Author Topic: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom  (Read 941 times)

Offline maapaa

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Greetings all,

Ones name is Martin Painter, British almost 25 years old. Practised Zen Buddism to some proficiency.

Questions regarding practise.

The nature of reality, seems to be something one seems to have a lot of difficulty with moving forward.
Samsara or the cycle of reincarnation, which I would presume that includes, suffering of conditioned existence seems to me to have some concerns I want to raise.
Firstly, is existence itself and not the human condition (or existence experienced through beings) suffering? Simply put now, is the universe just the universe and we suffer due to our bad 'behaviour' in it, or is the (conditioned or unconditioned) universe unsatisfactory 'Dukkha' so we suffer it?

Secondly, the thoughts concerning Bodhisattva, Mahayana Buddhism.
One understands that one should continue to be reborn to help all beings reach Nirvana collectively, but how might they be achieved given the state of the world, stubbornness of Humans and secondly, how long would that take, i am sure countless generations of lifetimes. Surely one will eventually slip into lower realms when ones good karma is all used up then 'I' will equally need to be guided back out, while 'I' stay around in samsara to guide others out. Whats the point of that?

Regarding the practise of the precepts.
One considered becoming a Monk but given 'my' age i feel i want to enjoy my life first, i feel one is bad for wanting this as the world is suffering a great deal and deserves all hands on deck to guide beings correctly, however firstly, how does one guide people when the Buddha said that people need to achieve their emancipation through self effort (basically meaning 'I' am not really necessary) secondly, am i a bad person for wanting to enjoy loved ones, marriage, adoption, driving a car, handling money, having a stable job etc when one should quickly reach Nirvana for the betterment of all beings.

Delusions, fear and evil or coarse things.
Oh and always the popular, what about witch craft, devils, demons, evil beings, coarse creatures, poisonousness animals, destructive demi-gods, foul and tormenting spirits, miracles (even proposed in Buddhism), possession, satan worshipers, lower realms of suffering, how long one stays in those lower realms, human sexual orientation like hating gays and the rest of it. They to me seem to all fit under delusions though so i didn't want to give a question for each delusion just an overall jist of it.

As you can see, i feel that their are contradictions to the messages of Buddhism or atleast how it is laid out in ones mind.
Please help enlighten me on these areas.

Martin

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 12:05:39 pm »
I'll start with your first question. Please note that these are just my thoughts, based on my own meditative experience, not something authoritative from the Suttas.

Quote
Firstly, is existence itself and not the human condition (or existence experienced through beings) suffering? Simply put now, is the universe just the universe and we suffer due to our bad 'behaviour' in it, or is the (conditioned or unconditioned) universe unsatisfactory 'Dukkha' so we suffer it?

I think we suffer due to our desires, discrimination and preferences. Whether there is suffering or not is our reaction to life. The nature of life might inevitably cause suffering, but the suffering is in us, not in life itself. If it were otherwise there would be no deliverance from suffering. If happiness (not suffering) is getting what we want, then the way to be happy instantly is to be able to want what we get.

Logic and analysis cannot approach this matter, it is only with intuitive insight, usually through meditation, that it can be realized. In other words, each one of us must resolve this through our own efforts and practice, by realization of our Inherent Nature, which is transcendent, beyond external circumstances but not apart from them.

More later.
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 zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 12:20:20 pm »
Secondly --

Quote
Secondly, the thoughts concerning Bodhisattva, Mahayana Buddhism.
One understands that one should continue to be reborn to help all beings reach Nirvana collectively, but how might they be achieved given the state of the world, stubbornness of Humans and secondly, how long would that take, i am sure countless generations of lifetimes. Surely one will eventually slip into lower realms when ones good karma is all used up then 'I' will equally need to be guided back out, while 'I' stay around in samsara to guide others out. Whats the point of that?

According to zen, when the Buddha was enlightened he said something like -- "When I saw the morning star, myself, together with all beings, experienced, supreme, total enlightenment and deliverance."

