The Neurotic Zen of Mint

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

Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:50 pm

Well, sounds like you might be ready for a bit of a different approach. Perhaps it's time for Pema Chodron.

This book saved my ass.
When I was in my early 50's my husband of 17 years walked out one day, and I was left in total emotional chaos.
I had been a Catholic for 50 years, but it offered no relief, no answers, no path, and I came to the realization that something was missing, something was basically wrong, but I had no idea what or where to go. A dear friend gave me a meditation CD by Ani Pema. It was intriguing and I wanted to know more, but feared New Age claptrap; so I thought, I want to see the person live, close-up, look into her eyes and see if this is true.
So I did. I went to see her and realized she is the real deal, and began studying Buddhism. The nearest center affiliated with her was 60 miles away, but I didn't care, I was desperate. Like an alcoholic, I had reached bottom. I read "When Things Fall Apart" and it was like a breath of fresh air. Clear, concise, realistic, no jargon, just a direct way to deal with problems.

Now, I can hear you saying, yeah sure, another book, another 15 bucks down the tube, more bullshit, etc.
I will guarantee that isn't so.
No philosophy, no analytics here, just straightforward and heartfelt advice, shot from the hip. Read the reviews.

Do yourself a favor and just read it. If you thinks it's crap, I'll buy your copy from you.
PM me if you want.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:58 pm

mint wrote:
I would - yet not only do I not know how to get in contact with the man but I'm not even sure he'd bother replying to such a silly question.


Contact Tsegyalgar and provide your ID #. They will assist you.

and know jackshit about Buddhism and especially Dzogchen. What's worse: I've read a few books on the subject now and still know jackshit. I can't explain karma adequately to save my life much less Mahayana or Dzogchen.


You can't push yourself beyond your capacities. Take your time.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Virgo » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:02 pm

Get rid of the stress.

Kevin
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:17 pm

justsit wrote:Well, sounds like you might be ready for a bit of a different approach. Perhaps it's time for Pema Chodron.


Virgo wrote:Get rid of the stress.


I was doing just fine reading my Chogyam Trungpa books and listening to my Pema Chodron audiobooks until the Nov 20 worldwide transmission rolled around and everyone in the DC thread started harping about how I shouldn't pass up the opportunity to receive transmission from such a great master and how great Dzogchen is, etc.. I tried stating otherwise, but people said, 'Oh, Trungpa is dead, but Namkhai Norbu is alive.' I hope, after reading this thread, people will exercise more discretion when pushing people into things which they themselves acknowledge that they're not ready for!
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:20 pm

mint wrote:I was doing just fine reading my Chogyam Trungpa books and listening to my Pema Chodron audiobooks until the Nov 20 worldwide transmission rolled around and everyone in the DC thread started harping about how I shouldn't pass up the opportunity to receive transmission from such a great master and how great Dzogchen is, etc.. I tried stating otherwise, but people said, 'Oh, Trungpa is dead, but Namkhai Norbu is alive.' I hope, after reading this thread, people will exercise more discretion when pushing people into things which they themselves acknowledge that they're not ready for!


Or actually taking personal responsibility for one's actions and doing what one wants. There are many Vajrayana practitioners here who aren't students of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. There are many members who don't practice Vajrayana at all.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:29 pm

Mr. G wrote:Or actually...


Not "or," but "and."
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:53 pm

mint wrote: I hope, after reading this thread, people will exercise more discretion when pushing people into things which they themselves acknowledge that they're not ready for!


No one pushed you to do anything.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:No one pushed you to do anything.


And no one can tell me what to do now.

I'm scared to practice Dzogchen, and I'm scared not to.

So, given all that I've said above, this thread can only go in circles from this point on.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:21 pm

mint wrote:
I'm scared to practice Dzogchen...



This is like being scared of recognizing your own face in a mirror.

N
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Josef » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:22 pm

mint wrote:
Namdrol wrote:No one pushed you to do anything.



So, given all that I've said above, this thread can only go in circles from this point on.


