sometimes one has to stop practicing

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Minobu
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sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Minobu »

I have been at a huge amount of practice for a few years now. I hit months of stalemate and still practiced.

I stopped practicing and so many things that i needed in my life just unfolded.

like unreal how it all came about and still is.

I think the practice in some ways is too strong for a householder to keep up .

It's like all that karmic stir needs a rest . all that force to thwart you whilst practicing needs a rest.

Now here is the thing:

In the past when i stopped it came along with an urge to look at the practice as something not good/false/inaccurate Buddhist thought/totally fake....

so i had this sort of grudge against it..

and fell into hell eventually.

This time though it was more like I have to give this a rest. I know in my heart it is a more than valid practice and it is to be commended and praised .

but something told me that I am just doing way too much and need to take a break. within weeks it all started to gel.

and as each benefit came i put it down to my practice. and thanked the Lotus Sutra.

which leads me to see the true power of Lotus Sutra practice and how attitude is key . especially when you step away for a sabbatical.

Now it's not like i don't chant at all...every now and then throughout the day the ODaimoku pops into my head i focus on three Odaimoku's either mentally or use voice.


dont' know when i shall resume hard core practice again but i know i will.
narhwal90
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by narhwal90 »

Gotta do what you can 😀 Sometimes a step back and a different approach is very helpful.
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Sādhaka
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Sādhaka »

Perhaps take up a practice that is more ‘concrete’, such as Yoga?

Of course in Buddhist Yoga, transmission is required; however the Dzogchen Community has a public level of Yantra Yoga that you could start with, or you could even start with a basic Swami Sivananda Ashtanga or Hatha Yoga style alongside your Sutra Dharanis, Shamatha, etc.

Just throwing it out out there, in case it’s something you haven’t considered; as working with the body itself could add a boost and new dimension to your practice.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Queequeg
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Queequeg »

Minobu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:31 pm I have been at a huge amount of practice for a few years now. I hit months of stalemate and still practiced.

I stopped practicing and so many things that i needed in my life just unfolded.

like unreal how it all came about and still is.

I think the practice in some ways is too strong for a householder to keep up .

It's like all that karmic stir needs a rest . all that force to thwart you whilst practicing needs a rest.

Now here is the thing:

In the past when i stopped it came along with an urge to look at the practice as something not good/false/inaccurate Buddhist thought/totally fake....

so i had this sort of grudge against it..

and fell into hell eventually.

This time though it was more like I have to give this a rest. I know in my heart it is a more than valid practice and it is to be commended and praised .

but something told me that I am just doing way too much and need to take a break. within weeks it all started to gel.

and as each benefit came i put it down to my practice. and thanked the Lotus Sutra.

which leads me to see the true power of Lotus Sutra practice and how attitude is key . especially when you step away for a sabbatical.

Now it's not like i don't chant at all...every now and then throughout the day the ODaimoku pops into my head i focus on three Odaimoku's either mentally or use voice.


dont' know when i shall resume hard core practice again but i know i will.
Yup. In another life, maybe I could have been a full time yogi. In this life, I'm a householder. So for years, I go into deep practice, and then let up, then back in, then let up. Like waves lapping on the shore.

It has worked out just fine.

Takes a while to have this kind of perspective on life, though. You can share this wisdom with a pup, but until they actually have the perspective to see a few of these cycles play out in their own lives, they won't get it. Takes experience to be OK with taking blind steps knowing the earth will meet your foot each time.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Now you do “the practice of no practice”.
:smile:
Seriously, there is a tendency as you say, to just go at full intensity. But I think what that sometimes comes down to is that “practice” becomes a kind of abstract Buddhist thing that we add to our life, rather than it being how we do life.

Years ago, when my son was born, I took care of him pretty much 24/7, and I had to set aside all of the outward trappings of “formal” practice. No candles or incense, no time really for sitting meditation (I had time during his naps, but then, I was always distracted by listening for him to wake up). Everything you might say was put on hold, as though I had packed it all up in a box. The only thing I did was to recite “Namo Amitabha” a lot.