In other words, just deliver yourself and all beings will also be delivered.
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 zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 12:25:45 pm »
Quote
Regarding the practise of the precepts.
One considered becoming a Monk but given 'my' age i feel i want to enjoy my life first, i feel one is bad for wanting this as the world is suffering a great deal and deserves all hands on deck to guide beings correctly, however firstly, how does one guide people when the Buddha said that people need to achieve their emancipation through self effort (basically meaning 'I' am not really necessary) secondly, am i a bad person for wanting to enjoy loved ones, marriage, adoption, driving a car, handling money, having a stable job etc when one should quickly reach Nirvana for the betterment of all beings.

It is actually better if you can practice in the midst of living an ordinary life rather than becoming a monk. However it does take considerable dedication and discipline.
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 zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 12:29:00 pm »
Quote
Delusions, fear and evil or coarse things.
Oh and always the popular, what about witch craft, devils, demons, evil beings, coarse creatures, poisonousness animals, destructive demi-gods, foul and tormenting spirits, miracles (even proposed in Buddhism), possession, satan worshipers, lower realms of suffering, how long one stays in those lower realms, human sexual orientation like hating gays and the rest of it. They to me seem to all fit under delusions though so i didn't want to give a question for each delusion just an overall jist of it.

My response to such delusions is basically the same as to your first question -- Just realize your inherent True Nature and delusions will automatically be resolved. Better get going, life is short.
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 zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 12:36:27 pm »

An finally,

Quote
As you can see, i feel that their are contradictions to the messages of Buddhism or atleast how it is laid out in ones mind

The messages of Buddhism are contradictory because they ultimately transcend dualistic concepts. Thus we are born and unborn, die and don't die, are both one and many, moving and unmoving, etc, etc.
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 Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 11:33:24 pm »


Hi, Martin.  Great questions.  The best any of us can do is to respond to them with regard to our own experience.  Barring that we can only offer you literature from the suttas and commentaries from various practitioners, and of course The Buddha, himself.   :wink1:

Quote
The nature of reality, seems to be something one seems to have a lot of difficulty with moving forward.

Yes.  This struggle with reality is practically an impossible task for us, since we humans have both sensory and mental limitations, which only allow us biological survival advantages allowing us as a species to adapt to physical and psychological environmental conditions on this single planet and its moon, the planet we call Earth.

Quote
Firstly, is existence itself and not the human condition (or existence experienced through beings) suffering? Simply put now, is the universe just the universe and we suffer due to our bad 'behaviour' in it, or is the (conditioned or unconditioned) universe unsatisfactory 'Dukkha' so we suffer it?

Buddha described dukkha as the state of dissatisfaction derived from a mental and physical condition arisen from "ignorance" and dependent upon "impermanence".  As a result, no matter what we think or do, our legs will be constantly pulled out from under us due to our ignorance and the impermanent nature of the reality of this existence.  Therefore, as Buddha described his Four Noble Truths, there is no point wanting or attaching our happiness to any part of this reality as we will always eventually be disappointed in the results.

Quote
Secondly, the thoughts concerning Bodhisattva, Mahayana Buddhism.
One understands that one should continue to be reborn to help all beings reach Nirvana collectively, but how might they be achieved given the state of the world, stubbornness of Humans and secondly, how long would that take, i am sure countless generations of lifetimes. Surely one will eventually slip into lower realms when ones good karma is all used up then 'I' will equally need to be guided back out, while 'I' stay around in samsara to guide others out. Whats the point of that?

This is a Mahayana concept.  The Theravada and traditions predating Mahayana sometimes referred to by The Mahayana as "hinayana", or lesser vehicle, do not recognize this process you reference. According to The Theravadan suttas or The Pali Canon, Buddhas arise for this purpose, and so long as their history and teachings remain in human memory it is these teachings, which have guided humans and other beings capable of understanding The Dhamma.

Quote
Delusions, fear and evil or coarse things.
Oh and always the popular, what about witch craft, devils, demons, evil beings, coarse creatures, poisonousness animals, destructive demi-gods, foul and tormenting spirits, miracles (even proposed in Buddhism), possession, satan worshipers, lower realms of suffering, how long one stays in those lower realms, human sexual orientation like hating gays and the rest of it. They to me seem to all fit under delusions though so i didn't want to give a question for each delusion just an overall jist of it.

