How did I get here???

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

How did I get here???

Postby Beautiful Breath » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:57 am

Hi all,

Bit of an odd request I guess, but here goes.

I have been studying and practising Buddhism for over 25 years now. Predominantly Tibetan in the Gelug tradition but of late been erring towards Theravada for reason rendering. I have recently immersed myself in a new relationship with a wonderful woman and we're very happy, getting married later this year and have even talked about the possibility of having a child. On a 'worldy' level she is stunning and I am constantly chuckling to myself as to how men (and often women) react when they see her...she really is beautiful.

So, what the issue? Well I am starting to find that I may have unwittingly wrapped myself in a very think suit of Desirous Attachment. I am starting to experience many negative emotions such as jealousy and low self esteem....even ruminating about her previous partners...! Its UTTERLY ridiculous, it goes again all that I have learned and understood and I really have no idea how to reconcile these feelings.

If anyone can offer some advice that may get me back on track I would be eternally grateful!

Yours, (very confused!!!) _/\_
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:13 am

I understand what you are saying, having been there myself.
A wise man once said that 'love is the mother of misery' - and I think its true that you are experiencing this for yourself.
Continue with your practice and don't let it go and remain mindful of those uncomfortable dhammas as they rise and fall.
There is also some asubha (contemplation of unattractiveness) practices but I wouldn't recommend those unless you were under the guidance of a teacher.
Wishing you all the very best,

Ben
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby santa100 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:58 pm

Make sure your girlfriend has both inner and outer beauty. Inner beauty is extremely important. Regardless of how physically beautiful a woman is, all that will disappear in 10-20 years time. What is left is inner beauty. And if one doesn't have inner beauty, one has nothing left..
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby Beautiful Breath » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:34 pm

santa100 wrote:Make sure your girlfriend has both inner and outer beauty. Inner beauty is extremely important. Regardless of how physically beautiful a woman is, all that will disappear in 10-20 years time. What is left is inner beauty. And if one doesn't have inner beauty, one has nothing left..


Hmmm... always seems to be the default answer that - no offence, but intellectualising doesn't work either!
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:05 pm

"Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear."
~MN 87
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby santa100 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:06 pm

Of course for this default answer, a 9-year old kid could understand, but a 90-year old man could have problem remembering it..
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby Dan74 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:14 pm

Very little actually works when we are in the grip of desire.

Perhaps the key question is the title of this thread - "how did you get there?" And what/who is keeping you there?

Until this is answered, at least a bit, nothing we are going to say here is going to make much different, I am afraid.
_/|\_
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby SDC » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:31 pm

Good points so far.

It seems that having a relationship with a nice, beautiful woman is of great importance to you. You're not the only one. This most likely began developing in childhood, which means that much of who you are is built around this idea. It is well protected and hard to alter at this point, so don’t be discouraged that your practice doesn’t seem to be of any use. This is evident in your current feelings about the situation in that you want to protect the relationship because your mind is telling you that you are involved in a great, borderline perfect, situation.

My advice is to challenge the idea that love (not including metta obviously) SHOULD or COULD be perfect. It seems you want this to be the case.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:04 pm

You said you have been practicing Buddhism for 25 years and that you guys are thinking of having a child. It sounds like she might be much younger than you? Nothing wrong with that, but that may be contributing to the self-esteem / insecurity issues. You might be thinking that she might leave you for someone younger since she is beautiful?

Do you both practice the Dhamma? That is an activity where you can grow together.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby ground » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:42 pm

When self feels like a loser it is celebrating itself.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby Zom » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:59 pm

Hmmm... always seems to be the default answer that - no offence, but intellectualising doesn't work either!


Exactly.

Only when you see different dhammas in yourself, only then you can make real progress. You should practise satipatthana as much as possible starting with the most easy exercise of awareness of the body, so in such a way you can sharpen your mindfulness and concentration faculty. Then move on to the awareness of the feelings and then to the awareness of the mind itself. With developed mindfulness you will be able to see more and more vividly sensual desire, lust, jealosy, anger, conceit and many other unskilful dhammas as they are flowing in the present moment in whatever situation. When you will see them - you will manage to drop them, to cut them off, manage to "not follow" them, manage to abandon them or at least - lessen their grip. That is how the mind is cleansed - very slowly, step by step. This is the only method. There is no other method. With more or less advanced skill in this practice defilements have no chance to drag you in.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Greetings,

daverupa wrote:"Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear."
~MN 87

Pretty much. Without phassa, you don't get that far down the pike.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How did I get here???

