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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:20 am 
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Nilasarasvati wrote:

Nobody can do better than their best.




Sounds like trying to climb higher then the top of the mountain. Ouch, well........

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
I'm in a war zone. I'm angry. I used to have psychosis. I live under a dictatorship. I'm so tired. I just want to go home....


Sometimes you just need some rest. Dharma isn't meant to be a slavedriver. Nothing wrong with being good to yourself.

And, well, because this is posted in a thread about Ngondro: you don't have to do the Ngondro if you don't want to. In fact, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche writes, if the only motivation to do the Ngondro is that you think you have to do it, it is better for you not to do it.

I'm just listening to the Chenrezig teachings Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gave in 2006, and there he explicitly says that Chenrezig meditation is a wonderful practice to do and for those who are not so much into the Ngondro and the counting and the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of Mantras practicing Chenrezig is a wonderful alternative. And I'm sure there are other alternatives.

You don't need to feel bad because you're not doing the Ngondro or some other heavy Mantra accumulation stuff. Just take the time you need for healing and be good to yourself.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:17 pm 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche writes, if the only motivation to do the Ngondro is that you think you have to do it, it is better for you not to do it.

I like that, can you provide a reference?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:57 pm 
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I'll see if I can find it, but it may take me a while.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:17 pm 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche writes, if the only motivation to do the Ngondro is that you think you have to do it, it is better for you not to do it.


Ha ha, that just isn't true. :smile: Tibetans don't think Ngondros is a big deal, westerners do.

/magmus

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:18 pm 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
I'll see if I can find it, but it may take me a while.


Will take you a very long time...

/magnus

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Well, I have the entire 10 volumes of his Treasury of Knowledge to comb through, plus 5 other books by JKLT. If I find that passage or not basically depends on if I was smart enough to underline it when I read it. :shrug:

Meanwhile a similar passage on prostrations from Patrul Rinpoche's Words of my Perfect Teacher, p. 320:

Quote:
"It should also be understood that to do prostrations as though paying a tax serves no purpose and will only bring the wrong results.


A little bit of logical thinking might also do the trick. Or do you really think it's your ass that's doing the meditation when you sit on your cushion? If the Ngondro has a positive effect depends mostly on the attitude with which you practice, and only practicing it because you think you have to is not a particularly positive attitude.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:50 am 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Well, I have the entire 10 volumes of his Treasury of Knowledge to comb through, plus 5 other books by JKLT. If I find that passage or not basically depends on if I was smart enough to underline it when I read it.

:soapbox:
Christ I really don't get people who underline stuff in their books. Even more so though if it isn't their's. Like I loaned a book to my friend and after a long time he gave it back to me. So one day I felt like browsing through it a bit and I saw he underlined some sentences and paragraphs. My pulse went through the roof in an instant. What the heck?! I wouldn't think to underline my own books much less anyone elses and he underlined it. :techproblem:
Anyway, underlining disfigures the book. Why not just make notes of what you think is important? :soapbox:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:55 am 
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:lol: don't worry, I only underline in my own books and normally I use a pencil with very little pressure. The advantage is it helps you find the important passages and you don't look like a complete idiot after quoting from memory :rolleye:

P.S.: but nothing beats the search function of an e-Reader...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:03 am 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
:lol: don't worry, I only underline in my own books and normally I use a pencil with very little pressure. The advantage is it helps you find the important passages and you don't look like a complete idiot after quoting from memory :rolleye:

P.S.: but nothing beats the search function of an e-Reader...

Indeed... :D

On another note, topic reply notifications are now possible? Great.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:38 am 
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Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:

Quote:
I feel I haven't even stepped onto the path.


The intention to step onto the path is the first step onto the path.

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Let peace reign!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:45 am 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Well, I have the entire 10 volumes of his Treasury of Knowledge to comb through, plus 5 other books by JKLT. If I find that passage or not basically depends on if I was smart enough to underline it when I read it. :shrug:

Meanwhile a similar passage on prostrations from Patrul Rinpoche's Words of my Perfect Teacher, p. 320:

Quote:
"It should also be understood that to do prostrations as though paying a tax serves no purpose and will only bring the wrong results.