In The 31 Planes of Existence as describe in Buddhist literature the are conditions and states which vary in degree of suffering.  These include hell realms, human and intellectual states, heavenly realms, and The Jhanas.  None of these are permanent.  These all are impermanent states and therefore are not the goal.  I look upon them as simply the karmic effects / consequences of the way we live our lives.  Nibbana is the elimination of all karmic effect, and as such is the true goal.  Buddha explained how to attain nibbana in The Noble Eight Fold Path of The Four Noble Truths.  As you correctly concluded it is up to us to study and to practice them in the pursuit of that goal.

Quote


As you can see, i feel that their are contradictions to the messages of Buddhism or atleast how it is laid out in ones mind.
Please help enlighten me on these areas.

Martin

Enlightenment, and the result of unbinding and release from our sensory bonds is not the result of what we are told, or what we have studied, but of our practice as explained in The Noble Eight Fold Path. 

So far, my skill set remains wanting, and therefore I will continue to work on improving them.

Good luck to you also in this regard.

_/\_  Ron









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 zafrogzen

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 12:08:14 pm »
Quote
So far, my skill set remains wanting, and therefore I will continue to work on improving them.

Me too! I am always falling short, no matter what I might try to convince myself and others. I agree -- that is probably the human condition. I think even the Buddha, despite efforts over time to put him on a very high pedestal, was a fallible human being as well.
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 maapaa

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 01:02:01 am »
Truly wonderful explanations, I could sense your personal experiences shining through in your explanations and wisdom. I am truly happy to have found this Sangha online, I wanted a Sangha for a while as I am always travelling around don't settle long enough to engage with people and language barriers. How grateful I am to find this forum online, perfect!

Firstly, yes truly very helpful I like what you said about enlightenment while living an ordinary life, truly I agree living an ordinary life and reaching enlightenment almost seems harder than ordaining as a monk, as one would be daily surrounded by sensual desire and other concerns, than being able to escape to mountain retreats perhaps. Anyway I will practise harder and try to bring the teachings of the Dharma into my everyday life.


Offline maapaa

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 01:09:13 am »
 

So far, my skill set remains wanting, and therefore I will continue to work on improving them.

Good luck to you also in this regard.

_/\_  Ron
[/quote]

Yes I agree with you here, one experience even now feels very powerful, but in conclusion its all impermanent and so isn't the true goal. The thing holding me back isn't desire but fear, perhaps though its desire for love that sends me into duality and fear haha. Oh the trickiness of the human condition!

Finally, I like your comments on the evil natures people of other religious experience spend all their attention on to describing why bad things happen or pressuring others to seek emancipation through a deity, namely protection from evil. I agree, my deluded mind is ignorant and until enlightenment will continue to show a leaf as a sword and a broom as a spider in the night.

These questions pose another question, what happens if one doesn't reach enlightenment in this lifetime? I guess that supposes the question of re-incarnation or belief in rebirth. Or is rebirth just a second to second experience that consciousness takes, always living and dying every second of everyday as a new thought passes and so the cycle never ends till enlightenment, ofcourse perhaps including ones re-incarnation is a natural consequence of a troubled mind.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 05:29:33 am »
Here's my take, as another Englishman, based on my insights so far:

Firstly, the 'suffering' talked about in Buddhism is the mental suffering that takes place as a result of not seeing things as they really are. Get enlightened and it ends, but you will still 'suffer' pain and death, as in the other definitions of 'suffering'.

Secondly, there is no rebirth in the sense of 'you' being reborn. Only in the sense of things arising on conditions. The Bodhisattva ideal is just that, a wonderful ideal to bear in mind.

Thirdly, monasticism might be ok for some people, but the rest of us need to show that enlightenment is possible for everyone else.

Lastly, things like devils and stuff don't really exist as such, but are visualizations of concepts and ideas, so not worth bothering with except as cautionary tales (and not tails!). 
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 09:15:20 am »
Quote
maapaa concluded:  " what happens if one doesn't reach enlightenment in this lifetime? I guess that supposes the question of re-incarnation or belief in rebirth. Or is rebirth just a second to second experience that consciousness takes, always living and dying every second of everyday as a new thought passes and so the cycle never ends till enlightenment, ofcourse perhaps including ones re-incarnation is a natural consequence of a troubled mind."