I agree.
People have been doing their best to help you get over this compulsive anxiety about your practice and how to approach it.
It is now and always has been up to you.
Either do it, or dont.
You have a wealth or resources at your disposal, its up to you to figure out how they can work for you.
It seems to me that you want everything to be crystal clear RIGHT NOW, well that just isnt the way it works.
Personally it took me about eight years of trying to practice before I even figured out that I didnt know my ass from my elbow.
How long has it been for you Mint? Four months or so?
Its time for a reality check my friend.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby mint » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:59 pm

:good:

Nangwa wrote:It is now and always has been up to you.
Either do it, or dont.
You have a wealth or resources at your disposal, its up to you to figure out how they can work for you.


Well, I, for one, was REALLY looking forward to recieving the Oral Commentary to Day/Night since, as I've read here on the forum, it's the best laid out plan for how to approach Dzogchen daily. And now its lost in the mail somewhere between Italy and NC.

Second, between Christmas Day and today, not only did I not get much of an opportunity to meditate or do guruyoga but even when I found the rare opportunity it wasn't for long due to being distracted. And now I want to smash my head in because I wasted valuable opportunities to practice even when I couldn't do formal practice. And I want to smash my head in for not knowing enough about Dzogchen to know this. And yet it got so hard to concentrate on reading about Dzogchen while in Chicago that I just gave up and started reading a Beatles biography. And now that I'm back home I'm so tense and pissed off that I've wasted precious time and energy and then I encounter threads saying, "Trekchö - Kadag - Dharmakaya - Thigle - Essence - Sounds," that I just want to break something. I mean, it's been over a month and I don't even know how to do a short thun and even if I did I don't have the privacy to do one because of my financial and living situation which I'm working to get out of, but my situation is what it is and it makes vocalizing A's and SOVs and thuns impossible and without vocalizing them it feels useless. And I can't even pick up a book by ChNN now without wanting to chuck it across the room I'm so tense about all of this. And it's only with Dzogchen and my practice that I'm like this. Hard as it is to believe, I'm actually a very calm, relaxed person who doesn't disturb easy. So many people that I know from my parents to my girlfriend to my girlfriend's cousins would tell you that I'm really a very mellow, cool guy - but something about my practice and my knowledge of the practice just pisses me off. The ONLY reason I keep threatening myself with returning to Catholicism is because it would be returning to something safe and familiar, something I know and know how to do and, in the wake of the complex anxiety I'm putting myself through because of Dzogchen, that security and familiarity seem like green pastures even if ultimately empty of sustenance and sustainability.

So. More circularity.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Josef » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:36 pm

It takes a lot of time Mint.
Once you figure out how to work with time and how long these things really take you will be much more comfortable.
I have been doing the Short Tun every day for a couple of years now and I am still amazed by the layers of the practices it contains.
This is a good thing. If we felt like we have mastered something too quickly we are either deluded or the thing we have mastered isnt doing much for us.
Try to figure out how to give yourself a break and experience some of the joys associated with what we do.
Once you learn to let it feel good you will be able to work with your other circumstances.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Pero » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:39 pm

mint wrote:Well, I, for one, was REALLY looking forward to recieving the Oral Commentary to Day/Night since, as I've read here on the forum, it's the best laid out plan for how to approach Dzogchen daily. And now its lost in the mail somewhere between Italy and NC.

Have you writen an email to ask them about it? I think they were moving into new offices or something around that time, so perhaps your order may not have been even shipped.

And now that I'm back home I'm so tense and pissed off that I've wasted precious time and energy and then I encounter threads saying, "Trekchö - Kadag - Dharmakaya - Thigle - Essence - Sounds," that I just want to break something.

Frankly you're being ridiculous with this. Just because someone uses some words you don't know doesn't mean they have any more clue about them than you really. And also, perhaps try not to compare yourself to others, do things at your own pace. And if you do compare yourself with others and think they know more than you, then use it as an opportunity to try to learn from them instead of becoming angry over it. Otherwise most of us here could go balistic half the time Namdrol posts something. :rolling:
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby catmoon » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:52 pm

A truly radical thought:

Wouldn't a true Dzogchenpa be acutely aware that Dzogchen (or any other practice) isn't worth the powder to blow it, and hence be unworried about all this?