And what happened was, what I really set aside or packed away was the whole “me—I’m
a Buddhist” identity thing. That too can be a type of self-grasping, something that we hold onto for security. Then, the teachings, I think, really entered my bloodstream. And by that, what I mean is, blood is what flows through you. It’s the most important thing, but you can’t see it or feel it. It’s just in you.

Sometimes stepping back from what we think is Dharma practice reveals our real Dharma practice, because we don’t have the chanting and the bowing and all that “stuff” that we usually think practicing dharma is about. Those are outward supports.

Good luck with your vacation!
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
fckw
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by fckw »

Buddhists have this idea, that practice will take you somewhere. And then they go to lengths telling that once you've practiced for long enough that there is no more practice. Yet, next moment they keep telling you that this does not mean you don't practice anymore. In contrary, you practice 24/7 spontaneously! Isn't that miraculous! However, when asked whether buddhas need to formally be sitting in meditation, do rituals and all that stuff, the standard answer is that yes, they do for creating faith in everyone. And so on, and so on.

It's really just a mind game. Either you practice, or you don't. It's as simple as that.
illarraza
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by illarraza »

Minobu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:31 pm I have been at a huge amount of practice for a few years now. I hit months of stalemate and still practiced.

I stopped practicing and so many things that i needed in my life just unfolded.

like unreal how it all came about and still is.

I think the practice in some ways is too strong for a householder to keep up .

It's like all that karmic stir needs a rest . all that force to thwart you whilst practicing needs a rest.

Now here is the thing:

In the past when i stopped it came along with an urge to look at the practice as something not good/false/inaccurate Buddhist thought/totally fake....

so i had this sort of grudge against it..

and fell into hell eventually.

This time though it was more like I have to give this a rest. I know in my heart it is a more than valid practice and it is to be commended and praised .

but something told me that I am just doing way too much and need to take a break. within weeks it all started to gel.

and as each benefit came i put it down to my practice. and thanked the Lotus Sutra.

which leads me to see the true power of Lotus Sutra practice and how attitude is key . especially when you step away for a sabbatical.

Now it's not like i don't chant at all...every now and then throughout the day the ODaimoku pops into my head i focus on three Odaimoku's either mentally or use voice.


dont' know when i shall resume hard core practice again but i know i will.
You are not alone. Once I stopped for four years and once for one year (in 45 years). Last time I had a bad situation. I joined the merchent marines as a doctor and the money was crap and I didn't want to go on their 2 month training ship for the young sailors. I had to leave the next day. I began chanting my ass off. Got dressed in my uniform and went down to the dock. Got on the ship which was leaving in a couple of hours and the captain called me in. He told me I needed to sign the contract. I would be receiving $8500 for the two months. I told him, we agreed upon $8500 for each month. He said NO. I said I wasn't signing a contract for $4300 a month, I'm an MD. I scurried home. At the last minute he got a Nurse Practitioner to come aboard. The trip was a disaster. The ship was old. The sewage mixed with the shower lines, no one could take a shower for the entire 2 months and one young man had an asthma attack and died aboard. The Gohonzon saved my butt and I never missed Gongyo after that for more than 23 years. One thing I would advise, clean your altar daily and protect the Gohonzon despite not chanting. We chanted one or so Daimoku to the Gohonzon from time to time.
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Minobu
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Minobu »

I don’t think I got my point across.

Nichiren practice is so powerful that I found by letting the actual intense practice go it allowed for change.

People don’t get what this practice is. How it stirs up so many forces. How it works on one’s karma. How it brings you to understand Buddha and the various teachings.

People think Nichiren was like anti everything else.

For me it always opened the door to other practice. Some Buddhist sometimes other which compliment.

It’s all Dharma and Dharma practice.

It’s not like I’ve gone on vacation or taking a break from Buddhism.

I think it’s too personal to actually explain with any level of articulation.
Last edited by Minobu on Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Queequeg
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Queequeg »

Minobu wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:16 pm I don’t think I got my point across.