A little bit of logical thinking might also do the trick. Or do you really think it's your ass that's doing the meditation when you sit on your cushion? If the Ngondro has a positive effect depends mostly on the attitude with which you practice, and only practicing it because you think you have to is not a particularly positive attitude.


Of course it depends on your attitude. Practcing tögal with the wrong attitude will not work either. Wrong attitude is in no way limited to practice "because you think you have to do it". Not actually following the timely instructions of your Guru is at the heart of all wrong attitude.

Anyway, JKLT never wrote that, you just misunderstood, just like you misunderstood Patrul Rinpoche above.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:31 am 
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heart wrote:
Of course...

... you just misunderstood...

So which is it? :rolling:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Pero wrote:
heart wrote:
Of course...

... you just misunderstood...

So which is it? :rolling:


Eh, perhaps I misunderstood to? No, impossible. :smile: I think I did. ReasonAndRhyme is right, no point in doing something you don't put your heart in.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:58 pm 
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heart wrote:
Pero wrote:
heart wrote:
Of course...

... you just misunderstood...

So which is it? :rolling:


Eh, perhaps I misunderstood to? No, impossible. :smile: I think I did. ReasonAndRhyme is right, no point in doing something you don't put your heart in.

/magnus


You all are incredible.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:51 am 
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Maybe it sounded as if I was saying that the ngondro is generally optional? That was not my intention. There are certainly practices that require the ngondro as preparation. Like running a marathon requires training for a marathon. But you don't have to be a marathon runner. And as a Vajrayana Buddhist there are other practices you can do which do not require the ngondro.

Suppose you start to train for a marathon, but the training causes you hellish pain in your joints, especially in your knees. You go to a doctor and he tells you you're suffering from arthritis. The training will not have the positive effect of transforming you into a marathon runner, but instead it will have the negative effect to destroy your knees. Therefore it is better for you not to train for a marathon at all. But the good news is: there are other sports you can do, like bicycling or swimming.

If your only motivation to do the ngondro is that you think you have to do it, it won't have the positive effect to prepare you for the corresponding practices, but instead it may even harm you. And the good news is: there are other meditations like Chenrezig you can do without the ngondro. That's all I wanted to say. Really. No big deal. No ngondro bashing or whatever.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:00 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
How do you create an atmosphere of practice as Rinpoche says?
fake it 'til you make it. Initially the "atmosphere of practice" may have to be contrived. This is where numbers/accumulations are important, they get you to sit your ass down and practice. After a (long) while you feel an urge to practice. It becomes a type of addiction. You don't have to force it, it forces you. After a (longer) while the distinction between practice and post practice blurs. You do not feel obliged, yet your state of mind is a "practice" state anyway. Now you are really practicing! :smile:

To continue along the same lines using wisdom gleaned from 12 step programs; try the key of "willingness".

What is meant by that is the opposite of relying on "willfulness". If you have resistance and try to just plow through it by shear force of will, you are likely to make the matter worse. It is usually much more productive if you look to the practice, and sources of Refuge, for the resolution of your resistance. That is being "willing". It is hard to unlearn the habit of struggling with yourself, we've done it since birth. Doing practice with sincerity and a request for help with your own craziness gets you barking up the right tree.

Or, to depart from 12 step wisdom for a moment, think of it like a vicious circle. The more you use force of will in your practice the more you reinforce the illusion of self. If that is so, you can see how suffering will be the predictable result. The opposite of a vicious circle is a virtuous circle. I am told that there is a positive feedback loop to practice. On the level of NgonDro practice and such, the positive feedback is a greater confidence and faith in the process of karma, the 3 Jewels, you teacher, and such. So it is a little silly to hold these as a prerequisite for practice, since they are a result of practice.

