Practice and Life

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

Practice and Life

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:45 pm

This is meant for introspection rather than advice, just to put a frame around it :)

From where do you draw your motivation for ongoing practice? I know as a Mahayana we'll say bodhicitta and as a Vajrayana practitioner we'll say the guru. But I mean aside from that, what keeps you going with your practice and what keeps you interested in Buddhism as a whole? Habit? Devotion? Love? Academic interest? Healthy attachment?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Best,
Laura
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby zerwe » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:15 pm

In the most basic sense the fact that it provides a genuine meaning to life and hopefully all future lives.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Mr. G » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:06 pm

Besides bodhicitta, I would say I draw my motivation comes from just the basic mundane issues that affect us all in life. Like having every person in the world have access to clean water, food, clothing and shelter. It's still shocking to me that the basic essentials can't even be met by everyone on this planet. Or the fact that here in the U.S. we fight these perpetual never ending wars. Or that gay people don't have same legal rights as heterosexual people. It's all quite disturbing to me actually.

In my mind I like to think that my Buddhist practice will give me the insight to act skilfully in life and affect real positive change. But, I've got a long ways to go. :D
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby nirmal » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:08 pm

What keeps me going in Buddhism is that I see a very natural change in me.The change is so smooth and natural that Buddhist teachings become a reality.There is also a natural transformation of philosophy besides the transformation of mind and body.If I cannot report any change for the better then I have made no progress in meditation and Buddhism.This natural change keeps me going.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:43 pm

MOTIVATION

In the beginning, inquisitiveness, fascination, mystic mates.
Next, it was hard on my own and easy with sangha, but misdirected.
Then I found a guru and will be motivated by the relationship in Dharma until death, hopefully beyond, on the Bodhisattva path.
Presently I have many who ask me for help, for teachings, to perform rituals etc. It brings me great joy to help. Bliss never felt before.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Pero » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:53 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:This is meant for introspection rather than advice, just to put a frame around it :)

From where do you draw your motivation for ongoing practice? I know as a Mahayana we'll say bodhicitta and as a Vajrayana practitioner we'll say the guru. But I mean aside from that, what keeps you going with your practice and what keeps you interested in Buddhism as a whole? Habit? Devotion? Love? Academic interest? Healthy attachment?


Good question, I don't really know myself. I suppose it kind of switches between all of the above (except love, I don't get that, what?).
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby ground » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:47 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:This is meant for introspection rather than advice, just to put a frame around it :)

From where do you draw your motivation for ongoing practice? I know as a Mahayana we'll say bodhicitta and as a Vajrayana practitioner we'll say the guru. But I mean aside from that, what keeps you going with your practice and what keeps you interested in Buddhism as a whole? Habit? Devotion? Love? Academic interest? Healthy attachment?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Best,
Laura


In total I am a failure in bodhicitta (which is the continuous, stable intent), so in terms of Mahayana and the definition of Shantideva, Lama Tsongkhapa and the like which I hold to be the only valid one I have not yet entered the Mahayana ... or sometimes I am entering but them I am lapsing from it again. So as to Mahayana I would still consider myself to be an outsider but the teachings I find very inspiring.

Basically my motivation is faith. Faith which is grounded on direct experience of tiny (mental) events here and there ... sometimes rare and sometimes a bit more often. Experiences that seem to validate what the Buddha and noble teachers taught and still are teaching.
And what is very important for me is to detect that the teachers which are relevant for me actually comply with each other although they may be teaching completely different things. I have found out that the exclusive commitment to a certain school or to a certain teacher or to certain practices is not conducive in my case.


