here's where they are today. For instance, thirty-one have moved up in the organization, twenty-seven have moved on, thirty-nine are still with it but not deeply committed and three have entered abiding non-dual awareness. Okay, three percent - that's a number you can compare. But this organization of yours would have big fat goose egg, wouldn't they? And not just out of a hundred, but out of hundreds of thousands - millions, probably. Am I wrong?
- Jed McKenna - 'Spiritual Enlightenment:The Damnedest Thing'
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