Nichiren practice is so powerful that I found by letting the actual intense practice go it allowed for change.

People don’t get what this practice is. How it stirs up so many forces. How it works on one’s karma. How it brings you to understand Buddha and the various teachings.

People think Nichiren was like anti everything else.

For me it always opened the door to other practice. Some Buddhist sometimes other which compliment.

It’s all Dharma and Dharma practice.

It’s not like I’ve gone on vacation or taking a break from Buddhism.

I think it’s too personal to actually explain with any level of articulation.
Well, if you insist that your view of it is the only relevant one and that everyone else just doesn't get it, why bother posting about it?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Minobu
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:08 pm
Minobu wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:16 pm I don’t think I got my point across.

Nichiren practice is so powerful that I found by letting the actual intense practice go it allowed for change.

People don’t get what this practice is. How it stirs up so many forces. How it works on one’s karma. How it brings you to understand Buddha and the various teachings.

People think Nichiren was like anti everything else.

For me it always opened the door to other practice. Some Buddhist sometimes other which compliment.

It’s all Dharma and Dharma practice.

It’s not like I’ve gone on vacation or taking a break from Buddhism.

I think it’s too personal to actually explain with any level of articulation.
Well, if you insist that your view of it is the only relevant one and that everyone else just doesn't get it, why bother posting about it?
I really appreciate your help here QQ.
It's not that i don't see the other posts as relevant and great input it's that i am trying to get something i feel across.
someone mentioned vacation, I'm not on a dharma vacation.
Others mentioned alternative practice and mentioned their path.

As you know and as i stated Nichiren's dharma led me to many other practices.

It opened a door wider for me.

Especially now i see that most of His dharma is misinterpreted, from my point of view, in this year 2021.

Like art, dharma practice becomes a personal perspective.

So once again my point is that which one invokes through Nichiren's dharma, that which we invoke is so powerful , it's effects are eternal...and we are eternal beings. always changing always evolving.

quitting the practice and stopping it are two different things.

I will always be a student of Nichiren and hopefully He is one of my mentors.

I don't see Nichiren practice like , well illarazza does.

It's not slander to practice other forms of dharma.

and stopping one practice and doing other things in between is not slander to me.

It's just like i found some epiphany in letting go . why? I feel it is so powerful for me, it is a neat thing to let go and then the experience .... watching stuff unfold you did not know were reality and now are part and parcel to you. Also something fell into my lap i never prayed for but made me happier than other thing in my present life.

the wow factor is full on at the moment.


So once again the practice is so powerful it sometimes keeps me in a holding pattern and stopping the powerful practice allows for a freedom of sorts.
narhwal90
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by narhwal90 »

:twothumbsup:
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Queequeg
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by Queequeg »

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Anyway, its widely attributed to Holmes.

There's a whole body of thought in Buddhist literature on what happens when one encounters Buddhadharma. In Nichiren contexts you might hear of the Poison Drum, or planting Daimoku, or Hearing the Name. The whole debate about Buddhanature and icchantikas, or three, five or one vehicle is about this.

I think I know what you are talking about.

In the view of Lotus teachings, once one has an encounter with Buddhadharma, they are indelibly marked by that. Even if someone reacts by slandering the Buddhadharma, they are marked - every subsequent moment stands in relation to that encounter with Buddhadharma. Obviously cultivating Buddhadharma deepens the connection, but reacting negatively in an energetic manner can be a great practice, also. Its like having a boil that gets worse and worse until it is ready to be lanced.

You received the Buddhadharma and deeply cultivated it in this life - its not possible for you to lose the connection.

It might sound mystical to the materialist, but if you understand a little bit about the mind and how it works, its not far fetched at all and rather obvious.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
cjdevries
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Re: sometimes one has to stop practicing

Post by cjdevries »

This reminds me of the section of the I Ching that says self discipline is important, but too much self restraint brings defeat. I think that it's important to be disciplined in our practice but if we overdo it we can cause problems for ourselves.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche

"Love never claims, it ever gives. Love ever suffers, never resents, never revenges itself." -Gandhi
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