Kind regards
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby seagrace » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:51 pm

I see the change that meditation has made in my life, and I like it. I read the words of spiritual leaders and they reasonate with me. It makes sense to me. I am certain at some point a teacher will come into my life and help me with my practice on a higher level. For now, I see teachers all around me as I observe my interactions with others and work to make those interactions more loving, understanding and compassionate. I read and try to understand on a deeper level what meaning the writer is trying to convey. I strive daily to reflect the qualities, values, morals and ethics in all of my activities. If I achieve nothing else in life, becoming a more compassionate, caring and loving person is quite enough. I suppose I'll get another chance anyway :-)
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:54 am

Pero wrote:
Ngawang Drolma wrote:This is meant for introspection rather than advice, just to put a frame around it :)

From where do you draw your motivation for ongoing practice? I know as a Mahayana we'll say bodhicitta and as a Vajrayana practitioner we'll say the guru. But I mean aside from that, what keeps you going with your practice and what keeps you interested in Buddhism as a whole? Habit? Devotion? Love? Academic interest? Healthy attachment?


Good question, I don't really know myself. I suppose it kind of switches between all of the above (except love, I don't get that, what?).


Hi Pero,

I think the love part can be interpreted a lot of ways. For example, if we love our family and friends very much, do we want to help them by being a Buddhist example? Or if we love the dharma itself, does that keep us coming back? If we love ourselves in a compassionate way in spite of our flaws or challenges, do we wish to do better in our lives and ability for introspection and success in spiritual matters? I could carry on about love! But it's completely open to interpretation, as love might impact you or what it means to you. Love is different for anyone and everyone; it's such a vast emotion and behavior. For me, personally, I'm usually driven by love as opposed to anger (I think). That might be partly due to being a parent, and she is the center of my practice no matter what I do on the cushion or off it. I hope that helps with that piece of the question :)

Best wishes,
Laura
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:50 am

love.
:rolling:

pure. simple. free. unconditional. love.

I LOVE the human heart and everything that resides in it, from its suffering to its joy. I love the richness of experience regardless of pain or pleasure. It's so thick, this openness of the moment, in this being you can reach deep in instants if you've dug the debris from your well so that you can. I don't know that anyone can tell you for you, you know when you feel that bliss of joy in simplicity that comes with being a leaf, at any time ready to fall from its branch.

Life is that tenuous and that strong. I always like its people, the connecting, the touching of hearts, talking and entering each other's paradigm, an intimacy of mind with the very special opportunity to hurt less by trusting more and then communicating.

I don't know about Buddhisms too much. I'm very ignorant and study hard what I find online. But I have a fine grasp of a continuous goodness that permeates my being, and I help those who need, give shelter to those who need, help in any way I can so long as I draw breath in my chest. I feel anyone can do these things. I have taken formal refuge with a Nyingmapa teacher, but he is far and I am mostly without teachers I know of near me. So for the most part, I am wrestling with the solitude of strength these days.

I know it is in my nature, I don't know how exactly but I'm finding out. Like my dog doesn't know the scientific principles and facts about how he reproduces except how to do it, when he goes in heat. In a way, being alive is like always being in heat, desiring longing for something, if not breath itself.
Like my dogs, I don't know how I awaken, except how to do it. How to do it is dharma. I know dharma because I know human kindness and warmth. Dharma is method, proper action to correct the bad habits that give us pain. Dharma teaches us to cure our own ills without reaching outside of ourselves for comfort. Grasping is diminished when self-importance reduces, has been my own natural experience.

Wonderful thread, I found myself really caring about what pushes you, and the more honest and open you are, the more I'm interested. Thank you for sharing with us.

:heart:
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:06 am

In the final analysis, it is always my absolute failure to deny causality.

:namaste:
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby gyougan » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:30 am

Fear of samsara. Need of salvation.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:57 am

Buddhist vegetarian restaurants.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:26 pm

I vividly see suffering so much, and I have truly placed my refuge in the triple gem. This is a strong motivation for me. I see the suffering inherent in all things samsara.

Because I am a mother, my daughter is at the center of my practice. When you're consumed with the well-being of a child on a daily basis, I think it changes the mindset. The love is boundless for the child, and I truly try to extend it to others I love. And from there I try to extend it to those I won't be able to personally love in this lifetime. Without my daughter I don't know what my practice would look like. I'd be very interested in Buddhism and the path, but she is my fire.

Best,
Laura
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:55 pm

Life is practice and practice is life.

