wallowing

Re: wallowing

Postby wisdom » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:55 pm

My opinion, based on what the Masters have said and what I have heard, is this...

The path of the Bodhisattva tells us that we might find ourselves to be bad people, in fact outright terrible people. In order for awakening to occur, we must accept who and what we are in its totality, even if its a lot of bad stuff. We must do this with a compassionate attitude towards ourselves, knowing that nobody desires to be a bad person and in fact that being a good person is a cause of happiness for everyone. We need not fall into patterns of self deprecation because to begin with there is no self to deprecate, secondly we deprecate our own Buddha nature when we do this, and thirdly we are acting based on rejection which is one of the causes of ignorance and suffering. Therefore we resolve to A) Not repeat the bad actions of the past again in the future, B) To perform good actions in the future or at least remain neutral and not harming anyone.

In essence, there is nothing wrong with being a bad person at all. Its not even a real thing. Its just a perception, an idea based on highly subjective and morally relative views. If you wish to tread the swift path of Dzogchen you have to accept everything you are, as it is, without acceptance (pride, self satisfaction) or rejection (self hatred, self consciousness). We have all been bad at some point in the past, in this life or other lives. Without doubt the evils we have all done are unimaginable and distasteful, barbaric or outright cruel. We have no right to judge anyone. And those same evils have been perpetuated against us as well. Thats just Samsara, seeing it for what it is and accepting it is the first step to really getting a handle on your reality, because you will never be anything other than what you are. That is "your condition" in which you must work when we are told to "work with our conditions". Its our karma, its the present state of our being. From there, we go into recognition of Rigpa if Dzogchen is your path, or into whatever training is appropriate for us, but the training can only take place in our reality, and it can only take root in our own soil, but in order to make the soil into a fertile pond wherein the lotus of wisdom can blossom, we must first accept the dirt, stones and the soil, and let it become saturated with the water of compassion, openness and equanimity.

Also in my opinion having been a bad person in the past can be good fuel for compassion and Bodhicitta. Once we see how bad we have been, our resolve to perform good actions can be that much stronger. Also it will help us to help others because we will be enabled to really identify with their plight, we are not some lotus born saint, we are deluded sentient beings that have been blessed by the grace of the Guru to enter into these teachings, so it helps keep us humble, knowing that we are simply lucky and nobody special.

This is not even to mention that everything is transmuted into gold, universal medicine, or jewels in the end! Nothing goes to waste, everything becomes wisdom. Nothing is lost, no experience is pointless, no moment in life is without meaning.
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:43 pm

Luke, I am not sure how standalone Vajrasattva practice normally works in Sakya, there is the 100 syllable mantra in some sadhana, but I do not know anyone who does it as a standalone thing...bear in mind, I have no real idea of what anyone else does. I have to go get the empowerment for it though, next time it's offered in another city, which I plan to do I think.

As to "self improvement", I already do all that stuff, martial arts, yoga etc. Alot of the time I feel like i'm faking "this can't possibly help someone like me, i'm too far gone"..fake it till ya make it I guess.

Thanks for the vote of not being a bad person heh, I don't think i'm a bad person either, it's just sometimes the feeling that I am creeps up and won't leave. I appreciate everyone's help, these threads where i've asked these personal questions have been more help than I would ever expect to get on a forum.
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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: wallowing

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Luke, I am not sure how standalone Vajrasattva practice normally works in Sakya, there is the 100 syllable mantra in some sadhana, but I do not know anyone who does it as a standalone thing...


You do the refuge, bodhicitta and then Vajraheruka, then dedication. It is pretty straight forward. Dezhung Rinpoche's text has a dedication specifically for people who are only working on that section.

If you have received any major Sakya empowerment such as Hevajra, etc., you already have the empowerment.

I did the entire Sakya ngondro and a three year retreat in the Sakya system, FYI.
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Luke, I am not sure how standalone Vajrasattva practice normally works in Sakya, there is the 100 syllable mantra in some sadhana, but I do not know anyone who does it as a standalone thing...


You do the refuge, bodhicitta and then Vajraheruka, then dedication. It is pretty straight forward. Dezhung Rinpoche's text has a dedication specifically for people who are only working on that section.