Buddha did not achieve enlightenment in one lifetime if we are to believe The Jataka Tales:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/kawasaki/bl135.html  Parts I through IV

....and it wasn't until he returned from Tushita Heaven at the request of a (The) Great Brahma (God of Gods) that his enlightenment arose in such a capacity that he could even recall his previous existences.

The fact of arising and falling conditions of mind is certainly one example of rebirth(s) that we experience in this very lifetime, but there is also cellular formation, replication, and death, which is another example, which current biological science has discovered.  Then there is sexual reproduction facillitated by our haploid cellular nature, where our lustful conjugations result in progeny, which we further affect by our caring and raising of them.  Then there is the intellectual growth and stunting we experience as a result of being exposed to ideas both meritorious and harmful.  As members of nations, we experience variations arisiing due to political conflict, and debate.

So, there are many forms of rebirth, which we have experienced, no doubt.

My suggestion would be to let all of it go.  Try not to accomplish more at this point than to simply observe, verify and validate for your (mundane) self and in that way gain insight from present moment to present moment.

_/\_Ron


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 maapaa

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 11:18:05 pm »
Thank you all for your continuous feedback, I think the closer you get to the top as it were. The slippier it gets.

Recently I had to turn away from one older guy who in Australia tried to teach me like a 'new version' of Buddhism which he had said he discovered and well saying he had reached enlightenment in more than one experience or something. At the time I was backpacking so felt I should listen to him as I was living in his house, long story short he kind of made me have serious doubts about Buddhism in general and instead adopt his philosophies on it which were infact now I look back, quite cult like in their presentation.

Something I feel I am still recovering from. The problem for me now is separating what ideas were his and not Buddhist logic or principle, as he tried to sell it with such similarity just a smidge of difference in each area. He had a habbit of blurring the lines and causing great personal confusion leading to massive rifts of delusion!
I fully warn everyone to stay away from these 'teachers'.. as they aren't really teachers at all and I doubt they even know what true practise feels like either, nevermind... enlightenment...
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 11:21:13 pm by maapaa »

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2017, 04:22:37 am »
Thank you all for your continuous feedback, I think the closer you get to the top as it were. The slippier it gets.

Recently I had to turn away from one older guy who in Australia tried to teach me like a 'new version' of Buddhism which he had said he discovered and well saying he had reached enlightenment in more than one experience or something. At the time I was backpacking so felt I should listen to him as I was living in his house, long story short he kind of made me have serious doubts about Buddhism in general and instead adopt his philosophies on it which were infact now I look back, quite cult like in their presentation.

Something I feel I am still recovering from. The problem for me now is separating what ideas were his and not Buddhist logic or principle, as he tried to sell it with such similarity just a smidge of difference in each area. He had a habbit of blurring the lines and causing great personal confusion leading to massive rifts of delusion!
I fully warn everyone to stay away from these 'teachers'.. as they aren't really teachers at all and I doubt they even know what true practise feels like either, nevermind... enlightenment...

Well done for seeing through him. We all have our own 'take' and ideas. Luckily we have the Dharma to continually refer to. I like to read a couple of translations, and then look at different commentaries to get some kind of idea of the spread of understandings, and match against what I think at the time. The lines are always somewhat blurred, but find different versions of his ideas and you should get back on the right path.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Kenneth Chan

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Re: Concerns i have moving forward in practise, please lend your wisdom
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 07:36:57 pm »
Thank you all for your continuous feedback, I think the closer you get to the top as it were. The slippier it gets.

Recently I had to turn away from one older guy who in Australia tried to teach me like a 'new version' of Buddhism which he had said he discovered and well saying he had reached enlightenment in more than one experience or something. At the time I was backpacking so felt I should listen to him as I was living in his house, long story short he kind of made me have serious doubts about Buddhism in general and instead adopt his philosophies on it which were infact now I look back, quite cult like in their presentation.

Something I feel I am still recovering from. The problem for me now is separating what ideas were his and not Buddhist logic or principle, as he tried to sell it with such similarity just a smidge of difference in each area. He had a habbit of blurring the lines and causing great personal confusion leading to massive rifts of delusion!
I fully warn everyone to stay away from these 'teachers'.. as they aren't really teachers at all and I doubt they even know what true practise feels like either, nevermind... enlightenment...