Its very "modern" to separate, private, hobby, work, friends, neighbor, the others, we, I, you, on line, telephone, forum, face to face. The most difficult think is to break down the borders of differentness and reduce as possible the changing of behavior/actions/deeds on that what should be actually the issue in the moment.
The world, the life the mind is so big without this borders.

:pig:
Just that! :-)
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Luke » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:30 pm

Pleasure.

I feel deep ecstacy when I read a Buddhist book I like, when I hear a lama say something profound, or when I meditate or even just read a short prayer or mantra or gaze at a Buddhist image. I guess I'm drawn to this sense of pleasure/wonder/amazement/bliss. It's what I've searched for my whole life.

Also, getting involved with Tibetan Buddhism has improved my life tremendously. My life when I was younger was full of pain and difficulties. Now I am very fortunate to live a comfortable life in which I have the opportunity to study the Dharma. This is another type of pleasure.

Perhaps I'm no better than a monkey who craves a sweet fruit--but at least it's a healthy fruit!
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby Madeliaette » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:56 pm

Buddhism makes sense in a life that doesn't otherwise make sense. I guess I like to understand and know stuff, and nothing else gives me the right answers or 'fits'. Also, there is some strong pull inside me to learn more, practice better, expand and continue - it is a proper road to the place I want to get to.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby SonamZangpo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:21 am

I was a very devout Christian in my youth, but in my teens I began developing mental health problems, and in my blind devotion, felt I was being punished, and became an apostate of Christianity. From that time in my early teens I kept throwing myself full force into varying beliefs and paths and burning out on them quickly, until I came upon hedonism (horrid belief system) which got me into nothing but trouble. After beginning to get my life back on track, I came upon Buddhism. I was familiar with eastern philosophy to an extent, but I approached Buddhism carefully, knowing my own tendency to get burnt out on belief systems. However, it stuck, and filled the void and need I had to devote myself spiritually. For a time after that, my motive to practice Buddhism was mostly self improvement, tossing in a half hearted "and for all sentient beings" after reciting mantras for myself.

A little over a year ago, I began to regard Buddhism more seriously, and had a partial realization of Bodhicitta after reading a suttra regarding Ksitigarbha and the suffering of beings in the hell realms, which moved me first to tears and then sobs for a good few hours. Since then, my motive has more or less been purely based on Bodhicitta, and finding how to apply it in everyday life. Mahayana motive even though I'm Vajrayana? Though in the end, Vajrayana is just an extension of Mahayana anyway.
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby SonamZangpo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:24 am

Luke wrote:Pleasure.

I feel deep ecstacy when I read a Buddhist book I like, when I hear a lama say something profound, or when I meditate or even just read a short prayer or mantra or gaze at a Buddhist image. I guess I'm drawn to this sense of pleasure/wonder/amazement/bliss. It's what I've searched for my whole life.

Also, getting involved with Tibetan Buddhism has improved my life tremendously. My life when I was younger was full of pain and difficulties. Now I am very fortunate to live a comfortable life in which I have the opportunity to study the Dharma. This is another type of pleasure.

Perhaps I'm no better than a monkey who craves a sweet fruit--but at least it's a healthy fruit!


Be careful with developing attachment to positive feelings arising from Dharma. That very attachment or want or seeking could highly impede your practice and growth.
http://www.facebook.com/szangpo

http://www.facebook.com/kyle.labonte <- This is my more active facebook, if you want some real discussion

OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

"The world is dark when you're depressed; your thoughts have the power to invent your world." -Courage Wolf

"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )
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Re: Practice and Life

Postby ram peswani » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:30 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:This is meant for introspection rather than advice, just to put a frame around it :)

From where do you draw your motivation for ongoing practice? I know as a Mahayana we'll say bodhicitta and as a Vajrayana practitioner we'll say the guru. But I mean aside from that, what keeps you going with your practice and what keeps you interested in Buddhism as a whole? Habit? Devotion? Love? Academic interest? Healthy attachment?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Best,
Laura



i started with sufferings.
Later curiousity
still later benefits in my life
And now a strong desire to achieve something more
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