Author Topic: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?  (Read 206 times)

Offline Rahul

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 04:15:27 am »
Is that all? I don't see anything wrong with making a resolve and failing to comply with it. And I don't think any Buddha or Bodhisattva or the Dharma would punish you for changing your mind. You are taking it way too seriously. Just take it easy, and continue your practice of meditation etc. But for the sake of pragmatism, you should think what you are offering, and make small commitments that you can implement.

As I told you, there are examples of ordained monks who realized that monastic life is not for them, and then gave up their practice and returned to the life of householders again. It's all acceptable. Totally.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 07:39:43 am »
Hi IdleChatter, Rahul and the rest.

I will try to clarify my points. It may take me more than a post, to make it readable. My goal is not to find a ceremony/ritual or ask only for opinions which suit me, so that I can use that as an excuse in front of my conscience. What I am trying to accomplish is to understand what I have been doing, and the implications of it.

This sounds either really serious or like your making a mountain out of a molehill. I'm leaning towards the latter. I'm curious though, just what's offering is it you've made that you feel like you need to take it back?

Here is an outline: I was supposed to make metaphorical offerings during a type of standard meditation practice. I offered the one precious emotion I was having. I was very emotionally unstable, I am still not 100% clear with my deepest motivations then, but I think I offered this love feeling literally. Or, simply said, I sacrificed it. Having it anymore, or pursuing it, would be stealing from enlightened beings, thus extreamly heavy karma. That's how I saw it and still see it.

Then, out of intense fear for the karmic consequence of stealing from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I started making other "compensation" offerings, so that I could have my first one for myself. Then, another compensation because I actually wanted the second one for myself, too. Those "compensation-chain" (my thinking based on the four opponent powers) went far more extreme every single time. Back then, I had already read a couple of articles on the internet (not forum posts but teachings) according to which even an intended offering is due to be delivered, and not doing so is considered stealing, with the respective more than severe karmic consequences. Thus, I accepted very rigorously every single slight intention of mine (born out of extreme fear and guilt) to be an already made offering, and I didn't think twice. I really thought this to be the case. The moment
I gave it a second thought, I honestly assumed that I was trying to cheat and the chain went away. After a while, it occurred to me that
this was dishonest to the most, and that I actually owed the enlightened beings all offerings already made (at least I feel them this way).

Among the other stuff, in the end of the chain, I was consciously making "bloody, hardcore" offerings because I felt utterly indebted and doomed to the worst of hells for near eternity (the same I can't stop feeling up to now), and I hoped to gain at least some good karma out of whatever I could think of. Now, the offerings/sacrifices were consciously being made. Under normal circumstances, I don't know whether I would do this.

So, a specific example: I mentally sacrificed (with the belief I needed to literally implement it the soonest) all my income, property and whatsoever stuff I could imagine. To me this still means that:
(1) I don't have the right to use it for myself.
(2) I must give it away, be it to a charity or a buddhist sangha (better) or whatever else.
(3) Every time I use my former? money/clothes etc., I commit yet another instance of heavy stealing. So I must live on charity myself, and donate ALL I have NOW.

For this reason, I actually quit my two jobs six months ago! Of course, I didn't give this explanation upon quitting. Then I started preparations for the donation part, but I never wanted to really do it so I tried to put all on hold.

Now, simply looking on my own issue from just an ethical point of view, I am more than confused and paranoid ... Because even the simple ethical, ordinary approach means:
(1) I regret using anything not given to me (practically impossible unless I become a monk etc.)
(2) I promise to never do it again
(3) I compensate for the stealing instance (practically no way, unless I beg my whole life and even more)

Another example is that I consciously offered/sacrificed/vowed "taking the five precepts, and never having sex in all my future lives". That was my utmost point of paranoia and fear, so I meant it back there. I think I made it an offering so that I get more merit out of it,
and to punish myself harshly, in case I wanted to quit my resolution. Because according to what I knew back then, vows you can give back, offerings - never.

