Author Topic: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?  (Read 817 times)

Offline mtulev

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Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« on: January 05, 2018, 04:46:29 am »
Hi guys. Happy New Year to all!

I made some mental and material offerings which I regret. There's more detail into the whole story but I want to take my own offerings back. For all I have /read/heard/researched - this option is non-existing. However, it's really important for me> Any ideas? Or if I should provide more detail? 

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 05:05:51 pm »
Hi guys. Happy New Year to all!

I made some mental and material offerings which I regret. There's more detail into the whole story but I want to take my own offerings back. For all I have /read/heard/researched - this option is non-existing. However, it's really important for me> Any ideas? Or if I should provide more detail?

I don't know why you'd want to take back your offerings, but sure, you can go to where they are and take them back. You've already done it in your heart, so they are no longer offerings no matter what happens to them

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 08:10:52 pm »
Hi guys. Happy New Year to all!

I made some mental and material offerings which I regret. There's more detail into the whole story but I want to take my own offerings back. For all I have /read/heard/researched - this option is non-existing. However, it's really important for me> Any ideas? Or if I should provide more detail?

I don't know why you'd want to take back your offerings, but sure, you can go to where they are and take them back. You've already done it in your heart, so they are no longer offerings no matter what happens to them

Were these things spiritual offerings? Because if so, I agree with IdleChatter. Especially on the mental part. If these were charitable offerings to others, I would certainly consider the importance of what was offered and what word you might have given if these are valid thoughts to your situation.

Offline mtulev

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 03:01:19 am »
Hi. Thanks for replying. By offerings, I mean spiritual, buddhist offerings, not charitable ones. By made, I mean offered mentally, no physical action involved.   

My concern is based on the following two:
1. "To steal from the Dharma means [...] or to take for yourself some substance that you intended to offer to the Three Jewels."
2. "to steal from the Three Jewels of Buddha, dharma, sangha (for example, to take back an offering)"

Thus, I started "offering" stuff, not out of generosity, but out of fear that once I had the intention, I didn't have the right to go back ...

 

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 04:33:57 am »
Hi. Thanks for replying. By offerings, I mean spiritual, buddhist offerings, not charitable ones. By made, I mean offered mentally, no physical action involved.   

My concern is based on the following two:
1. "To steal from the Dharma means [...] or to take for yourself some substance that you intended to offer to the Three Jewels."
2. "to steal from the Three Jewels of Buddha, dharma, sangha (for example, to take back an offering)"

Thus, I started "offering" stuff, not out of generosity, but out of fear that once I had the intention, I didn't have the right to go back ...

 

No one said there wouldn't be some karma involved in your decision, but it's not like some crank Dharmapala is come and put the boots to ya.

If you feel you must take back the offering, then do so.  There will be some negative karma involved, but there is no karma that cannot be purified.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 06:38:53 am »
Something just occurred to me. Do you mean is there a ritual of some sort, or another, that is used, or can be used to take back offerings?

Offline mtulev

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 11:37:13 pm »
If I get your idea - technically, first I steal my own offerings :) then I repent with purification practice?

Offline mtulev

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 12:45:12 am »
Well, actually I have tried lots of things over the past months - the four powers, Vajrasattva, prayer for what I offered ... I can't exit the double bind I feel ..

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 06:28:56 am »
If I get your idea - technically, first I steal my own offerings :) then I repent with purification practice?

Well, in a manner of speaking, what you're talking about is stealing. The karma that's generated through this action will be added to the pile of karma you already have, and that will have to be purified before you reach Buddhahood.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2018, 06:32:34 am »
Well, actually I have tried lots of things over the past months - the four powers, Vajrasattva, prayer for what I offered ... I can't exit the double bind I feel ..

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?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 06:35:43 am by IdleChater »

Offline mtulev

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Re: IdleChatter
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 12:18:31 pm »
Hi, IdleChatter.

For me personally, the matter is serious. I already asked two lamas and a couple of other people involved with Vajrayana .. I didn't get a conclusive answer. Can I PM you with more detail?

Online IdleChater

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Re: IdleChatter
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 02:41:25 pm »
Hi, IdleChatter.

For me personally, the matter is serious. I already asked two lamas and a couple of other people involved with Vajrayana .. I didn't get a conclusive answer. Can I PM you with more detail?