If you have received any major Sakya empowerment such as Hevajra, etc., you already have the empowerment.

I did the entire Sakya ngondro and a three year retreat in the Sakya system, FYI.


I am pretty new and have only done the things you can without empowerment, i'm planning a trip to the monastery in Seattle whenever time and life permits.

Which actually brings to mind, i'm gonna post about "purification" in the TB section, I have some questions in that department.
"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: wallowing

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:26 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:As to "self improvement", I already do all that stuff, martial arts, yoga etc. Alot of the time I feel like i'm faking "this can't possibly help someone like me, i'm too far gone"..fake it till ya make it I guess.

Dude, are you like Wolverine or something? "I'm the best there is at what I do. But what I do best isn't very nice" lol
Have you done seriously bad things or do you just feel guilty all the time for no reason? (I am assuming that self-hatred is at its root some type of guilt.)
Maybe try to analyze the reasons for this guilt you feel and try to see them as insubstantial illusions.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Thanks for the vote of not being a bad person heh, I don't think i'm a bad person either, it's just sometimes the feeling that I am creeps up and won't leave.

Do lots of people you know well have negative opinions of you? Is that what gets you down?
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:54 pm

Luke wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:As to "self improvement", I already do all that stuff, martial arts, yoga etc. Alot of the time I feel like i'm faking "this can't possibly help someone like me, i'm too far gone"..fake it till ya make it I guess.

Dude, are you like Wolverine or something? "I'm the best there is at what I do. But what I do best isn't very nice" lol
Have you done seriously bad things or do you just feel guilty all the time for no reason? (I am assuming that self-hatred is at its root some type of guilt.)
Maybe try to analyze the reasons for this guilt you feel and try to see them as insubstantial illusions.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Thanks for the vote of not being a bad person heh, I don't think i'm a bad person either, it's just sometimes the feeling that I am creeps up and won't leave.

Do lots of people you know well have negative opinions of you? Is that what gets you down?



No, I haven't done many bad things..I mean spent many years being self-destructive, and did my share of things like that, lived many years with a very nihilistic attitude, etc. I would say i've been selfish in some ways, but beyond that I haven't' hurt alot of people. So I don't know why I feel that way, i've really been trying to examine it recently. I hear almost nothing but positive stuff from people I know, which when you feel this way oddly just makes you feel worse, lol.
"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: wallowing

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:27 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


I spent most of my life feeling exactly this way (difficult home situation growing up, the usual stuff). I don't much anymore, although some days do give me the blues (or the browns if you can tolerate that imagery)

What has helped? Reflecting every day on the teachings of Buddha-nature in one context or another. Recognizing in myself that I have the capacity to awaken and helpful instead of harmful, and that I have the capacity to actualize that capacity, and that I can do it here and now so what the hell am I waiting for, has been transformative for me in the last ten years especially.

I've had the good fortune of being under the direction of very capable teachers who have been able to give the the right encouragement and instruction and the right moment, too.

I'm a beginner. I don't claim to have any final or definitive answers on this, and I surely mess this up with some frequency, but I can say with confidence that this has been a genuine blessing for me, and I have resolved to work with this and deepen/broaden it until I'm done, or until shortly after death (whichever comes first).

YMMV.
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Re: wallowing

Postby undefineable » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:55 pm

Jikan wrote:and [be] helpful instead of harmful
But is it always possible to make that change in this or (therefore) any next life, and if so, how? I finally see how the stories my ego used to tell prevented any dealing with deeper emotional reactions (which kept me 'wallowing'), but what use can that be as I approach middle age with nothing to show for it?

I'm sure any POVs from anyone would be helpful all round :smile:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: wallowing

Postby futerko » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:35 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


I tend to reject the idea that something deep needs to change and then that nagging voice will go away, in favour of the opposite approach - get rid of the nagging voice and allow the core issue to take care of itself.

I've done some, err, questionable things in my time, but its hard to say that I deliberately did the "wrong" thing given the considerations at the time - obviously in retrospect we can all find ways to improve things, but they aren't real, if we rewound and had a second chance with the benefit of hindsight, then who knows how much worse things may have turned out?