Hi Maapaa. I feel it may be beneficial if I let you know what has been my guiding principle, for the last 25 years of my life, on what taking the spiritual path means. The earlier part of my life, prior to making use of this principle, was spent rather aimlessly going down different routes. So I think this may be useful for you to consider, and maybe adopt (or not), as you wish.

Please allow me to quote this passage from my book "Quintessence of Dust: The Mystical Meaning of Hamlet." The book is on Shakespeare's Hamlet, but its main purpose is actually to convey this message, as quoted here:

"... what exactly does “taking the spiritual path” mean?

The answer is as disarmingly simple as it is difficult to implement. It is essentially the message of the Buddha in a scripture known as the Kalama Sutta. This message is a universal one and applies to people of all religions and even to those who do not profess any religion.

In the Kalama Sutta, the Kalamas, who are the inhabitants of Kesaputta, ask the Buddha for guidance regarding a problem that is still prevalent today. This is what they say to the Buddha:

‘There are some monks and brahmins, venerable sir, who visit Kesaputta. They expound and explain only their own doctrines, the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Some other monks and brahmins too, venerable sir, come to Kesaputta. They also expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Venerable sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them, “Which of these reverend monks and brahmins spoke the truth and which falsehood?”’

The reply of the Buddha would probably astonish those who think that all religions are based on blind faith. This is what the Buddha advises the Kalamas:

‘It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, “The monk is our teacher.”

Kalamas, when you yourselves know: “These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,” abandon them.

Kalamas, when you yourselves know: “These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,” enter on and abide in them.’


Essentially, the Buddha is asking us to be walking question marks. The real key in the message, however, lies in the last part of the Buddha’s statement, and in the word “know.” When we know within ourselves that something is bad for us, and that each of us would be a better person without it, we are to act on this inner knowledge and abandon what we know to be bad. Likewise, when we know within ourselves that something is good for us, that each of us would be a better person with it, we are to act on this inner knowledge, and adopt what we know to be good. The key, then, is to act on what we each know is required to transform into a better person.

Every one of us knows at least one thing we can do to transform into a better person. This then is the next step we have to take. We must act on it. We have to take every next step that we each know is required to transform into a better person. When we have achieved that step immediately before us, we will always know the next step following that. The process is akin to climbing a mountain—the view gets clearer with each new height we reach. And if we continue this process, we will reach the very summit. Unfortunately, if we refuse the next step before us, that is where we stop. We have to cross every threshold we know we have to cross, for there is no other way to progress.

The spiritual path is a path of aspiration, of determination to always take the next step before us. It requires total commitment, and thus the need for us to perceive the inevitability of death and the truth of our situation. For this will empower us with the will to overcome all challenges hurled at us."
(end of quote)

Different paths suit different people, depending on their aptitude and on what level they are already at. I did not even begin my journey in Buddhism, but it has eventually led me to Tibetan Buddhism. Your path may well be different, but I am confident that if you take every next step that you personally know you have to take, it will guide you to the path most suitable for you.

Be a little wary of people who claim they have reached enlightenment or even experienced enlightenment. What has probably happened is that they have had what is called a mystical experience. This is a temporary state of being, where we get to experience what the state of mind of a higher spiritual being is like.

If we take the spiritual path, by always taking the next step we have to take to transform ourselves into a better person, we may, at a certain level, experience these mystical states. They actually function as signposts telling us what our next step or steps are. So a mystical experience hardly means that we have arrived. There are many many levels of mystical experience. It is only a temporary experience to guide us where to go next.

In other words, strive to achieve that state that you have temporarily experienced, and when you reach there, in all likelihood, you will gain an even more powerful mystical experience, and that will now tell you where to go next. So a mystical experience does not mean enlightenment, not unless it is actually a permanent state, and there is absolutely no further step for you to take in transforming yourself into a better person.

Having said all this, let me assure you that I personally am still a lowly traveller struggling along the path, and have a very long way to go. But I hope that this principle that has guided me, for years now, may be of some help in also guiding you along the way. It has never failed me, and still continue to guide me. In any case, I wish you all the best on your spiritual journey.




« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 05:48:55 am by Kenneth Chan »

 


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