Author Topic: Help-- very confused  (Read 1043 times)

Offline Amberlove

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Help-- very confused
« on: January 01, 2016, 10:54:05 pm »
Hello all, I have many questions and please forgive me if I sound ignorant or uneducated in the bhuddist  teachings, because I am. I am very new to all of this and would say that I'm still exploring some very basic concepts.
I am confused as whether it is the goal to eliminate our wants or our attachments to these wants. Also, is it the goal to break thoughts and actions that arise out of habit? I'm starting to think nearly everything I do is out of habit. For instance, I get in the car to drive and I reach for my phone to play music I enjoy for the ride. I do this pretty much out of habit you could say and it is something I do every time I get in the car. My desire is to listen to music I enjoy. Suffering comes from creating desire so am I creating the desire to listen to a certain kind of music?  I also "desire" to hang out with my friends when I'm bored. Am I setting myself up for suffering in desiring those things?
Also, I would like to know more on equanimity . For people trying to reach enlightenment or at least reduce suffering ,  does this e quinidine mean our emotions become more leveled? Would one still have feelings of happiness and excitement for things that usually make you happy or excited?

Offline NobodysNobody

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 06:52:26 am »
The goal is to eliminate craving and aversion. Yes pretty much everything we do, and everything we think is due to habit. In Buddhism this habitual activity is called karma. With that said, we should try to break our tendencies to see in only black and white. Not all attachment is created equal, nor is it healthy to try to break all of our habits, and attachments at once.. it's a process that takes lifetimes. Though we can make great strides in a single lifetime.

Yes friendships and interpersonal relationships are a form of attachment, but they are also a need for human beings. There are many thing's like this, and unless you are a devout monk you should absolutely not try to give up. Look up the training rules for laypeople vs monks.

Practicing daily will over time reveal more and more of reality to us, and we will naturally become more detached, and more rooted in equanimity. Most people choose to find a learned teacher and follow their instructions, and most would agree this is the easiest path, suited for most people.

A simple practice everyone can do is mindfulness as taught by thich nhat hanh. I would recommend his books. It's an easy practice which becomes more profound throughout Buddhist practice. In the beginning before we have a teacher and even afterwards this is a great practice.

Here is the definition of equanimity:

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In Buddhism, equanimity (upekkhā, upekṣhā) is one of the four sublime attitudes and is considered: Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality's transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love.

This is pretty accurate. When we are angry normally we become lost in that feeling and let it take over. Equanimity is realizing the impermanent nature of thing's like emotions, thoughts, etc and through this realization they lose power over us, we can see through the tricks they play on us. It's a form of detachment, but one grounded in wisdom.

I hope this explains your question, if not let me know.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 08:29:31 am »
I am confused as whether it is the goal to eliminate our wants or our attachments to these wants.

The second Noble Truth explains that the cause of suffering of suffering is craving, or attachment to desire.  In the Pali it's tanha, literally "thirst".  Craving operates at many levels, at a crude level it is like addiction, at more subtle levels it manifests as a feeling of dissatisfaction, wanting things to be other than they actually are.

Offline Amberlove

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 10:42:51 pm »
Thank you both, that was very helpful :)

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2016, 11:33:30 am »
Equanimity simply means to view everything as equal. This involves stepping back a bit from our usually habit of discriminating and cutting up everything into mental concepts and categories, likes and dislikes, especially dualistic views such as good and bad, high and low, etc.

Discrimination is necessary to function in the world, but it can distract us from the true nature of our life. Meditation is letting go of discrimination and opening to clear awareness in the present moment -- equanimity.

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My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Pixie

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2016, 02:14:02 pm »

Also, I would like to know more on equanimity . For people trying to reach enlightenment or at least reduce suffering ,  does this e quinidine mean our emotions become more leveled? Would one still have feelings of happiness and excitement for things that usually make you happy or excited?


Here is some information about equanimity:

Quote

Equanimity (Upekkha)

Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight.

Looking at the world around us, and looking into our own heart, we see clearly how difficult it is to attain and maintain balance of mind.

Looking into life we notice how it continually moves between contrasts: rise and fall, success and failure, loss and gain, honor and blame. We feel how our heart responds to all this with happiness and sorrow, delight and despair, disappointment and satisfaction, hope and fear. These waves of emotion carry us up and fling us down; and no sooner do we find rest, than we are in the power of a new wave again. How can we expect to get a footing on the crest of the waves? How can we erect the building of our lives in the midst of this ever restless ocean of existence, if not on the Island of Equanimity.

A world where that little share of happiness allotted to beings is mostly secured after many disappointments, failures and defeats;

a world where only the courage to start anew, again and again, promises success;

a world where scanty joy grows amidst sickness, separation and death;

a world where beings who were a short while ago connected with us by sympathetic joy, are at the next moment in want of our compassion — such a world needs equanimity.

But the kind of equanimity required has to be based on vigilant presence of mind, not on indifferent dullness. It has to be the result of hard, deliberate training, not the casual outcome of a passing mood. But equanimity would not deserve its name if it had to be produced by exertion again and again. In such a case it would surely be weakened and finally defeated by the vicissitudes of life. True equanimity, however, should be able to meet all these severe tests and to regenerate its strength from sources within. It will possess this power of resistance and self-renewal only if it is rooted in insight.

More here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel006.html

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline mysticmorn

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 06:34:27 pm »
OP, how much Buddhist study have you done so far? Usually we advise beginners not to overthink things. It sounds like suddenly you're afraid of every thought, every movement--"is this ok?"  "Is this attachment"?  You're suddenly second-guessing every thought and movement. 

It's good to be mindful, and mindful of our motives for things, especially if our motives are egoic, and harmful to ourselves or others. Otherwise, at this stage, I wouldn't go overboard with that.  Instead, begin at the beginning (always a good place to begin! ;) ) and read about the 4 Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and compassion.  Read about the first 5 precepts, and practice being mindful about those.  Begin a modest meditation practice, where you practice stilling the mind, just for 5 minutes/day. Breathe slowly and deeply, as that helps calm the mind, and just dwell in that space for a few minutes.

That's plenty for a beginner to bite off and chew.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Help-- very confused
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2016, 02:13:24 am »
Breathe slowly and deeply, as that helps calm the mind, and just dwell in that space for a few minutes.

Good advice.  The idea of creating a calm space in the mind is very useful.

 


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