And all this while I still want a normal life, and have sick relatives to look after ... And this are only two specific examples. Even if I wanted to physically offer/implement all the things which I offered/vowed mentally, this would be practically impossible in one lifetime. Needless to say I don't want to. So my double bind is something like: go to hell realms, and drag there all you've had contact with (even only the point of using and sharing money which is not yours anymore) or purify, i.e. give away all and leave everything/everybody behind, no matter what.

Well, it also occurred to me that if my logic (which is the logic from the scriptures I see) was right, then every single person who had the generous thought/intention of offering $100, 000 to a sangha, let's say, would have to deliver it with no excuse, even if the next moment they changed their mind and started being reasonable (e.g. they don't have it or they simply want to do something else with it). This piece, along with other stuff make me ask the question "Is there a way to take my own offerings back", and I mean "legally", without piles of bad karma involved.

I don't know if I would have come to the "hardcore" conscious offerings, if I hadn't been already paranoid that "intended offerings" equaled "offerings due to be delivered, or hells are waiting for you". Some of those I made vigorously and consciously, but I simply do not wish to implement. Or, yes, I want to go back on my word. Too much for me.


Take it as a lesson: take no vow, make no offering that you can't keep.
I am still absolutely paranoid that every intention of mine, conscious or subconscious, about offerings of whatsoever type could make it "due". For this reason, I simply try to never think of offerings to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Needless to say I have no generosity in this case.


Dude, there isn't a single thing you said that can't be set aside.  Go, and live your life.  Yes, there are karmic consequences, but every volitional act we commit has karma associated with it.

There's no need for you to be giving up property or a sex life.  You don't even have to abide by the 5 precepts.  Bag the guilt.  There's no need for it.  Just go and live your life.

Online Anemephistus

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2018, 06:41:47 pm »
I agree with IdleChatter. It's time to set this burden down from my perspective.

To be clear, I am woefully unaware of the traditions which you are adherent to, this is apparent to me as I read your concern.  I know some of the teachings of the Buddha though and this guilt that you are tearing at yourself for over a Buddhist act, even one which is very foreign to me,  is not what is prescribed by the teaching according to my understanding of it. I mean specifically the stress and duress you feel and describe.

Yes, we should always try and keep our word, but beings described as fully enlightened...well if I had to venture into this (and its a guess because I am not wise enough to claim understanding on this front) I would guess this suffering you are feeling is from making an offering they would know you couldn't keep in the first place and it will only last as long as you fail to learn what you need to overcome this experience.

You are stressing, worrying about future backlash, but the backlash you are facing from your own perception seems like the lesson to me.  It's certainly worthy to address your concern for the guilt and embarrassment you are feeling, but the offering was not made from a genuine place. Offering something to a being of infinite sight, it would seem to me that it would be aware when the offer is made of the result of the offer if I am not mistaken in what little I understand of this.

The noble eight fold path that the Buddha taught, the path to the cessation of suffering. I think maybe this is the time to really study it, to stop with the guilt and offer to replace what you have done with an effort to understand the arising circumstances of your situation so that you will not repeat it, then do that. If these beings are Buddha(s?) I would, from my (very) limited understanding, think that certainly this would be more pleasing than offering what they would know you could not give out of motivations that were not built on the foundation of the teaching that you need in order to understand how you got to this level of stress.

I would also ask the lamas if this seems correct to them, and I would apologize for seeking clarification a second time from a person, I don't really have a grasp on exactly what the conventions are surrounding them, but I am guessing that they are monks or nuns of a sort or directly,  and if they said something, I would guess it was designed to help you and you may have missed it because of your internal worry and assumptions about the state of karma. As I grasp it, none of us are agents of Karma. 

Be well, and you have no good choice but to keep on living life, so better to learn what to do with this stress and how to break the hold you have given it over you. I wish you the best and I hope you use the path that leads to the end of this stress and malformed situation.


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