No, you can't PM me.  If 2 Lamas couldn't give you a conclusive answer, then there's nothing I can add to that.  Niether can anyone else here.

If you won't follow a Lama's direction after asking for it, you have a bigger problem than an offering made by mistake.

Go back to you Lamas, ask their forgiveness for rudely ignoring their advice after you asked for it, ask them, again, what you should do, and then just do it.  If they say there is nothing to be done, then let it go and move on.

Take it as a lesson: take no vow, make no offering that you can't keep.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 08:45:09 pm »
Quote
No, you can't PM me.  If 2 Lamas couldn't give you a conclusive answer, then there's nothing I can add to that.  Niether can anyone else here.

If you won't follow a Lama's direction after asking for it, you have a bigger problem than an offering made by mistake.

Go back to you Lamas, ask their forgiveness for rudely ignoring their advice after you asked for it, ask them, again, what you should do, and then just do it.  If they say there is nothing to be done, then let it go and move on.

Take it as a lesson: take no vow, make no offering that you can't keep.

That is promoting lamas' authority as unquestionable. This is in total contradiction with what Buddha used to teach. Buddha promoted questioning, and not following anyone's words or accepting anything until one verified it to be true. Saying that 'neither can anyone else add anything else here' is like speaking on behalf of the entire forum community, and it's false representation. There are many people who can add their opinions, or elaborate Buddha's teachings in this context.

To err is human. There is nothing that would cause any harm in this case. Even if you offered something highly valuable to dharma and then decided that you need it back, just do it. Even those who are fully initiated monks, can give up their monastic life and become householders again. Do not look for any ceremonies or rituals to formalize your acts. Buddha was totally against  ceremonies and rituals.

As for Lamas, they are mortal beings like us. Some of them maybe enlightened, some not. If they are enlightened, they don't care whether you follow them or disobey them after they have shown you a path. Those who aren't enlightened, are prone to make mistakes like us. In any case, there is no need to fear a lama, or the consequences of not following lama's words. Think! And if you find their advise to make sense, then follow. Or else feel free to choose your own course of action.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 09:23:45 pm »
Quote
No, you can't PM me.  If 2 Lamas couldn't give you a conclusive answer, then there's nothing I can add to that.  Niether can anyone else here.

If you won't follow a Lama's direction after asking for it, you have a bigger problem than an offering made by mistake.

Go back to you Lamas, ask their forgiveness for rudely ignoring their advice after you asked for it, ask them, again, what you should do, and then just do it.  If they say there is nothing to be done, then let it go and move on.

Take it as a lesson: take no vow, make no offering that you can't keep.

That is promoting lamas' authority as unquestionable. This is in total contradiction with what Buddha used to teach. Buddha promoted questioning, and not following anyone's words or accepting anything until one verified it to be true. Saying that 'neither can anyone else add anything else here' is like speaking on behalf of the entire forum community, and it's false representation. There are many people who can add their opinions, or elaborate Buddha's teachings in this context.

To err is human. There is nothing that would cause any harm in this case. Even if you offered something highly valuable to dharma and then decided that you need it back, just do it. Even those who are fully initiated monks, can give up their monastic life and become householders again. Do not look for any ceremonies or rituals to formalize your acts. Buddha was totally against  ceremonies and rituals.

As for Lamas, they are mortal beings like us. Some of them maybe enlightened, some not. If they are enlightened, they don't care whether you follow them or disobey them after they have shown you a path. Those who aren't enlightened, are prone to make mistakes like us. In any case, there is no need to fear a lama, or the consequences of not following lama's words. Think! And if you find their advise to make sense, then follow. Or else feel free to choose your own course of action.

It's not a question of authority of some sort.   Rather, it's a question of respect if you ask for someone's advice on something and they give you the advice and you don't act on the advice, then you're just being rude. 

In the case of vajrayana, which is I'm sure something you really don't know an awful lot about, the lama is a source of information, and a source of guidance, a source of friendship.  If you go to a teacher, a guide, a friend, and ask for their help and and then basically throw it back in their face, well, there's a price to pay for that, and that price is your karma.  Not only have you messed with your karma, you messed with a friendship , a relationship - the relationship of a teacher to a student, the relationship of a friend to a friend. What kind of person does that? You tell me.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 06:03:40 am by IdleChater »

Offline mtulev

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Re: Is there a way to take my own offerings back?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 03:35:50 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.

 

Quote
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.

.................

 


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