Postby ignobleone » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:17 am

Beautiful Breath wrote:So, what the issue? Well I am starting to find that I may have unwittingly wrapped myself in a very think suit of Desirous Attachment. I am starting to experience many negative emotions such as jealousy and low self esteem....even ruminating about her previous partners...! Its UTTERLY ridiculous, it goes again all that I have learned and understood and I really have no idea how to reconcile these feelings.

If anyone can offer some advice that may get me back on track I would be eternally grateful!

Yours, (very confused!!!) _/\_

I would suggest to practice satipatthana, i.e. mindfulness(sati) with mental object(citta-sankhara) as the frame of reference.
Whenever any negative emotions arise, make sure you know it - you are aware of it. When jealousy arises, you know it: "ah.. this is jealousy, ah.. it's starting to dominate my way of thinking, ..it's growing even worse, it eventually starts to subside, and then disappears. Do the same for other negative emotions that arise. That's how one should train oneself according to the Buddha Dhamma. That way you won't lose control of your own mind, and negative action based on any negative emotions can be prevented to happen.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby ground » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:35 am

"I will teach you a Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.

"And how is there lack of bondage? A woman does not attend inwardly to her feminine faculties... feminine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to masculine faculties... masculine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside her, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in her femininity, a woman does not go into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman transcends her femininity.

"A man does not attend inwardly to his masculine faculties... masculine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to feminine faculties... feminine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside him, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in his masculinity, a man does not go into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man transcends his masculinity.

"This is how there is lack of bondage. And this is the Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:
santa100 wrote:Make sure your girlfriend has both inner and outer beauty. Inner beauty is extremely important. Regardless of how physically beautiful a woman is, all that will disappear in 10-20 years time. What is left is inner beauty. And if one doesn't have inner beauty, one has nothing left..


Hmmm... always seems to be the default answer that - no offence, but intellectualising doesn't work either!


Take a trip to Lowe's (store for building supplies) and notice a few of the couples bickering about petty details of the two different houses they each want to build. Go to the gym and peak in on the day care, the chaos of kids, and the tired frustrated parents who are dropping off the kids. Then go home and meditate on the fact that this is the life that you are choosing. Think about any tiny flaw in you fiancee and how that will frustrate you through these tough trials.

If you still want to get married and have a kid, GREAT!! But recognize that in the throes of raising a family, beauty will not get you through the tough times. It is a frustrating decision, complicated by male hormones. The desire to acquire beauty and provide for a family, to achieve sensual pleasure, and status... these are powerful and cloud judgement. There is a reason half of US marriages end in divorce. The great news is the other half end in death.

I wish you the best of luck raising your family.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:06 pm

Buckwheat wrote:There is a reason half of US marriages end in divorce. The great news is the other half end in death.


:D

True, but we need some lay people. It is a reciprocal arrangement, win-win, with a monastic clergy and some lay people. Fortunately it doesn't have to be bickering all the time, especially if the husband and wife are well-developed along the Path.
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Re: How did I get here???

Postby YouthThunder » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:50 pm

TMingyur wrote:
"I will teach you a Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.

"And how is there lack of bondage? A woman does not attend inwardly to her feminine faculties... feminine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to masculine faculties... masculine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside her, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in her femininity, a woman does not go into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman transcends her femininity.

"A man does not attend inwardly to his masculine faculties... masculine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not attend outwardly to feminine faculties... feminine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that... does not want to be bonded to what is outside him, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in his masculinity, a man does not go into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man transcends his masculinity.

"This is how there is lack of bondage. And this is the Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

But isn't a monk attend inwardly to his inner faculties(as a monk ) too?Then what about effeminate men and other identities??
NOTE:Not intending to cause any offense,Just curious

Cheers~
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