Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

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

Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby C J » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:14 am

Hi,

To start with, I have a wonderful life. However, I feel like there is an unseen barrier about how much I can reach in terms of finance.

Whenever I get a chance to break-up and climb up the financial ladder, I face some kind of pull back, resulting in the same level of life style.

I though may be it is because of kamma. May be I have a upper limit. I can't go over that, no matter how much I tried as I do not have enough good kamma.

What do you think?
Is it possible to gain good kamma through this lifetime and achive my goal. So change my life style?

I found on Velaama Sutta that Metta Meditation as the second highest way to achieve good fruit.
(http://www.vipassanadhura.com/ScaleofGoodDeeds.html).
If I practice Metta Meditation, will I be able to break my barrier?

I highly appreciate all your input,
Thanks,
CJ
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:13 am

Greetings CJ
It appears that you are craving some kind of outcome that is not happening, and harbor some aversion to the status quo.
You need to just walk the path itself - practice sila (morality), develop samadhi (concentration/self mastery) and panna (insight/wisdom). Engage in meritorious acts such as dana towards the sangha and if your life doesn't become noticably different then your outlook certainly will.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby Yana » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:15 am

Hi,

Personally i find that my finances improve when i am more generous.Like giving to charity. It is a pattern i've noticed since i was younger.i don't know if this works for everybody but it works for me.

If you want to improve financially just stick to working hard and honestly and save or invest money.Balance it by being generous too.

It's also good to be content with what you have.Every time i feel stressed because i want to have something i remember other people who have less than me.

You don't realize what you have until you lose it. :anjali:
Life is preparing for Death
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby C J » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:06 pm

Ben wrote:Greetings CJ
It appears that you are craving some kind of outcome that is not happening, and harbor some aversion to the status quo.
You need to just walk the path itself - practice sila (morality), develop samadhi (concentration/self mastery) and panna (insight/wisdom). Engage in meritorious acts such as dana towards the sangha and if your life doesn't become noticably different then your outlook certainly will.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben


Thanks for the input.

But doesn't Velaama sutta says;
the fruit of developing concentration on radiating universal loving-kindness mettaa even just to the extent of a whiff of scent, would have been greater than;
dana towards Order of monks with the Buddha at its head or
building a monastery for the use of the monks or
taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha or
the fruit of sincerely undertaking to keep the moral precepts, abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants causing sloth.

That's why I thought about just practicing Metta Meditation, without taking time & effort on other religious activities. If the fruit of mettaa is higher than everything except "cultivating the thought of impermanence", why would I spend time on other things, I can spend that time too on Metta Meditation.
I'm not comfortable of "cultivating the thought of impermanence", but metta is something I can definitely do.

What do you think?
C J
 
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby C J » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:12 pm

Yana wrote:Hi,

Personally i find that my finances improve when i am more generous.Like giving to charity. It is a pattern i've noticed since i was younger.i don't know if this works for everybody but it works for me.

If you want to improve financially just stick to working hard and honestly and save or invest money.Balance it by being generous too.

It's also good to be content with what you have.Every time i feel stressed because i want to have something i remember other people who have less than me.

You don't realize what you have until you lose it. :anjali:


Thanks for your input. It's very encouraging to hear real world examples.

Did you notice that I started my post with "To start with, I have a wonderful life."
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby Yana » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:26 pm

C J wrote:
Thanks for your input. It's very encouraging to hear real world examples.

Did you notice that I started my post with "To start with, I have a wonderful life."


Yes,you also finished it by asking,
C J wrote:
Whenever I get a chance to break-up and climb up the financial ladder, I face some kind of pull back, resulting in the same level of life style.

I though may be it is because of kamma. May be I have a upper limit. I can't go over that, no matter how much I tried as I do not have enough good kamma.

What do you think?
Is it possible to gain good kamma through this lifetime and achive my goal. So change my life style?
CJ


Which implies that you want something more than what you have right now?

what does that mean?

Your are unsatisfied..

Unsatisfactoriness is the nature of the conditioned existence.Doesn't matter how much you have it will never be enough.as subtle as it may seem ,wanting more is Suffering.It might not seem that bad compared to people living in dire poverty but it is still dukkha. It causes uneasiness.