By attaching extreme value to a practice, one immediately falls prey to fear, anxiety, attachment and anger, ego, the works. By not attaching a value, high or low, one is immediately free to do or not do, as seems beneficial in the moment.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:54 pm

mint wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: ask yourself what it is that you are worried will happen
if you don't find what it is you are after.


I'd like to avoid the following things: being wrong, practicing incorrectly, going to hell.


So, these three things are based on a strong attachment to ego. If you are reading Chogyam Trungpa, hopefully "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" is in your stack of books , because it talks about this directly.

Nobody wants to be wrong. But ask yourself why. Why don't you want to be wrong? And then when you answer that, ask yourself why that and on and on. For example,
"being wrong might make me feel like a fool"
(So why don't you want to feel like a fool?)
"Because feeling like a fool is embarrassing and humiliating"
(so what will happen if you feel embarrassed and humiliated?)

...and so on.
Sometimes we stop half way through thinking things through, and we only think them half way through and we never get to the end. But letting go of "me" is really the basis for freedom from a troubled mind.

As far as practicing incorrectly, again, what can happen?
As far as hell goes, it sounds like you are already there and surviving it okay.
But I think you can let yourself out anytime you want.
As long as you remain honest with yourself, (and are you really?) you can manage this one.
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Virgo » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:10 pm

The essence of Rinpoches practice is to fall asleep with the White A and thigle.

This is Guru Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, combined.

It's all you really need, yet its good to do more when you can-- which may be every day, or which may be once a month-- honestly it doesn't matter all that much if you do this essential practice.

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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:43 pm

Pero wrote:Otherwise most of us here could go balistic half the time Namdrol posts something. :rolling:

....

Half the time people do...
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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:45 pm

mint wrote:So, exactly one month ago I ordered the Oral Commentary to the Cycle of Day and Night from Shang Shung and it hasn't arrived yet. I take this as a sign that I should just quit.


Oh, come on! Be a rational animal, and don't let yourself be duped by your 'intuitions' :-)

mint wrote:None of you give a shit about me or my practice anyway


Not true at all.

That 'honesty' thing, it's very tricky, btw. Actual honesty is acknowledging one's limitations, obviously - but you appear to be so confused as to be completely incapable of noticing what your situation is like. When stressed out, depressd or confused, it's so very easy to take for one's 'honesty' utterly wrong and deeply misleading approaches to oneself. Oh gods, do I know about it . . .

Also, why would you want to go back to RC - you're saying it worked only for a brief time, after all, and judging by your posts it looks like your 'faith' was a constructed, effort-consuming thing. Why do that? Why waste life on erecting structures that all in all will be only prisons?
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby Pero » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Pero wrote:Otherwise most of us here could go balistic half the time Namdrol posts something. :rolling:

....

Half the time people do...

LOL, touché! :smile:
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Re: The Neurotic Zen of Mint

Postby wisdom » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:26 am

mint wrote:Second, between Christmas Day and today, not only did I not get much of an opportunity to meditate or do guruyoga but even when I found the rare opportunity it wasn't for long due to being distracted. And now I want to smash my head in because I wasted valuable opportunities to practice even when I couldn't do formal practice. And I want to smash my head in for not knowing enough about Dzogchen to know this.


This is great! Very few people have the ability to see how their time is wasted or opportunities are lost. This is one of the things we are supposed to feel, at least in terms of the immanent importance of practice and not wanting to waste time. Anger and smashing our heads however won't do any good, but making time to practice, which probably includes making sacrifices and not doing other things, is good.

mint wrote: And yet it got so hard to concentrate on reading about Dzogchen while in Chicago that I just gave up and started reading a Beatles biography. And now that I'm back home I'm so tense and pissed off that I've wasted precious time and energy


Precious indeed. So turn this experience into a lesson in itself. Try to bring this feeling into the now, into the present. If you can feel this sense of urgency in the here and now, I guarantee you that you will be studying and practicing and feeling good about having done so.

mint wrote:and then I encounter threads saying, "Trekchö - Kadag - Dharmakaya - Thigle - Essence - Sounds," that I just want to break something.


