Author Topic: So basically what I'm getting from all this...  (Read 1068 times)

Offline a.pina

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So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« on: February 06, 2016, 08:25:56 am »
At first I was thinking I needed to live my life as close to a monastic as possible if I wanted to be enlightened . But then I read that monks live the monastic life and have such strict rules because they took on the duty of teaching the dharma and focusing their life around learning it living it and teaching it while showing people that you don't need much to be happy. if I'm correct, the basics teaching of buddhism is that life is impermanent so just be happy and live in the moment?. Also be a moral person and follow the 8 fold path which will also make your life better and others?
Lately I've been over thinking way too many things but that's not helped me at all.
But also, I've read about some advanced practitioners of meditation and can get into these altered states of conciousness and can basically make the world outside seem as if it ceases to exist. What's that all about? What are the most advanced buddhist practitioners trying to achieve ?

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Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2016, 05:21:13 pm »
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a.pina wrote:  "At first I was thinking I needed to live my life as close to a monastic as possible if I wanted to be enlightened . But then I read that monks live the monastic life and have such strict rules because they took on the duty of teaching the dharma and focusing their life around learning it living it and teaching it while showing people that you don't need much to be happy.

The choice to practice as a monastic, or as a layperson is yours to make.  Your practice is yours from which to benefit, or from which to experience dukkha and to learn from one rebirth to the next.  No one will ever judge you for your choices.  Kamma vipakha (the consequences of your intentional actions) will inform you as to the wisdom or foolishness of your life choices.

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a. pina continues:  " ...if I'm correct, the basics teaching of buddhism is that life is impermanent so just be happy and live in the moment?.

That is certainly a part of the teachings of Buddha, but certainly not all of it.  Buddha lived many lifetimes perfecting his path.  That is both the beneficial and detrimental nature of our practice when it results in rebirth, instead of unbinding and the release of nibbana.

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Also be a moral person and follow the 8 fold path which will also make your life better and others?

Morality is very important and results in beneficial consequences.  The Noble Eight Fold Path results in unbinding and release into the state Buddha called Nibbana.  Our success in this regard will tell us if we have achieved sufficient understanding and penetration of Buddha's teachings


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Lately I've been over thinking way too many things but that's not helped me at all.

Overthinking is just another form of suffering.  Good that you have come to realize that and are willing to try a different strategy.

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But also, I've read about some advanced practitioners of meditation and can get into these altered states of conciousness and can basically make the world outside seem as if it ceases to exist. What's that all about? What are the most advanced buddhist practitioners trying to achieve ?

The question is "Advanced in what respect?"  What has their practice produced as a consequence?  Have they unbound and released into nibbana?  Or, have they just created more dukkha for themselves.

Best to judge the success of your path, and let others do the same for theirs....is probably good advice in this regard.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 06:09:37 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Dianet

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 06:31:16 am »
Hi,

In my experience, deciding on happiness as a goal tends not to work out well.

If you are a person who can decide to be happy and actually bring that about in your life, regardless of whatever experiences life or karma) brings your way, I think you would be a very rare individual.

I would say rather that the main idea is that happiness is possible, through the practice of the Eightfold Path, rather than separating these 2 ideas.

As to advanced practices of making the world seem to not exist, I have found that what we are practicing when we practice is the use of our own minds. I have read in many teachings of the Buddha that it is wise to develop our equanimity so that we remain unmoved by attraction or aversion to external events and can actually choose our reactions. If I can get to that point, I think I'll have accomplished a lot for one lifetime!

Hope to hear more from you in the future,

Diane
   

Offline Lobster

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 10:43:27 am »
What are the most advanced buddhist practitioners trying to achieve ?

The advanced, beginners and non practitioner are all trying to achieve the same thing. An easier time of it.

The non practitioner tries to avoid dukkha and find happy land ...
The beginner accepts that there is a Buddhist path that helps with that process ...
The advanced practitioner is implementing the requirements of the path and is on the way to Nirvana/happy land ...

What are you trying to achieve?  :)

Offline mysticmorn

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 10:07:26 pm »
It's a misunderstanding or oversimplification to say that Buddhism is about living in the moment at all times, and not to worry about the future. Buddhism is, in part, more about paying attention to what you're doing at any given moment, rather than allow random thoughts to distract you. But you don't ignore the past, because it can be a good teacher; you can learn from it. And you need to pay attention to the future at the appropriate time, so that you can plan ahead for your life. The Buddha had to think ahead in order to raise money to provide for his community. He devoted a significant amount of time to seeking out sponsors. But he didn't allow worries about the future to distract him in meditation, or when teaching, He was focused on the task at hand.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 11:34:12 pm »
The Buddha had to think ahead in order to raise money to provide for his community. He devoted a significant amount of time to seeking out sponsors. But he didn't allow worries about the future to distract him in meditation, or when teaching, He was focused on the task at hand.

Are you certain that money existed in India during the time of the Buddha? Did he really spend time seeking out sponsors? I wasn't aware of this. Do you have any references to support this view?

Thanks.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: So basically what I'm getting from all this...
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 12:35:27 pm »
In the early suttas he is always seen dwelling in places donated by rich patrons. The last half of Stephen Batchelor's "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist," give many references to his dependence on high places donors.
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

 


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