But like I said, just bullying your way through (usually) doesn't work. Within classic Buddha Dharma the way to accomplish a "willing" as opposed to "willful" attitude is found in the 4 thoughts that turn the mind.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
I don't know. I used to take comfort lovey-dovey compassion. But now no guru is badass enough to inspire me. I'm going through the motions. Maybe I should leave Buddhism for good.

I'm in a war zone. I'm angry. I used to have psychosis. I live under a dictatorship. I'm so tired. I just want to go home....

Regards,
Gyaltsen Tashi


I am sorry to hear this, GT.

I don't have anything to offer you except maybe this. In English we have saying: home is where the heart is. Even the Buddha said: hatred will never cease by hatred but only through love. In my own life, it has taken many, many years to get to a place where I could even remotely imagine the possibility of actual love. I have seen the faces of stone cold hatred and it is an awful sight.

I hope for you to see and understand the difference between what you are calling lovey-dovey compassion and actual love. Love is very healing but it is often quite difficult to see. Its something that is in very short supply here in the west but we are working on it. :smile:

All the best to you.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:07 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
How do you create an atmosphere of practice as Rinpoche says?
fake it 'til you make it. Initially the "atmosphere of practice" may have to be contrived. This is where numbers/accumulations are important, they get you to sit your ass down and practice. After a (long) while you feel an urge to practice. It becomes a type of addiction. You don't have to force it, it forces you. After a (longer) while the distinction between practice and post practice blurs. You do not feel obliged, yet your state of mind is a "practice" state anyway. Now you are really practicing! :smile:

To continue along the same lines using wisdom gleaned from 12 step programs; try the key of "willingness".

What is meant by that is the opposite of relying on "willfulness". If you have resistance and try to just plow through it by shear force of will, you are likely to make the matter worse. It is usually much more productive if you look to the practice, and sources of Refuge, for the resolution of your resistance. That is being "willing". It is hard to unlearn the habit of struggling with yourself, we've done it since birth. Doing practice with sincerity and a request for help decreasing your own craziness gets you barking up the right tree.

But Greg is right; on some level you've got to start with a practice that feels contrived, "fake it 'til you make it", as they say.That's ok. Your practice will change your mentality the way exercise changes your body. Using force of will to enact your practice is like trying to put on skinny jeans before you've lost the weight!

Or, to depart from 12 step wisdom for a moment, think of it like a vicious circle. The more you use force of will in your practice the more you reinforce the illusion of self. If that is so, you can see how suffering will be the predictable result. The opposite of a vicious circle is a virtuous circle. I am told that there is a positive feedback loop to practice. The gateway to this virtuous circle is, again, willingness. On the level of NgonDro practice and such, the positive feedback is a greater confidence and faith in the process of karma, the 3 Jewels, you teacher, and such. So it is a little silly to hold these as a prerequisite for practice, since they are a result of practice.

But like I said, just bullying your way through (usually) doesn't work. Within classic Buddha Dharma the way to accomplish a "willing" as opposed to "willful" attitude is found in the 4 thoughts that turn the mind.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:47 am 
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I think even the gurus are helpless in this torrent of suffering. Pretty soon they will all pass away, and we will be left to our own devices.

MalaBeads wrote:
Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:
I don't know. I used to take comfort lovey-dovey compassion. But now no guru is badass enough to inspire me. I'm going through the motions. Maybe I should leave Buddhism for good.

I'm in a war zone. I'm angry. I used to have psychosis. I live under a dictatorship. I'm so tired. I just want to go home....

Regards,
Gyaltsen Tashi


I am sorry to hear this, GT.

I don't have anything to offer you except maybe this. In English we have saying: home is where the heart is. Even the Buddha said: hatred will never cease by hatred but only through love. In my own life, it has taken many, many years to get to a place where I could even remotely imagine the possibility of actual love. I have seen the faces of stone cold hatred and it is an awful sight.

I hope for you to see and understand the difference between what you are calling lovey-dovey compassion and actual love. Love is very healing but it is often quite difficult to see. Its something that is in very short supply here in the west but we are working on it. :smile:

All the best to you.

:namaste:


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