Meh, I have no idea what most of these things are or mean. I'm studying Mahayana and doing Ngondro. I'll join the DC soon when I can afford it, then slowly buy some books from ChNN as I can afford them. As a Dzogchenpa I'm free to not understand, and free to study and practice other vehicles. I've found reading 'Words of my Perfect Teacher' and 'Treasury of Precious Qualities" immensely useful. Start with the basics. Follow in the footsteps of the great masters. They went through all the vehicles, held all the vows. There is no shame in doing that, and in fact its skillful means to do so if it means that practicing Hinayana or Vajrayana or whatever means removing obscuration and ignorance. Read Chodron and Trungpa if you connect with them. At some point in time you will think "I need to read this book by ChNN" and you will, and if you let it arise spontaneously like that, and follow your intuition rather than forcing things, you will find that the book will contain precisely what you need to know, and what you are ready to learn.

Also an intellectual analysis or understanding of a thing doesn't mean you actually understand it or are wise. Thats the lesson ChNN is talking about in your signature, and also his guru was not learned at all, he just practiced Dzogchen and became realized (granted, he wasn't living in our western conditions). Still, book learning is what it is, it can go either way, as a help or hindrance.

mint wrote:I mean, it's been over a month and I don't even know how to do a short thun


I took transmission the same day as you, and am about as new to Buddhism as you are, I don't even know what a thun is, let alone a short one.

mint wrote:And even if I did I don't have the privacy to do one because of my financial and living situation which I'm working to get out of, but my situation is what it is and it makes vocalizing A's and SOVs and thuns impossible and without vocalizing them it feels useless.


Well you can whisper them, and if not that you can still arouse intense feelings and then think them with devotion and pure intention, you can meld this with your breath, so when you breathe out you connect that to mentally focusing on the line you are reading or the A. Or put on headphones and listen to a recording of the SOV and follow along mentally, allowing your energy to move with and to it like you would with any kind of music or devotional song.

My financial situation sucks too. I make 10$ an hour, live with a room mate who has pretty heavy delusions, I take public transit to work. I haven't even been able to afford to join the DC yet, let alone buy a pile of books and DVDs. My family is poor, my father is basically homeless. On top of this I have about 10 grand in debt from various stupid things. Most of that is from a single electric bill and the IRS, despite being minimum wage they think I owe them thousands of dollars and I can't afford to fight it. I have no schooling to show for it, and can't afford to attend the Buddhist college I want to go to because they don't accept FAFSA. I can't ordain to become a monk because you have to be debt free, and I would actually do that for a few years if I could and learn Tibetan, then go off to a 9 year college in Tibet. If I had only 20k, I could begin to make all my dreams a reality. As it stands most likely none of them will ever happen, and such a small barrier in reality exists between them being a fantasy and reality. Such is life.

mint wrote: And I can't even pick up a book by ChNN now without wanting to chuck it across the room I'm so tense about all of this. And it's only with Dzogchen


So step away from Dzogchen, it encompasses all the vehicles anyways. Broaden your horizons, then when you have a broader understanding of Tibetan Buddhism in general, maybe Dzogchen will be more enjoyable and ChNN will seem more inspiring to read. Maybe Dzogchen and Nyingma lineage is just not for you. Maybe you will connect more with the Gelugs or Sakya. Or maybe you are like me and are into Payul because they embrace both Kagyu and Nyingma, and I like more non sectarian approaches to things.

So basically if you enjoy Chodron and such, go with it. If you are ever in the northwest for business, stop by Powells Books in Portland, the Buddhism section has thousands of books, and the Tibetan Buddhist section has hundreds. Its great to browse and find new stuff randomly and learn about things you had no idea existed.
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