Trust that, given the available information at the time, you made the decision to act as you did for a damn good reason, and if other people, or that little voice in your head tries to chip away at you then I would see that as a distraction from paying attention to the road ahead - I find that using mantras and sending lights to stop that kind of nagging self-discourse can be very useful.

Another thing I've noticed is my bodily reaction, posture, insofar as I tense my neck and that pulls my chin upwards, and also knitting my brow to "squeeze" my frontal lobe when I replay scenes from the past in my head.
Against this, I consciously make the effort to stretch the back of my neck and lower my chin into meditation posture and un-knit my brow to almost physically relocate my thinking centre at a certain point (maybe about 2-3 inches back from my hairline) - and it often takes several attempts at this before I'm able to stop replaying the past and critically analysing it.
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Re: wallowing

Postby seeker242 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:41 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
What do you do about feeling this way..outside of the usual intellectual answers? I'm wondering, how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


Outside of the usual intellectual answers I would say a strong, unwavering, disciplined and dedicated daily meditation practice. :namaste:
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:42 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
What do you do about feeling this way..outside of the usual intellectual answers? I'm wondering, how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


Outside of the usual intellectual answers I would say a strong, unwavering, disciplined and dedicated daily meditation practice. :namaste:



This I have, it would only be worse otherwise:)
"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: wallowing

Postby seeker242 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:51 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
What do you do about feeling this way..outside of the usual intellectual answers? I'm wondering, how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


Outside of the usual intellectual answers I would say a strong, unwavering, disciplined and dedicated daily meditation practice. :namaste:



This I have, it would only be worse otherwise:)


Well then I would say that's it's just a matter of more time and more practice. :)
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Re: wallowing

Postby dimeo » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:04 pm

Perhaps you can meditate and find some quiet stillness. Perhaps some insight may arise during this stillness.

Allowing for 'suchness' and accepting 'things as they are' is part what we are learning through the darma teachings - is it not? You recognize your actions after the fact and feel regret? Sometimes I observe my self acting and I'm not thinking, I'm on 'auto pilot' and later I think... what happened there? I wasn't mindful at all, but operating some kind of a weird zombie instinct that didn't involve the whole me.

Mindfulness is a big part of the teachings. Perhaps as we practice mindfulness in meditation we will improve at remaining in that state more often through the rest of our day, week and year. :meditate:

I dislike my experience of self loathing, guilt and regret that happens when I've strayed from the 8 fold path of right speech, right action and so on. This is why I wish to be more mindful, less reactive, and make the most of my time remaining alive... less time in zombie autopilot mode.

But when I mess up again... well maybe that the "suchness" of being human I need to learn to accept. To have compassion for others, I need to be able to allow for my own imperfect nature.

Thank you for this thread. :namaste:
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Re: wallowing

Postby undefineable » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:33 am

@ Futerko: Yeah, this rings true. The 'nagging voice' may remind one of the past, present and future consequences of negative mental actions, but -perhaps because it contributes little (if anything) to positive actions- the consensus towards it seems quite harsh, and one senses that this is likely justified - See (for example) Chogyam Trungpa - "The Myth of Freedom", p73-80 ("Working with Negativity").

P.s. One wonders how much notions like this:
futerko wrote:Another thing I've noticed is my bodily reaction _ _ knitting my brow to "squeeze" my frontal lobe when I replay scenes from the past in my head.
Against this, I consciously make the effort to _ _ un-knit my brow to almost physically relocate my thinking centre at a certain point (maybe about 2-3 inches back from my hairline) - and it often takes several attempts at this before I'm able to stop replaying the past and critically analysing it.
depend on a modern understanding of brain as the nexus of mind :thinking:
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Re: wallowing

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:01 am

undefineable wrote:P.s. One wonders how much notions like this: ...depend on a modern understanding of brain as the nexus of mind :thinking:


Well, firstly there is "the interconnectedness of all things", wooo! :alien:

...but also the importance of physical posture, mindful awareness of the body etc. in the tradition itself - the 7 point vairocana posture is for a very good reason.

alternatively, you could also try
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:41 am

Man I love The Boosh, sometimes I just watch the Old Gregg episode when i'm feeling down.
"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: wallowing

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:37 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Man I love The Boosh, sometimes I just watch the Old Gregg episode when i'm feeling down.


