Author Topic: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs  (Read 828 times)

Offline Arkena

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« on: May 23, 2017, 12:43:35 pm »
So i just wanted to say firstly that i am recognising....

Anger,hatred,fear,fury,low self esteem as types of suffering. Before i didnt recognise them as such.

I was brought up as a christian, my father had an impact on me with his religion and i find myself now with certain beliefs that are more than unhelpful they downright lead me to suffering.

They are:

If it feels good it cant be ok and i should feel shame.

I dont deserve to feel good.

How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?

Offline Kodo308

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 05:42:48 pm »
So i just wanted to say firstly that i am recognising....

Anger,hatred,fear,fury,low self esteem as types of suffering. Before i didnt recognise them as such.

I was brought up as a christian, my father had an impact on me with his religion and i find myself now with certain beliefs that are more than unhelpful they downright lead me to suffering.

They are:

If it feels good it cant be ok and i should feel shame.

I dont deserve to feel good.

How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?

Right off the top of my head...you've found the first one, knowing suffering. You are seeing how these internalized messages lead to suffering. Just being aware of the tapes is a huge step! A little enlightenment.  :D Yay!

Then, learning how to step away from them, and returning to the meditation object, whether it is the breath, noting the walking, visualization, whatever. This will help you get a little distance between yourself & those old thought habits.

The virtue of patience is very important here, because you'll find yourself disengaging over & over & that's ok. Becoming who you are now was a process, becoming who you'll be next is also a process. Be the patient person you needed as a child. It still counts as an adult.  :fu:

Studying the Buddhadharma is very important for re-framing how to see things in a different light. Don't worry about the parts you don't understand, just practice the parts you do. Ask questions & seek explanations from reliable teachers.

As your practice develops, you'll come to see how these thoughts & delusions are not self, but rather adventitious 'clouds' that block the radiance of the clear mind.

Just a warning...as you were raised a rather parsimonious version of Christian, I would approach the Bodhichitta Vows carefully, if the Mahayana is the path that works for you. Bodhichitta is not the same as the doormat style of Christianity impressed on women. So first practice bodhichitta towards yourself & all the aspects of yourself you dislike. The Six Paramitas are a good guide in that respect. Generosity in this case is generosity of spirit directed towards yourself, acknowledging your effort, understanding your shortcomings, allowing yourself to make mistakes & learn.

Human life is precious, your life is precious. Not as a lackey for someone else to use, but as itself. There is only one of you in the whole world of billions. It's an amazing thing! And at the same time, we all share a common humanity.

 :dharma:  :hug:

Offline Pixie

  • Member
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
    • Buddhism Without Boundaries
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 09:31:49 pm »

How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?


Hi Arkena,

The teachings of the historical Buddha and of recognised teachers who are skilled at passing on his instructions can be helpful in calming our disturbing thoughts and actions, and also regular meditation.

This little book by Ajahn Sumedho about the practice of mindfulness might be useful for you,(as well as his other books and talks found on the same website). It also contains some instructions about walking meditation.

http://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Mindfulness_-The-Path-to-the-Deathless-Ajahn-Sumedho.pdf

Hope that helps a little.

With best wishes,

Pixie   _/|\_



« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 09:38:27 pm by Pixie »
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 Arkena

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 05:28:05 am »
Ty guys,

Does theravada cover bodhichitta and the 6 paramitas?

 :D


Offline Pixie

  • Member
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
    • Buddhism Without Boundaries
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 12:17:16 pm »
Ty guys,

Does theravada cover bodhichitta and the 6 paramitas?

 



Hi Arkena,

It might be worthwhile you reading my post about the Theravada Paramis and the Mahayana Paramitas in the Freesangha topic  "The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path".

Also, this article "The View from the Centre" by Ajahn Amaro might be of  interest:

Excerpt:

Quote

‘Don’t be an arahant, don’t be a bodhisattva, don’t be anything at all – if you are anything at all you will suffer’ [Ajahn Chah].

A student of Buddhism asked: ‘Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?’ Ajahn Sumedho replied: ‘That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!’

One of the larger and more significant elephants in the living-room of Buddhism in the West is the uneasy and often unexpressed disparity between the classically stated goals of the Northern and Southern schools. These goals can be expressed in various ways. For the Northern Tradition the goal is most often formulated as the cultivation of the bodhisattva path for the benefit of all beings, developed over many lifetimes and culminating in Buddhahood. For the Southern Tradition the goal is the realization of arahantship, ideally in this very life.

The main reason for delving into this thorny disparity is that questions akin to the one asked of Ajahn Sumedho, quoted above, come up so often. This chapter therefore aims to shed a little more light on the landscape of the goal of Buddhist practice, recount some of what the scriptures and traditions have said over the centuries and outline some of the questions that have been asked. Hopefully this multi-faceted aim will enable the reader’s intuitive wisdom to integrate these elements into a clearer quality of understanding of how these various points might fit together and balance with each other. It is explicitly not the intention here to argue towards some particular position and then defend it.

Continues at the link:

http://www.amaravati.org/the-view-from-the-centre/




_/|\_

« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:54:00 pm by Pixie »
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 zafrogzen

  • Member
  • Posts: 278
  • I've been practicing and studying meditation since
    • View Profile
    • zafrogzen
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 01:21:10 pm »
Hi Arkena, 

You said --
Quote
How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?

