Author Topic: How do we begin?  (Read 3735 times)

Offline RedIron

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2009, 02:49:18 am »
as far as i am concerned i haven't stepped onto the path yet due to a mental block or aversion to practice wich is beyond my understanding.
This is interesting. Is this suffering? Wanting but not getting ...? On the other hand if  you do not want, where's the problem?
If we do not have a (heartfelt) reason then we don't want to.

Kind regards

i do want to practice but i can't .
i have lot's  of free time and oftentimes i find myself in the position where i'm thinking that i have to start practicing and i cannot get up and walk three meters to my shrine to do the practice.

is like my will is paralised and my thought process is frozen and i cannot do anything to act, just to act.

so i am battling with myself in this way for a few years.

and therefore i cannot begin....

TMingyur

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2009, 03:52:40 am »
Well the heartfelt reason seems to be lacking.
"Reason" refers to intellect, is an effect of analyzing with clear thought. But that alone is not sufficient, therefore it has to be "heartfelt", I.e. the drive comes from both, intellect and heart.
This "paralyzation" or block is certainly caused by an obstacle in the heart. To investigate into this blocking cause, what it is, would already be "practice".

You ever tried to practice the 4 thoughts that turn the mind towards dharma?

Kind regards
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 03:58:14 am by TMingyur »

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2009, 08:03:02 am »
I think that there is an aversion to "religion" among the general public, certainly in the UK,
fuelled by extremism and our "door knocking" friends.
Also I think people raised in our modern materialistic "culture" find little need for spirituality, unless they suffer a major trauma in their lives, such as the death of a loved one, diagnosis of a serious disease, etc.
I also think we need to examine our own motivations quite deeply. Who are we trying to help, us or them?
I agree that its only by example that we can draw people towards the dhamma.
with metta   

Offline humanitas

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2009, 12:33:35 pm »
i do want to practice but i can't .
i have lot's  of free time and oftentimes i find myself in the position where i'm thinking that i have to start practicing and i cannot get up and walk three meters to my shrine to do the practice.

is like my will is paralised and my thought process is frozen and i cannot do anything to act, just to act.

so i am battling with myself in this way for a few years.

and therefore i cannot begin....

Are you afraid?
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overmyhead

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2009, 08:13:44 pm »
It can.  What convinced YOU to take that first step, and how many countless times have you taken that same step?  Remember you are not so separate from that person you are trying to nudge.  The division between you is mostly illusory.  Of course, when the step is taken, we rejoice in a homecoming.

I am not a person of faith.  By the time I discovered Buddhism, I had already logically deduced many of its conclusions, and I had already had an awakening experience ( - a story for another time).  This experience was my own personal miracle, because I never would have believed that such an experience was possible.  Even so, it took a couple years before I was able to accept renunciation.  How could an average person, for whom sensual pleasures and other attachments are the best feelings in life, believe that these things are the cause of all their sufferings, not the cure for them?  How do you get a skeptic to even consider the tenets of Buddhism when they are unable to still their minds, unable to even fathom the idea of a still mind?


RedIron, I am familiar with your problem.  It is one of the five hindrances - indolence/torpor.  If you haven't already tried it, I would suggest experimenting with abstaining from "easy" mental indulgences for a while - TV, movies, music, fiction, gossip, masturbation, alcohol, drugs, etc.  I have found that these sorts of mental indulgences bombard the mind from the outside, inhibiting the mind's ability to stimulate itself.

Offline humanitas

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2009, 09:03:34 pm »
How do you get a skeptic to even consider the tenets of Buddhism when they are unable to still their minds, unable to even fathom the idea of a still mind?

Most people know that when they consciously breathe 3 times it slows them down.  I would suppose a skilled practitioner can provide direct benefit through their actions to someone in need by simply pointing out small things like telling a friend to slow down and take three deep breaths.  If the skeptic is suffering (and most I know are), then there is a shared vulnerability they have with any Buddhist practitioner.  We can share the dharma directly without fancy words just by being kind, considerate, and present in every situation we're in.  Sufficient kindness to those who know us often fosters positive conditions that draw people to becoming Buddhist-curious (in my experience).   They can understand slowing yourself down by becoming conscious, and become interested in this first step to less suffering.  And the effect is immediate.  People respond to "what works" in a tangible manner.  I find plenty of hyper-intellectual skeptics can appreciate the increased calm from 10 deep breaths.  I think that alone credits them with at least the potential to eventually growing into a natural idea of a still mind... no?  I mean, one understanding (becoming conscious of breath) can naturally lead to the next (becoming conscious of stillness). 