Yeah, I think most of season two is great stuff.
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Re: wallowing

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:31 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I keep repeating the same negative patterns over and over again, I try to chip away at it, but I feel like i've stood still after years of trying. The same neuroses I had when I was 10, I still have them. They trap me in my head and prevent me from being beneficial to others.

What do you do about feeling this way..outside of the usual intellectual answers? I'm wondering, how does one deal with just feeling like a shitty person?


If you really are a shitty person, then there should be no conflict arising in your mind, and you should be rejoicing at the fact that you have attained awareness of your true nature.
If you are in fact not a shitty person, then you should rejoice in this, and regard such negative emotions merely as passing storms, and that the conflict arising in the mind is evidence that there is perhaps nothing about you that you should regret.

It is helpful to ask, for whom you are have been practicing Dharma for so long.
If it is for yourself, then this is like a cat chasing its own tail. You can never catch up to your neuroses because the practice manifests as an aspect of that neurosis. If you practice dharma for the benefit of others, you stop clinging to the neurotic sensation of a wallowing 'me' . When there is no 'me', who is there to wallow? Dharma teachings are not just hypothetical possibilities. As Shantideva wrote,
All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness.
All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others.


If you regard this as merely an intellectual approach, and you have only applied this theoretically,
then try it again for real and see what happens.
If you are afraid of what might happen, then look at the nature of that fear.

It is helpful to look at all that you have going for you, all that you can do. You can read, you are healthy, you have a computer, you can help people. When you consider this as an enormous wealth, and how much you could actually help those who are much worse off than you are, what do you have to feel sorry about?

Since you asked in a dharma forum, this is somewhat of a dharma approach.
If this is clinical depression, there is treatment for that.

I am sorry to say that I cannot claim to share your experience. So, my advice may be worthless.
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Re: wallowing

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:18 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:No, I haven't done many bad things..

Okay, so you're not like some ex-mafia hitman or ex-commando that has shed rivers of blood. Take joy in that! :thumbsup:

And find ways to benefit other living beings: save drowning insects, donate to animal shelters, give food from Tsogs to stray animals, buy fish and release them into rivers, etc. There are many wonderful ways to create good karma for yourself while helping other beings.

And if you feel like you are in great need of "penance and purification," try going on some difficult religious pilgrimage somewhere. You know, like those Tibetans who walk to a holy site doing prostrations every step of the way. You don't necessarily need to go to Tibet. You could find a local stupa and plan a "pilgrimage trek" to it. The members here who are now actively practicing Vajrayana can probably give you much better suggestions than I can.

Good luck! :namaste:
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:39 am

Luke wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:No, I haven't done many bad things..

Okay, so you're not like some ex-mafia hitman or ex-commando that has shed rivers of blood. Take joy in that! :thumbsup:

And find ways to benefit other living beings: save drowning insects, donate to animal shelters, give food from Tsogs to stray animals, buy fish and release them into rivers, etc. There are many wonderful ways to create good karma for yourself while helping other beings.

And if you feel like you are in great need of "penance and purification," try going on some difficult religious pilgrimage somewhere. You know, like those Tibetans who walk to a holy site doing prostrations every step of the way. You don't necessarily need to go to Tibet. You could find a local stupa and plan a "pilgrimage trek" to it. The members here who are now actively practicing Vajrayana can probably give you much better suggestions than I can.

Good luck! :namaste:


My plan is spend more time helping sick friends, amusingly i'm having my own health problems in the midst of it, and this seems to help.

The pilgrimage idea actually sounds great, if nothing else I could visit the monastery near me.

Padma, you are lucky to wake up happy, or have the good karma for it, or whatever. It's took me until my 30's to even become stable, and now that I am ticking closer to 40, there's still lots of work to do.

As to why i practice Dharma, it's mixed bag, I re affirmed my commitment to it with thinking like this:

If I could live "better" somehow, then those close to me will be better off, which in turn effects the people close to them, yadda, yadda, I guess you could say a very banal vision of Bodhicitta got my practicing again this run ;)

Anyway, I think something is changing for the better, I keep having dreams about getting angry, but then in the dream I am aware of the anger, able to stop it. opefully this is a good sign. I'm trying to repair relationships that have been messed up by my stuff..and I guess that's the best I can do for now.
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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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