Is it wrong to want more?
No of course not.
But you will have to deal with the consequences of either getting or not getting the object of your desire.
Which could be Anything from frustration,disappointment to sheer joy.
It's all up to you.It's kind of like:
"If you play the game then you will have to abide by the rules". (situation)

This is why the Buddha taught a more balanced approach in approaching anything.Including finances.

C J wrote:
But doesn't Velaama sutta says;
the fruit of developing concentration on radiating universal loving-kindness mettaa even just to the extent of a whiff of scent, would have been greater than;
dana towards Order of monks with the Buddha at its head or
building a monastery for the use of the monks or
taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha or
the fruit of sincerely undertaking to keep the moral precepts, abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants causing sloth.

That's why I thought about just practicing Metta Meditation, without taking time & effort on other religious activities. If the fruit of mettaa is higher than everything except "cultivating the thought of impermanence", why would I spend time on other things, I can spend that time too on Metta Meditation.
I'm not comfortable of "cultivating the thought of impermanence", but metta is something I can definitely do.

What do you think?


The practice of Loving-Kindness Meditaion is really interrelated to the other actions mentioned.For example if you have thoughts of loving kindness towards others beings then you would naturally not harm them or you would naturally give to charity because you care about them. This is because loving kindness makes you treat others the way you would want to be.

Do whatever comes natural to you with time and practice doing the rest will come naturally to you.

:anjali:
Life is preparing for Death
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi CJ,

I give you my opinion on this matter. I see one big difficulty. If you really want to do metta meditation you have to develop loving kindness but you can't develop real loving kindness towards others when the main reason for your practice is your desire to accumulate more wealth for yourself. We do not practice to satisfy our cravings but to let go of them.

Good kamma or good actions (keep in mind that "kamma" is "action") is not a means to achieve worldly goals, good actions lead to good results and the good results or fruits make an end to dukkha in the end. Good kamma will help you to reduce suffering and increase your contentment but the good results of kamma may not result in changes of your life as you might think.

CJ wrote:To start with, I have a wonderful life.

Really? So why do you need more? Did you ever think about being satisfied with what you have instead of desiring more?
Maybe your problem dissolves into nothing if you find out that you have everything you need. ;)

just some thoughts of mine...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby C J » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:26 pm

It's sad that you think like that.

I had always given to poor, charity, sanga etc and still I'am. I wanted to concentrate on Metta Meditation as it was highly valued by Buddha and as it is more fruitful than anything else I did. It doesn't necessarily means that I will not perform those acts again.

Yes, I have a wonderful life. Surly I can be satisfied with that. But I want to achieve higher goals because I think I can.

It doesn't necessarily means I wan to accumulate more wealth for myself, it depends on what I want to do in this life time, as it is precious. When I get a human life in this sansara, I want to use it to it's full potential.

Currently I earn enough for my family and for little charity. That's why I mentioned that I have a wonderful life.
But do I have money to build a temple even if I desire, or to open an orphanage or to give alms to monastery sanga as I desire, NO. Do I have enough money to give my parents to do above things, so they can gain merit, NO.

If I make more money and use it for sinful acts, that is wrong. But if I make more money in order to perform good deeds, in order to let my parents and loved ones perform good deeds and gain merit, I don't see any wrong in that.

I want to use this precious human life to it's full potential, that's my goal.

All I want to know is;
Is it possible to gain good kamma through this same lifetime and change the way my life unfolds?

I think I found the answer in Liao Fan story;
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/liaofan.pdf

Thank you all.
C J
 
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:05 pm

Hi CJ,

I'm not judging you in any way at all, don't get me wrong. I just gave you a couple of thoughts which came to my mind. Finally it all depends on intentions.
If your motivation and your intentions are genuine for the good for yourself and the good for others you will perform good actions and this will bear good fruits.

CJ wrote:All I want to know is;
Is it possible to gain good kamma through this same lifetime and change the way my life unfolds?

Sure it is. This same lifetime, here and now, is the exact moment where you can change your life. You can always change your life, now! ;)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: Is it possible to change the way my life goes?

Postby C J » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:36 am

Good Kamma, persisted in, can thwart the reaping of bad. - Venerable Nārada Mahāthera

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf (page 264)

(In case if anybody else wondering about this same matter.)
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