Just my  :twocents: and hopefully I didn't miss the point of what you meant...
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 09:05:30 pm by 0gyen Chodzom »
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Offline pickledpitbull

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You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


~ Cheri Huber

Offline humanitas

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overmyhead

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2009, 08:48:59 pm »
You might be surprised at how stubborn intellectual types can be.  I think it's an issue of pride.  Some won't even try focusing on the breath, probably for the same reason that people don't like the idea of therapy - they think they are above such "crutches".

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2010, 05:52:38 am »
Never thought of that one!
In one of Ajahn Brahms talks he relates the tale of the monk who recieved the phone call about the meditation lessons, how much they cost. He replies "they're free madam" to which she replies "Oh they can't be any good then." and puts the phone down.
Maybe its the same with meditation. Some people think its so  simple, how can it solve their (complicated) problems!
with metta

Offline Sandy

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2010, 06:40:08 pm »
The obstinance of certain people in my life is a source of constant frustration.  I only wish to lessen their suffering a little, but I am finding it impossible to get my foot in the door, anywhere.  People are just blinded by this carrot that is dangling in front of their eyes.

It seems like it takes a miracle for someone to take that first step.  What are the things we can say or do to help facilitate this first step, to create this first chink in the armor of samsara?  Ii don't want to proselytise.  I just want to give a little ... nudge.   :innocent:

ok this is my take on this since i dont consider myself a buddhist yet becuase of my own reason, which i wont discuss at the moment my take on this topic is this:
you can try to help by listening and giving advice but you can never force someone to believe what you believe because the mind is stuck in what the person is used to believing is right there it be a different religion or just what they consider right. if your views are not the same as theres they will not agree with you. sometimes when i talk to other people of my same religion (catholic or christian) they see me as your crazy but i know in my heart that what i believe is right. now i study the dharma and im incorporating what works for me into my everyday life but sometimes i feal as if people are pushing me to their views and thats when i stop and back up. it makes not want to learn.
maybe thats how other people feal too in regards to fealing force to other peoples beliefs and practices.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2010, 10:22:47 pm »
Live your life in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path.

"What you are and what you do speaks so loud that no one can hear what you are saying."

"The best teacher is example."
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 humanitas

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2010, 10:46:21 pm »
Live your life in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path.

"What you are and what you do speaks so loud that no one can hear what you are saying."

"The best teacher is example."

I completely agree with Ron.  Keep in mind as well, I'll add, that the "being the example" or "leading by example" or "being smacked down by the example" doesn't have to be this painful arduous task.  GO have honest fun and be the joy you wish to see in the world as an example to others.  Sometimes I think that many new Buddhists like myself get curious about Buddhism BECAUSE they're suffering.  I hear these wonderful lines which are so profound so much more than anything I'd normally say or think that clearly.  There's that part of me that Oohhs and Aaahs at the profound quality that distilled truth has.  Somewhere in the back of my brain mind is this stodgy rigid construct of a malformed notion of buddhist kindness being a bit like "goody goody" that is married to my perfectionism and idealization of the truth...  :brick: The idealization itself is kind of self-important, I realized the rich quality of this idealization and how I get addicted to it.  

While reading your wise post Ron, I thought to myself what is that thing people add at the end of fortune cookies, in bed or something, maybe between the sheets..? so I  thought, ok stodgy head read it like a fortune cookie... so i read it

"What you are and what you do speaks so loud that no one can hear what you are saying." in bed.between the sheets.

"The best teacher is example." in bed.between the sheets.   :lmfao:

OH!!  :falloff:  it's totally six-year-old humor, but it made me giggle hysterically. And then the true moment of realization struck me where all this pondering hasn't: Leading by example means truly ENJOYING the total rich taste of experience we have in this life.  AHA! I'd thought before many times it but never felt it so clearly.   :sun:

:idea:

Ron, you rock my socks off!   :jinsyx:
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 10:54:19 pm by 0gyen Chodzom »
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