"Beliefs" can be be changed pretty easily. It's the mental "habits" that are harder to change.

I’ve been writing and researching a little on habits and self-discipline lately, trying to keep a lid on my own more mundane habits-- http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/self-discipline/

It’s pretty simple in theory, but difficult in practice. Habits are imprinted in our brains by repetition. The more they’re repeated the more firmly fixed they become. Conversely, the way to overcome a habitual pattern is to replace it with a different one. For instance if I always get angry when my wife nags me about something, that habitual response becomes automatic through repetition. However, if I see that my usual response just makes matters worse and I decide to change, I can come up with a better response, like maybe saying “Thank you, I’ll try to do better” -- but not sarcastically, although it doesn’t need to be sincere at first, just saying it in an even tone is enough to defuse the situation. Eventually, if repeated often enough it replaces the old habit and even my wife becomes less irritated by my frequent failings.

The "unprogramming" you're referring to is more complex but it is still the same principle of programming through repetition -- even if the habits are internal thought patterns. Of course, in order to even be aware of our habitual patterns requires some introspection and mindfulness as well as calmness and equanimity in order to be effective. That’s where a regular meditation practice can help.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 01:23:59 pm by zafrogzen »
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 Arkena

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 02:00:11 pm »
very interesting ty for replies guys.

I have some thinking and being to do now ;)

Offline PuerAzaelis

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 07:39:18 pm »
So i just wanted to say firstly that i am recognising....

Anger,hatred,fear,fury,low self esteem as types of suffering. Before i didnt recognise them as such.

I was brought up as a christian, my father had an impact on me with his religion and i find myself now with certain beliefs that are more than unhelpful they downright lead me to suffering.

They are:

If it feels good it cant be ok and i should feel shame.

I dont deserve to feel good.

How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?
Good karma is also a form of suffering.
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

Offline Arkena

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 02:28:04 am »
and what does:
Quote
Good karma is also a form of suffering.
mean?

Offline loopix

  • Member
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 02:30:38 am »
nonsense. when good karma ripens, the result is not suffering

Offline Rahul

  • Member
  • Posts: 135
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2017, 02:57:02 am »
Hi Arkena, 

You said --
Quote
How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?

"Beliefs" can be be changed pretty easily. It's the mental "habits" that are harder to change.

I’ve been writing and researching a little on habits and self-discipline lately, trying to keep a lid on my own more mundane habits-- http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/self-discipline/

It’s pretty simple in theory, but difficult in practice. Habits are imprinted in our brains by repetition. The more they’re repeated the more firmly fixed they become. Conversely, the way to overcome a habitual pattern is to replace it with a different one. For instance if I always get angry when my wife nags me about something, that habitual response becomes automatic through repetition. However, if I see that my usual response just makes matters worse and I decide to change, I can come up with a better response, like maybe saying “Thank you, I’ll try to do better” -- but not sarcastically, although it doesn’t need to be sincere at first, just saying it in an even tone is enough to defuse the situation. Eventually, if repeated often enough it replaces the old habit and even my wife becomes less irritated by my frequent failings.

The "unprogramming" you're referring to is more complex but it is still the same principle of programming through repetition -- even if the habits are internal thought patterns. Of course, in order to even be aware of our habitual patterns requires some introspection and mindfulness as well as calmness and equanimity in order to be effective. That’s where a regular meditation practice can help.


This may help 'overwrite' older habits by newer ones. But this doesn't solve the problem. The problem is mental conditioning here. Good or bad, conditioning is conditioning. One must recognize that a bad habit was conditioning and get over all types of conditioning.

Offline zafrogzen

  • Member
  • Posts: 278
  • I've been practicing and studying meditation since
    • View Profile
    • zafrogzen
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2017, 08:57:30 am »
Rahul wrote
Quote
The problem is mental conditioning here. Good or bad, conditioning is conditioning. One must recognize that a bad habit was conditioning and get over all types of conditioning.
Good luck with that.

Even if you succeed in transcending your conditioning, both good and bad, it still continues to function automatically in your body/mind. Without some deep insight/realization through meditation practice even such transcendence is difficult.

Traditionally in Buddhism the Noble Eightfold Path is recommended in order to condition good habits and drop bad ones, as a way to reduce suffering. The instance I gave in my earlier post is an example of developing the habit of "right speech."


« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 11:27:42 am by zafrogzen »
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 Solodris

  • Member
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2017, 01:15:40 pm »
Maybe we should focus on calling karmic actions as skillful and unskillful rather than good and bad? Since good and bad indicates not a state of mind, but the concept of moral absolutism. When something becomes of skill, it is of the mind.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5057
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2017, 01:09:27 am »
How does buddhism help someone "unprogram" beliefs that cause suffering and that lead someone away from peace and behaving skilfully?


I have generally found meditation and mindfulness to be helpful ways of "seeing behind" such beliefs and recognising habitual responses. 

You could also investigate therapeutic approaches like CBT: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

I have also found it helpful to develop a kinder and more accepting attitude, check out the metta bhavana practice for example: http://www.wildmind.org/metta/one
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 01:20:47 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Pixie

  • Member
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
    • Buddhism Without Boundaries
Re: Unprogramming unhelpful beliefs
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2017, 01:31:03 am »
Hi Arkena,


Regarding the Metta practice mentioned in the previous post, this is a nice little 5 minute instruction video which you might find useful :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_lqd4Sgfc


_/|\_

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.

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal