Author Topic: A Reflection...  (Read 1985 times)

thornbush

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A Reflection...
« on: December 05, 2009, 12:48:14 am »
Before the 'Great Crash of E-Sangha Forum', I found this member's post in their 'Tibetan Buddhism General Forum' to be quite apt for my reflection...thought of sharing it here too... (Originally posted here)
"Many people never really learn or practice the Dharma very thoroughly at all, so they don't see the benefits, so they give up.
Basically, not many people practice the path as described in the Buddhist teachings... they do it here and there when they feel like it or when they can force themselves to, generating some vague compassion for a few minutes and then not following through with the off-session mind training, yet they expect all the results said to come to those who devote their whole being to practicing for all sentient beings. Not a fault of the Dharma.

Of course this is probably because many people don't take their situation in cyclic existence very seriously to start with.
They don't want to undo eons-old habits that have lead them to life after life of suffering, they want to engage in something from time to time that makes them feel good and makes this life seem fuller.
The prospect of looking into one's mind is too uncomfortable and taming it is too much hard work when we can just fill it up with something that gives immediate gratification... something we can distract ourselves with and that makes us feel like we're benefiting more."
 

Your thoughts please  :namaste:

Offline Wonky Badger

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 02:04:01 am »
I'm thinking "part-time Buddhist" is better than "not Buddhist". If one starts to dabble with it from time to time, maybe one will have a better foundation for practice in a coming life. Dabbling around a few lifetimes might finally lead to serious practice.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
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What would Buddha do?

overmyhead

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 02:10:24 am »
A couple years ago I was going to the gym a lot.  I made the comment to a friend, "so many people are just sitting around and not working out very hard.  How lazy!"  My friend replied, as condescendingly as my comment merited, "I think there are much lazier people than those who are going the gym."

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 08:15:20 am »
No need to discuss this as a hypothetical other person. I present myself as a great case example. When I am actively engaged in a thorough practice, I know I reap many important benefits. But I become "busy", or lazy, and my practice slips. I do not immediately notice any negative consequences. Days can go by before I start to understand that I am negatively effected by my unchecked craving and aversion. And it might be days more before I start to do something about it.

David

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 01:05:25 pm »
The problem with "part-time practice" is all too often we get just enough insight to not be completed satisfied with the illusions and temptations of samsaric existence, but not enough want to be completely free of them.  This leaves us even more miserable than one who is completely ignorant, as they tend to be unaware of their suffering.  Walking down the middle of the road may seem like a nice metaphor for life, but in reality, it leaves one susceptible to being run down from both directions.

Like the metaphor of lazy people in the gym being better off than other lazy people.  Are they really?  If one is out of shape and just hanging out in the gym, what happens when vanity kicks in, and they exhibit of a flurry of strenuous exercise, say for the purpose of impressing others?  They are more apt to injure themselves or worse, have have a heart attack, than the couch potato alone at home.


m0rl0ck

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2009, 01:19:10 pm »
Im with the part time is better than no time camp. Practice and attention are slippery slopes, i think one may get to a point of no return :) 

Offline WonderlandAlli

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 09:44:54 pm »
No need to discuss this as a hypothetical other person. I present myself as a great case example. When I am actively engaged in a thorough practice, I know I reap many important benefits. But I become "busy", or lazy, and my practice slips. I do not immediately notice any negative consequences. Days can go by before I start to understand that I am negatively effected by my unchecked craving and aversion. And it might be days more before I start to do something about it.


>.>


<.<


ditto.


u_u
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Offline humanitas

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 09:45:37 pm »
I agree with most of these points.  If you work part-time usually you make less money than if you work full-time.  By the same token if you practice full time you usually are going to grasp the concepts sooner than if you practice part-time.  Knowing this, those who do this part time must also learn to be more patient as they are making progress it's just at a slower rate.  But when the time comes to awaken, one awakens and there is nothing one can do from not awakening (dependent origination), the right practice awakens the mind.  So if one practices slower, one may take more time to get to the awakened state.

I could be completely wrong.  But I'm with some is better than none and have lots and lots of patience.  And have fun with your learning!  This is not mass.
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thornbush

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 10:23:09 pm »
I was thinking of these....
Ajjeva Licca ma tappam,
Ko janna maranam suve.
Na hi no sangaram te na,
Maha sanena maccuna.

Who knows by tomorrow, one may still be living or dead.
Thus reflecting, without procrastinating tomorrow or the day after,
One should incessantly exert right away on this very day.

Uparipan Bhaddekanatta Sutta 226

The idler who does not exert himself when he should, who though young and strong is full of sloth, with a mind full of vain thoughts — such an indolent man does not find the path to wisdom.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.20.budd.html

Just as a storm throws down a weak tree, so does Mara overpower the man who lives for the pursuit of pleasures, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in eating, indolent, and dissipated.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.01.budd.html

The Buddha asked another monk, "How do you measure the length of a man's life?"
He answered, "By days."
The Buddha said, "You do not understand the Way."

The Buddha asked another monk, "How do you measure the length of a man's life?"
The monk answered, "By the time that passes during a meal."
The Buddha said, "You do not understand the Way."

The Buddha asked the third monk, "How do you measure the length of a man's life?"
The monk answered, "By the breath."
The Buddha said, "Very well, you know the Way."

http://www.fodian.net/English/42section.htm

Offline humanitas

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 01:05:05 am »
The problem with "part-time practice" is all too often we get just enough insight to not be completed satisfied with the illusions and temptations of samsaric existence, but not enough want to be completely free of them.  This leaves us even more miserable than one who is completely ignorant, as they tend to be unaware of their suffering.  Walking down the middle of the road may seem like a nice metaphor for life, but in reality, it leaves one susceptible to being run down from both directions.

Like the metaphor of lazy people in the gym being better off than other lazy people.  Are they really?  If one is out of shape and just hanging out in the gym, what happens when vanity kicks in, and they exhibit of a flurry of strenuous exercise, say for the purpose of impressing others?  They are more apt to injure themselves or worse, have have a heart attack, than the couch potato alone at home.

While I can see the soundness of this logic on the one hand, I can also see how bad it makes me feel on the other.  ...Interesting.
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Offline Pema Rigdzin

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 01:32:31 am »
Thornbush, is that quote one of my old posts? I definitely remember the conversation. The context was a thread entitled something like "Do you feel like practicing the Dharma has actually helped you?" A few people seemed skeptical of the efficacy of the Dharma and were talking about people who had been practicing Dharma for years but gave it up because they weren't seeing results. In the thread I opined that the claims that the Sutras, Tantras, and commentaries make about their efficacy are absolutely true, but their claims are based on a certain level of commitment and diligence in practice and that one's results will be in proportion to how deeply one has practiced - or maybe more accurately put, how much one's whole life is the practice of the Dharma.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 01:35:22 am by Pema Rigdzin »

thornbush

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 02:04:01 am »
Greetings Pema,
I can't recall (as I have a dead link) but I recall your user name now as being the same as that quote's author, the topic title as well and the context that you have just explained...small world  ;D

overmyhead

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Re: A Reflection...
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2009, 01:28:03 am »
One of the problems with things like this is that beginners just can't recognize the benefits, even as they are happening.  They are looking for good "results", something they can grasp.  They don't notice the gradual improvement.  Eventually they start to realize that they are dealing with situations better and better, but it takes a while.

I still think that part-time is better than no-time, even if it causes them a little suffering here and now.  I have their long term prospects to consider.

 


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